solar panels with sun glare

Presentation | 2022

The Energy Transition and the Global South

A More Attractive Energy Future for All

By Sam Butler-SlossKingsmill BondVikram Singh
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In this summary presentation, prepared for the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt, we show that the energy transition is a technology revolution with enormous wealth-generating and redistributive potential, not a burdensome cost to share. This new reality changes the logic of international climate politics: mitigating climate is no longer a zero-sum free-rider problem; it is a positive sum game of reinforcing action, competition, and co-operation.

The Global South, particularly Africa, needs energy to develop. Crucially, they need to get energy as fast and cheaply as possible. And it is simply a question of what technology does this best. Renewables, compared to fossil fuels, are more available, more quickly, at lower cost, and are most competitive in sunny regions.

With international support and domestic policy, private capital can flow at scale into the new opportunities the renewable era presents and low- and middle-income countries in the Global South can gain faster access to affordable and secure energy.