Fossil fuel to renewable energy: comparator study of subsidy reforms and energy transitions in African and Indian Ocean Island States

Energy is key to prosperity, and the discovery and use of fossil fuels in the past few centuries has generated tremendous wealth. Yet, this energy paradigm has now become a liability that threatens the very sustainability of all it enabled. This report analyses the impacts of fossil fuel energy in the multiple dimensions of sustainability, modelling the relationships, externalities, and opportunities that a transition to a new energy paradigm can offer, based on energy conservation, efficiency and low-carbon renewable sources. It first explores the “sustainability doughnut“ as an integrative model, which facilitates the overlaying of policy choices, including energy-related ones, with the economic, social and environmental sustain-ability impacts they have. This provides a cogent framework for the comparison of the fossil fuel and renewable energy paradigms, highlighting their costs and opportunities.