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Columbia Energy Exchange

Africa’s Energy, Climate, and Economic Needs


Destenie Nock

Visiting Faculty (Carnegie Mellon University)

This summer, the African Development Bank released its annual report stating that the continent needs between $230 billion to $250 billion annually to meet its climate goals.

Africa’s climate has warmed faster than the rest of the world since pre-industrial times. That makes it extremely vulnerable to climate change driven catastrophes that hinder economic growth and highlights the need for climate action through sustainable development.   

So how are Africa’s leaders addressing the climate crisis? And how are countries across the continent approaching sustainable development?  

This week we’re re-running host Bill Loveless’ conversation with Destenie Nock about the climate and energy needs of African nations. 

Destenie is an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University where she teaches civil and environmental engineering as well as engineering and public policy. She is currently a visiting faculty member at Columbia University.

Destenie is the director of the Energy, Equity, and Sustainability (EES) Group, where she leads a team of researchers at the intersection of social justice, energy analysis, and systems modeling. She has conducted extensive research on energy poverty in Africa.

This conversation was originally recorded in November 2022 during COP27 in Egypt, where Destenie participated in a panel on putting decarbonization strategies into practice. Bill and Destenie discussed how this is playing out across different parts of Africa, including specific examples of what sustainable development could look like across the continent. 


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