Former director-general of the WTO Pascal Lamy joins us to discuss Africa’s position on global climate change ahead of Cop27 in November.
Few people understand issues of international trade, development and environment as well as Pascal Lamy. Following eight years as director-general of the World Trade Organisation, Lamy now serves on the board of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, one of Africa’s most influential civil society organisations. He joins us following the release of the Foundation’s 2022 Governance Forum report, which aims to make Africa’s case in the global climate change debate ahead of Cop27 in Egypt in November.
Natural gas will be a flashpoint
Framing it as a race between demography and economy, Lamy wants to see Africa’s development needs prioritised in the global response to climate change. Africa is prepared to fight for its position, he says, and highlights South-South solidarity as a countervailing force against the US, China, EU and other heavyweights.
Natural gas is set to be a flashpoint at Cop27. Despite claims that foreign ownership, frothy export markets, high prices and poor infrastructure make it unlikely that gas will be a development panacea for Africa, Pascal insists that the continent’s prodigious reserves should be exploited.
Governance will be key
Africa is already a large positive for the global climate ledger, and Pascal outlines further opportunities for the continent to support global climate solutions. Governance will be key, he says, explaining the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s work on governance monitoring, assessment and improvement.
We conclude with a discussion of the global trade environment. Pascal offers his thoughts on Africa’s place within the global trade system, assesses the implementation of the AfCFTA, and explains how Africa can secure greater benefits from trade in the future.