Discover the Great Carbon Valley


Social entrepreneur James Mwangi tells us why Africa could be the ideal home for scaling the latest carbon removals technologies to a planetary level

There is more to climate change in Africa than mere victimhood: Africa’s abundance of affordable untapped renewable energy potential, labour capacity and natural resources positions it well to be an attractive location for ‘climate action’ at globally relevant scale – enabling Africa to go substantially “net negative”. This offers possibly the biggest viable opportunity for economic transformation and the creation of tens of millions of jobs which is such an urgent issue.

In this TED Talk, James Irungu Mwangi talks about why Africa could be the ideal home for scaling the latest and most ambitious climate technologies, including in places like Hell’s Gate National Park in Kenya, which could become part of what he calls the “Great Carbon Valley.” He outlines how it provides a huge triple opportunity: the criteria necessary for the scaling of carbon removal technology, openings for investment in renewable energy projects, and the world’s largest workforce ready to make it happen.

Photo: Gilberto Tadday / TED
James Mwangi speaks at TED World Theater, New York. June 14, 2022, Photo: Gilberto Tadday / TED

Whereas the ‘intrinsics’ stack up for Africa, a substantial amount of innovation is needed to make these opportunities a reality: innovation across policy/ regulation, business models and financing models – forging partnerships with actors from public, private and social sector. And it requires a different narrative to showcase this real potential for Africa and for the world.

James is the executive director of the Dalberg Group, a global group of businesses working on realizing a more inclusive and sustainable world, and the founder of the Climate Action Platform for Africa, which is a core partner on Rethinking Removals. His current work is focused on helping drive economic transformation in Africa through large-scale climate action that builds on the continent’s wealth of land and resources while employing its young and growing population.

Watch James’ insightful and inspiring talk here

Photo: Gilberto Tadday / TED
James Mwangi speaks at TED Countdown New York Session. June 14, 2022, TED World Theater, New York. Photo: Gilberto Tadday / TED

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