As COP 28 is coming to a close, African countries have fiercely defended the role of oil and gas on the continent. It has become evident that developed nations are committed to phasing out fossil fuels without considering the needs of the developing world. The African Energy Chamber strongly urges African countries to reject any anti-fossil fuel policy that may arise.
Haitham Al Ghais, Secretary General of OPEC, has also urged member countries to reject any agreements targeting fossil fuels during climate negotiations. Al Ghais advocated for focusing on reducing emissions rather than reducing energy.
Phasing out fossil fuels and adopting a ‘western approach’ to energy transition is not a viable option for Africa. The continent has contributed the least to global greenhouse gas emissions and faces the worst impacts from climate change. Africa is being directed to abandon an approach taken by wealthier nations, despite having inadequate resources to meet its growing demand.
With oil and gas, Africa is taking control of its energy future. By investing in these resources, the continent can bolster industrialization, alleviate energy poverty, and strengthen its capacity to deal with climate change. Phasing out fossil fuels would be detrimental to Africa’s development and economic growth.
NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC, stated that Africa cannot afford to adopt a western-centric energy transition and abandon any chance of economic growth. Africa and the developed world are at different stages of development, so it’s not fair to require the continent to follow the same approach to transitioning.
“The green agenda promoted by wealthy nations continues to ignore how instrumental oil and gas is in Africa. Africa should remain strong in its commitment to utilizing oil and gas for the betterment of its people,” concluded Ayuk.