Following EU’s dangerous fossil gas push will put Africa in danger - AU
The African Heads of States and Governments pose during African Union (AU) Summit for the agreement to establish the African Continental Free Trade Area in Kigali, Rwanda, on March 21, 2018. AFP PHOTO

Adebayo Obajemu

A technical committee of the African Union has sounded warning on the dangerous push for gas supply by the European Union, a situation climate activists say has capacity to put the continent in danger of locking Africa into fossil fuels for decades to come.

In the midst of this , African leaders are said to be contemplating a new position that would prioritize natural gas and nuclear over cleaner, cheaper, renewables.

Recall the technical committee of the African Union – made up of energy ministers had earlier forwarded an “African Common Position on Energy Access and Transition”.

This position reflects essentially fossil gas and nuclear energy, at the expense of renewables, and is proposed for adoption by African Heads of State and was launched at COP27.

This development is surfacing on the crest of the European Union’s recent vote in favour of a new rule that will consider fossil gas and nuclear projects “green,” making them eligible for low-cost loans and subsidies, and their scramble for Africa’s energy resources.

Recall that the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned in 2020 that there is no room for new fossil fuels.

Experts are of the view that the development of gas push African nations into the trajectory of fossil fuel production, and also has the capacity to scuttle any plans to rapidly cut greenhouse gas emissions in a bid to keep global temperatures under 1.5 degrees Celsius, in order to avert even more catastrophic climate impacts.

Campaigners are concerned that the position will fail to achieve its own objectives of ensuring energy access and transition.

Mohamed Adow, Director of Power Shift Africa, said: “Africa is blessed with an abundance of wind, solar and other clean renewable energies. African leaders should be maximizing this potential and harnessing the abundant wind and sun which will help boost energy access and tackle climate change. What Africa does not need is to be shackled with expensive fossil fuel infrastructure which will be obsolete in a few years as the climate crisis worsens. “It would be a shameful betrayal of African people, already on the front line of the climate crisis, if African leaders use this November’s COP27 climate summit on African soil to lock Africa into a fossil fuel based future. Africa does not need the dirty energy of the past, it needs forward looking leadership that can take advantage of the clean energy of the present and future.”

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