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Cameroon Sectors

What is Cameroonʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

After the residential and commercial sector, transport is the second largest contributing sector to the overall energy consumption in Cameroon (14% of total final consumption in 2019).6 One analysed scenario see a steady reduction in direct CO₂ emissions until 2030 mostly driven by introduction of biofuels while another scenario sees emissions increasing until 2030 after which they peak and start declining through strong increase in the share of biofuels and electricity. Some scenarios show a high increase in the use of hydrogen which is however unlikely to be the most cost effective technology in the region. Across analysed scenarios the electricity share in the transport sector grows from 0% in 2019 to between 5 to 21% by 2030 and 33 to 43% by 2050 and biofuels see a penetration in the transport energy mix from 0% in 2019 to 2-11% by 2030 and 10-62% by 2050. Electricity and hydrogen would help decarbonise the transport sector only if they were produced from renewable energy sources. Biofuel would need to be produced in a sustainable way that does not contribute to deforestation which is a concern for Cameroon.

Cameroon faces a lack of transport capacity due to a lack of infrastructure. The National Development Strategy 2020-2030 (SND30) outlines the priorities of paving roads, expanding the railway network, and the construction of deeper and upgraded ports. To ensure the decarbonisation of the transport sector, this expansion of transport infrastructure should also consider and integrate low-carbon modes of transport such as the development of urban mass transport services.

1 République du Cameroun. Contribution déterminée au niveau national – Actualisée (CDN). 58 (2021).

2 World Bank Group. World Development Indicators: Cameroon. (2022).

3 African Development Bank (AfDB). Country priority plan and diagnostic of the electricity sector: Cameroon. (2021).

4 African Energy Commission (AFREC). AFREC Africa Energy Balances 2019. (2019).

5 Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC). OEC Cameroon country page. (2019).

6 International Energy Agency (IEA). Data and statistics: Cameroon. (2022).

7 U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Natural gas reserves. (2021).

8 African Energy Commission (AFREC). Africa Energy Efficiency for the Residential Sector 2019. (2019).

9 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Atlas of Africa Energy Resource. (2017).

10 International Hydropower Association. Hydropower Status Report: Sector Trends and Insights. (2019).

11 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Cameroon. (2019).

12 , R. E. and E. E. P. Policy and Regulation Overview by Country: Cameroon. (2012).

13 Ministère de l’Eau et de l’Énergie. Plan Directeur d’Electrification Rurale du Cameroun (PDER). (2016).

14 Cousins, S. The 75 per cent problem: aluminium’s carbon footprint..

15 See assumptions here.

16 Global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C tend to include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches, and often rely on rather conservative assumptions in the development of renewable energy technologies. This tends to result in greater reliance on technological CDR than if a faster transition to renewables were achieved. The scenarios available at the time of this analysis focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology, and our downscaling methods do not yet take national BECCS potentials into account.

Cameroonʼs energy mix in the transport sector

petajoule per year

SSP1 Low CDR reliance
SSP1 High CDR reliance
Low energy demand
High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
  • Natural gas
  • Coal
  • Oil and e-fuels
  • Biomass
  • Biogas
  • Biofuel
  • Electricity
  • Heat
  • Hydrogen

Cameroonʼs transport sector direct CO₂ emissions (of energy demand)


  • Historical emissions
  • High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 High CDR reliance
  • Low energy demand

1.5°C compatible transport sector benchmarks

Direct CO₂ emissions and shares of electricity, biofuels and hydrogen in the transport final energy demand from illustrative 1.5°C pathways for Cameroon

Decarbonised transport sector by
Direct CO₂ emissions
0 to 1
2047 to 2050
Share of electricity
5 to 21
17 to 36
33 to 43
Share of biofuels
2 to 11
4 to 59
10 to 62
Share of hydrogen
1 to 12
42 to 55