Low-Carbon Energy Transition in Africa: Insights from West Africa

A shift towards low-carbon, renewable energy sources is imperative if the worst impacts of climate change are to be avoided. Although Africa has contributed a relatively small proportion of historical carbon emissions, the continent must still play a role in transitioning to a sustainable, green economy. Renewable energy sources could also address weaknesses in the reach and reliability of existing African energy infrastructure, and promote broader innovation and green jobs. This policy briefing explores the key opportunities and constraints related to low-carbon energy transition in Africa, with a particular reference to lessons emerging from Nigeria’s experience in this area. To fully benefit from low carbon transition, Africa’s energy governance must become more coherent, and steps should be taken to prevent renewable projects from becoming isolated, unsustainable clusters decoupled from national grids and regional plans.