Access to safe, clean and affordable energy for all people in the world, with simultaneous decarbonisation of energy systems, can only succeed if international cooperation is stepped up. The most important objectives of the global transformation of energy use are: limiting global energy demand and ensuring access to modern, sustainable energy services for all, decarbonising the energy supply, and introducing new low-carbon technologies in the transport sector, in buildings, and in industry. International cooperation is essential in order to accelerate the development of key technologies and facilitate the global diffusion of technologies. From a European perspective, Egypt and other North African economies might be key partners in the area of a global low carbon transformation. Overall, international cooperation should focus less on individual projects and more on systemic changes, with a view to developing joint strategies for climate-compatible development and ‘green growth’. The low carbon transformation offers a new platform for reciprocal patterns of cooperation between European and (North) African countries.