Webinar What Role do the EU’s Green Policies Play in Supporting a Just Energy Transition in MENA?

You can register to attend by following this link. You will receive a Zoom confirmation email should your registration be successful.

The discussion will be held in both Arabic, English, and French, with interpretation available on Zoom only.

The EU-MENA energy agreements primarily focus on fostering energy security, promoting renewable energy sources, and ensuring the transition to a green and sustainable energy system. These agreements form part of the broader EU strategy to diversify energy sources and reduce dependence on fossil fuels, while also contributing to the global effort against climate change.

The conditions of these agreements often include commitments to political and economic reforms, democratization, market liberalization, and the adoption of sustainable energy practices. Financial and diplomatic support from the EU is provided to encourage these reforms, complemented by grants and loans from EU institutions such as the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

For example in Tunisia, the EU has established a comprehensive partnership that focuses on several key areas including macro-economic stability, trade and investment, green energy transition, people-to-people contacts, and migration. This Memorandum of Understanding, signed on July 16, 2023, aims to open a new chapter in EU-Tunisia relations, promising enhanced cooperation across these sectors1The European Union and Tunisia: political agreement on a comprehensive partnership package . Tunisia is recognized for its potential in renewable energy, particularly in green hydrogen, with ambitious plans to reduce emission intensity by 41% by 2030. This positions Tunisia as an attractive partner for future cooperation with the EU in green energy.

Another example is the evolution of the partnership between Egypt and the EU on energy and climate matters which culminated in a strategic focus on renewable hydrogen and broader green transition initiatives. This partnership is framed within the context of global efforts like the Paris Agreement, aiming for a rapid transition towards a low emission, climate-neutral economy. Key agreements and collaborations highlight Egypt's potential as a regional hub for renewable and low carbon energy production, particularly in renewable hydrogen, which aligns with the EU's ambition to diversify energy sources and reduce dependency on fossil fuels2EU-Egypt Joint Statement on Climate, Energy and Green Transition 3COP27: EU and Egypt step up cooperation on the clean energy transition 4New era in EU-Egypt energy cooperation 5Memorandum of understanding on a strategic partnership on renewable hydrogen between the European union and the Arab republic of Egypt .

In the case of Morocco, the EU-Morocco Green Partnership, launched in October 2022, marks a significant step in bilateral relations, aiming to advance the European Green Deal's external dimension. This partnership focuses on three main areas: climate and energy, the environment (including marine and maritime issues), and the green economy. It aims to support both the EU and Morocco in becoming low-carbon, climate-resilient economies, fostering sustainable and job-creating projects, and developing cooperation with other international actors to advance the global climate agenda6The EU and Morocco launch the first Green Partnership on energy, climate and the environment ahead of COP 27 7The EU and Morocco launch the first Green Partnership on energy, climate and the environment ahead of COP 27 .

However, questions arise regarding the current approach to the energy transition and its inclusivity: do these projects and partnerships support a just environmental transition that is based on meaningful consultations with local communities and ensuring that historically marginalized groups benefit from accessible and clean energy? Are sufficient steps being taken to address the impact of such projects on local communities and their livelihoods? What is the long-term sustainability and impact of these projects on MENA countries that are already heavily indebted?

Join us for this webinar on the 24th of April at 2:30pm CET which will initiate a regional dialogue with the European Union representatives and MENA scholars and energy advocates to understand the EU energy green policies vis-à-vis the MENA region. The webinar aims to understand the complexities and opportunities of such a transition and its impact on local communities and those who will be affected the most of this transition. This webinar is particularly pertinent in the context of the EU’s Green Deal and its external dimensions, underscoring the importance of collaborative efforts realizing a sustainable and just energy future.