Business is booming.

The Scramble for African Gas and its Sways

By Yemi Olakitan

European officials have been looking at fossil fuel projects in Africa for months since they are in the midst of an energy crisis and are desperate for alternatives to Russian gas.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Senegal and Mauritania will be delivered to Germany. The Senegalese government anticipates providing 2.5 million tonnes of gas starting in 2023 and up to 10 million tonnes by 2030 to the largest economy in Europe. 

More energy infrastructure, particularly fossil gas, is being pushed for by the African Union. Untapped fields exist in nations like Tanzania and South Africa, which might bring in billions of dollars.

Rashid Ali Abdallah, executive director of the African Union, said, “This is in fact a beautiful moment for Africa.” “There are crises all throughout the world, and Africa can assist in meeting global demand,”

‘‘Only 6% of the world’s fossil gas is now generated in Africa, a continent where 600 million people lack access to energy and where climate change is wreaking havoc on homes and crops. From Nigeria to Egypt, Algeria to Mozambique, nations on the continent are vying for more gas extraction so that they can burn it as well as Europeans.’’

The African Union’s 55 member nations have agreed on a position to support the development of energy infrastructure. 

The African Energy Commission, which is in charge of coordinating energy policy across the continent, has argued that gas and nuclear power should play a significant role in development in addition to renewable energy sources.

The energy agency determined in a report that emerging nations in Africa would suffer economically and socially if global environmentalists demanded an immediate end to the use of fossil fuels.

However, the International Energy Agency, an organization run by energy ministers primarily from wealthy nations, claims that stopping the planet from warming 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial temperatures — the level to which world leaders promised to stop global warming by the end of the century — does not permit for further exploration of oil and gas fields. If emissions were reduced quickly enough, by 2035 only 5% of electricity would be produced from unrestricted burning of fossil fuels.

This year, the EU designated fossil gas as a transition fuel and referred to it as “sustainable” in investment laws. Abdallah suggested that this also apply to production in Africa. “In Africa, we consume only one-third of the world’s average amount of fossil fuels or petroleum products per capita. It is simply unfair to demand greater savings from those who make such small contributions.’’

According to Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics, one of the companies responsible for the tracker, “the energy crisis has replaced the climate crisis.” Our analysis demonstrates that there are far more LNG facilities proposed, approved, and in development than are required to replace Russian gas.’’

The African Union anticipates a decline in gas exports over the medium term as wealthy nations turn away from fossil fuels. It was determined that gas should be used domestically to power electrification for the roughly 600 million Africans who still lack access to electricity today.

Fossil fuels are not required for this, according to Juan Pablo Osorio, director of the climate diplomacy programme at the environmental think tank E3G. “Renewable energy is the most affordable source of energy and is ideal for providing quick access to power in remote areas. It can quickly help millions of people escape energy poverty.

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