Leaked documents and whistleblower reports have revealed McKinsey's major influence on Africa's climate agenda. Prior to the continent's debut climate meeting, the company allegedly assisted Kenyan President William Ruto in defining the agenda and preparing key agreements.
McKinsey has dominated carbon markets and influenced energy transition plans in Africa thanks to deep relationships with Sustainable Energy For All (SEforAll) and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP).
In 2020, what began as pro gratis labor for SEforAll has turned into expensive contracts, prompting worries about fair competition. Critics believe that McKinsey's approach is flawed because it promotes a top-down, non-Afrocentric view of addressing Africa's climate and development concerns. Due to its close relationships with fossil fuel industries, the consultancy's role in crucial climate governance procedures, such as advising the UAE for the Cop28 climate talks, has drawn criticism.
McKinsey's advocacy for the expansion of Africa's carbon offset market, impact on the Africa Climate Summit, and backing for the African Carbon Market Initiative have all aroused debate. Critics accuse McKinsey of putting corporate interests before of African goals, highlighting the importance of transparency and Afro-centric solutions to the continent's climate challenges.