Under the Paris Agreement, the world has committed to keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius – and ideally below 1.5 degrees. That means a radical change in where we source our energy, ditching fossil fuels in favor of carbon-free renewables.
So how well are African countries doing? Overall, Africa is responsible for just 3.5 percent of fossil fuel emissions – despite being home to around 16 percent of the global population. Africa’s energy infrastructure is far less developed than in the carbon-heavy economies of America, Europe and China, for example. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), around 600 million people in Africa do not have access to electricity.
In terms of renewable energy production, the picture varies widely country-to-country. Countries like Zambia, and Democratic Republic of Congo have close to 100 percent renewable electricity production from hydropower facilities.
Ethiopia, too relies heavily on hydropower but also wind power, which now accounts for about 4 percent of its power generation. Morocco and South Africa are among the African countries investing most in modern wind and solar power facilities. But South Africa still generates less that 3 percent of its electricity from renewables.