africa solar power PRIs The World/Flickr

L'opportunité de l'énergie verte en Afrique

ABUJA – Le changement climatique met les pays en voie de développement face à un dilemme. D'un côté, ils sont particulièrement vulnérables à ses effets, d'où leur fort intérêt dans la réduction globale des émissions de gaz à effet de serre. De l'autre, ils ont un besoin désespéré d'énergie, avec quelque 1,3 milliard de personnes dans le monde (deux sur trois étant des Africains), n'ayant actuellement aucun accès à l'électricité.

Dans le passé, les solutions à ces impératifs auraient été en désaccord mutuel. Fournir à plus de personnes un accès à l'électricité aurait impliqué d'émettre davantage de gaz à effet de serre, aggravant ainsi les conséquences du changement climatique. Heureusement l'économie de l'énergie a considérablement évolué ces dernières années. Il est maintenant possible d'élargir l'accès à l'énergie dans les pays en développement tout en limitant aussi les émissions, si les investissements sont consacrés à l'énergie verte.

En 2013, près de 1,6 mille milliards de dollars ont été investis dans l'infrastructure énergétique à travers le monde, dont environ 70% dans des systèmes qui dépendent de la combustion de combustibles fossiles, le reste étant alloué à l'énergie propre. Heureusement, ces pourcentages commencent à changer : avec de bonnes politiques, ils pourraient être inversés. Si les investissements dans l'énergie propre peuvent être augmentés d'au moins mille milliards de dollars par an d'ici 2030, il sera possible de fournir l'accès à l'énergie à ceux qui en ont le plus besoin, tout en réduisant les émissions annuelles de dioxyde de carbone de 5,5 à 7,5 gigatonnes, soit à peu près la valeur actuelle des émissions des États-Unis en un an.

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