Gas Exporting Countries Forum(GECF) has stressed that Africa retains the sovereign right to develop its natural gas resources, insisting that the continent’s access to financing and technology required to develop the natural resources shall not be hindered.
His Excellency Eng. Mohamed Hamel, GECF Secretary General, made this known when he delivered his statement to world leaders during the High-level Segment, at the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on Wednesday.
The Secretary-General reminded the world leaders that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) clearly underlines that ‘economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of developing country Parties
He said, “This is all the more so right here in Africa, a continent that suffers from poverty and from the adverse impacts of climate change while being the least responsible for it.
“650 million of its population lack access to electricity and 1 billion to clean cooking. Yet, Africa is well-endowed in energy resources, notably natural gas.
“Its sovereign right to develop these natural gas resources shall be preserved and Africa’s access to financing and technology shall not be hindered.
“Because natural gas is the energy for sustainable development. It satisfies 23% of world energy needs, provides cleaner cooking, reduces indoor pollution, and improves air quality.
“As a dispatchable source of electricity, it is a partner of renewables. And as a key input for producing fertilizers, it contributes to food security. Eliminating gas flaring, reducing methane emissions, and scaling up carbon capture, utilisation and storage will make natural gas even cleaner.
“Investing in natural gas is part of the solution to ensure affordable, secure, and sustainable energy,” the GECF SG said.
Hamel further noted that the GECF member countries are investing in natural gas to support Sustainable Development Goals(SDG) and energy security, as well as a fair and equitable energy transition; a transition that is smooth, cost-effective, and leaves no one behind.