July 21, 2024

Forcing Africa to abandon fossil fuel in hurry without addressing energy poverty will heighten horrors of migration through Mediterranean to Europe- APPO SG warns

Oredola Adeola


African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation, APPO, has warned that the push by climate activists and developed countries for Africa oil and gas producers to abandon hydrocarbon potential in a hurry without access to the promised renewables energy and end to the continent’s energy poverty, would consequently heighten the horrors of crossing the Mediterranean into Europe by African citizens.


Dr. Omar Farouk, Secretary General, African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation, APPO, made this known in his remark at the 13th IEA-IEF-OPEC symposium on energy outlooks, International Energy Forum, IEF headquarters, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, held recently.


EnergyDay’s check showed that the eighteen (18) member country African Petroleum Producers’ Organization, APPO. The countries are Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Niger, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Sudan, Garbon, Chad, Egypt, Ghana, DR Congo and South Africa.


According to him, today’s horrors of crossing the Mediterranean into Europe shall be a child’s play compared with what the world will see if African people wake up one day to find that they have been pressurized to abandon their fossil fuels and are unable to access the promised renewables.


He said, “It will not be in the best interest of today’s climate activists to insist that Africa leaves fossil fuels in a hurry. For, the consequences shall not be limited to the African continent.


Dr. Ibrahim while presenting APPO’s perspective on Key Energy Markets and Policy Trends at this Ministerial Roundtable, which is part of the Global Energy Dialogue said, emphasised that the developed countries that are responsible for creating the climate challenges and Green House Gas emission mess should take full responsibility of cleaning the mess.


He also disclosed that the global climate challenge is a universal challenge that requires the full commitment, contribution and sacrifice of all and sundry is implicitly saying that we are all equally responsible for the mess that has been created by the few. But that is not true.


The APPO SG said that if the earth’s atmosphere is a collective heritage of all the inhabitants of this earth, then any group that selfishly destroys it should be made to make reparations to the other victims of its destructive activities.


Dr. Ibrahim revealed that Africa is being cajoled to be on board the energy transition train with the promise of loans and not grant.


He said, “We are told that funds will be made available to assist us in the transition process. A climate fund, of up to one hundred billion US dollars a year, is established for that purpose. This loans according to him, is expected to be used for climate mitigation and climate adaptation.


Farouk said, “In other words, the money shall be made available to countries that commit to energy transition under certain conditions. What is not generally highlighted is that these monies are not grants but loans. ”


APPO SG however cautioned that a very small fraction of the promised climate support funds could be grant, but warned that the danger of taking these larger percentage of loans especially for African countries with the mineral resources for the new energy economy, will amount to mortgaging these minerals and denying future generations the use of their wealth.


APPO SG further said that the main driver of today’s energy transition is not the fear of any climate catastrophe but the quest for energy security.


He said, “If today’s developed countries were the ones endowed with the amount of fossil fuels found in other parts of the world, the story of energy transition would have been different.


“The technology to make fossil fuel environmentally friendly would by now have been perfected. In other words, oil and gas are harmful today because they are foreign controlled.


He revealed that orchestrated global paradigm shift away from fossil fuels to renewable energies, in the name of the energy transition and African country’s decision to succumbing to pressure from powerful countries to do their biddings ostensibly in the interest of the global community.


Farouk insisted that policies and measures introduced to check climate change should not be uniformly imposed on all societies without regard to their special circumstances, like their levels of socio-economic development and energy poverty.


Speaking on the global energy policy trends and their implications of Africa global energy policy trends, their impact on Africa and its people in the next 25 to 50 years.  Dr. Ibrahim said that today’s climate challenges are the products of primarily the Western industrial revolution and its intensive use of fossil fuels.


He added that it is also the past and current lifestyle of the people of the developed countries of the world and yet, we are being pressurized by those who created the mess to abandon the energy we have in abundance for what no one can guarantee its availability nor affordability.


The APPO SG said, “The global per capita energy consumption in 2021 was 72 MBTU. But when this is broken down into regions of the world, we find that the per capita energy consumption in the USA was 293 MBTU, which is 4 times the world average.


“If we take Europe, their average was 105 MBTU, which is 1.5 times the world average. For Africa, our per capita energy consumption was only 15 MBTU, which is one-fifth of the world average, one-seventh the European average and about one-twentieth the US average.


“In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, the average drops to 10 MBTU or about 3 per cent that of the USA, 10 per cent of Europe and 14% of the global average


He disclosed that  the global community caution developing countries tthat fossil fuels are dangerous for humanity, now that other countries, especially Africa, are on the verge of industrialization, and would require a lot of energy, which, at the moment, can best be provided by fossil fuels.


He said, “The African continent, with 17.5% of the estimated world population of 8 billion at the end of 2022, is home to over 60 percent of the world’s population living without access to electricity and 30 percent of those without access to other forms of modern energy for cooking and domestic heating.


“Africa’s population is projected to grow to 2.5 billion by 2050, when the world’s population would have hit 9.7 billion, which means that in just a little over 25 years from now, more than one-quarter of the inhabitants of our planet shall be on the African continent, and according to the IEA by 2040, 90% of the global population without access to electricity and some 50% of those without access to clean cooking will be in Sub-Saharan Africa.


Africa, contributes less than 3% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product, making it the least developed region of the world, despite boasting of so much natural and mineral resources that power today’s global economy, from fuels to metals.


He therefore said that APPO has identified finance, technology, and markets as three imminent challenges that the energy transition poses to the African oil and gas industry.


He further disclosed that in the nearly 100 years that the oil and gas industry has been in Africa, Africans have continued to be dependent on foreign capital to operate the industry.


“APPO also established that the technology for the industry is largely foreign controlled.


“The organisation established that there is a huge dependence on foreign markets for its oil and gas. In 2020 for example, 75% of crude oil produced in Africa was exported while the figure for gas was about 45%.


He also said that APPO has raised finance  through partnership with the Afreximbank, in order to sustain the continent’s oil and gas production, with the establishment of the Africa Energy Bank.


He charged non-APPO African countries and National Oil Companies from across the world to join can invest in the bank which is expected to commence operation in 2023.


On Technology, Ibrahim said that the APPO Secretariat is identifying research, development and training facilities available in its Member Countries with a view to upgrading them as designated regional centers of oil and gas excellence and provide the highest training in the various sectors of the industry to African operators.


On the market, the APPO SG said that with Africa with a population of 1.4 billion people, out of which 900 million have no access to modern energy, is a huge existing potential market that can be developed.


He also noted that the focus shall be on the development of cross border energy infrastructure on the continent to allow for easy movement of energy from areas of plenty to areas of need.


He however disclosed that this would help the continent to the realisation that its hydrocarbon resources is not even enough for the population.


The APPO SG said, “The provision of energy has the multiplier effect of raising the level of productive economic activities, raising the living conditions of the people and by implications raising us from a mere 3% of global GDP to something much higher.”