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Managing “stranded” assets risks and opportunities – moving towards decarbonised economies and inclusive growth in Africa
Friday, 10 July 2020
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Virtual (New York time)

Side Event

UNU with (INRA and EHS), UN ECA, and UN DESA

Managing “stranded” assets risks and opportunities – moving towards decarbonised economies and inclusive growth in Africa

As 2030 draws closer, efforts to deliver on the sustainable development goals must be accelerated. Africa is far behind on delivering affordable and clean energy (SDG7). The continent remains energy poor, with 600 million people living without access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. Efforts to accelerate climate action have intensified, driven by the main stipulation of the Paris Agreement to reduce global warming to below a 2 degree rise. However many African countries depend on hydrocarbon assets for development. These assets are at risk of becoming stranded as global systems move towards zero-carbon trajectories which would render fossil fuel assets obsolete.

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt global societies, we have seen a historic shock to global energy markets. The severe slump in fossil fuel demand has demonstrated the real risks of “stranding” faced by hydrocarbon-dependent economies. Will the pandemic have a long-lasting impact on fossil-fuel dependent development trajectories in Africa? Or is this an opportunity for transitions towards greener economies?

At the same time, the risk of stranded assets can be a springboard for better resource planning, diversification and transition towards sustainable development. This presents an opportunity for greater leadership in managing Africa’s development aspirations.

This presents the question, how can African countries manage the risks of stranded assets as they decarbonise their economies?

This HLPF side event, hosted by UNU-INRA, will discuss the risks associated with transitioning away from fossil fuels, and the opportunities for diversification and sustainable development in Africa.


  • Mr. Shinjiro Koizumi - Minister for Environment, Japan
  • Dr. Fatima Denton - UNU-INRA, Director
  • Dr. Zita Sebesvari - UNU-EHS, Director
  • Professor Shinobu Yume Yamuguchi – UNU IAS, Director
  • Dr. James Murombedzi - UN ECA (ACPC), Coordinator
  • Dr. Minoru Takada - UN DESA, Team Lead
  • Dr. Jean Paul Adam – UN ECA, Director Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management
  • (Tbc) Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin Okyenhene - King of Akyem Abuakwa of Ghana
  • (Tbc) Prof. George Gyan Baffour - Minister for Planning and Development, Ghana

  • United Nations