Development perspectives of Sub-Saharan Africa under climate policies

Gregor Schwerhoff, Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change

Ambitious climate policy has the effect of increasing the cost of energy and therefore has important interactions with the prospects of development in the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. These interactions include the potential for gain for the continent in the form of new trade opportunities and climate finance. In this paper we conduct a quantitative comparison of the costs and benefits of climate policy in Africa. Using an Integrated Assessment Model, we are able to consider the specific situation of the continent, including the favorable conditions for renewable energy. A newly designed scenario analysis allows identifying the main drivers of the results. We show that Africa could implement climate policy in line with the 2 degree target at roughly net zero costs if the international community follows up on its commitment towards supporting developing countries as declared in the Paris Agreement. Africa could become an important supplier of energy from biomass and could thus even benefit from more ambitious climate policy due to higher demand for this source of energy. The absence of a painful trade-off between short-term development and long-term climate stabilization could provide policy-makers with a much richer policy option space than previously considered. One such option is to link climate policy with poverty reduction – through the provision of clean electricity for example.

About the speaker

Gregor Schwerhoff is an economist at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) in Berlin, Germany. He obtained his PhD from the Bonn Graduate School of Economics (BGSE). In addition to his research on climate economics he acts as a review editor for the Africa Assessment of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and lectures at the Technical University Berlin.

Venue: Conference room (room 0.16 & 0.17)

Date: 23 February 2017

Time: 12:00 - 13:00  CET