- African Leaders Won’t Apologise for Developing More Oil Fields
African leaders are not buying into climate change campaign yet as they insisted their need for oil money outweighed climate concerns.
This was in response to a group of protesters that stormed the Cape Town International Convention Centre in South Africa during Africa Oil Week to demand an end to fossil fuel in accordance with the Paris Agreement.
Gabriel Obiang Lima, energy minister of Equatorial Guinea, said it is unfair to tell Africa not to develop oil fields at a period like this.
“Anybody out of the continent saying we should not develop those fields, that is criminal. It is very unfair.”
“Under no circumstances are we going to be apologising,” said Gabriel Obiang Lima.
While the tension felt at the three-day oil conference was minimal, in Europe, most oil conferences were plagued with protesters demanding environmentally friendly fuel.
Despite nations and organisations calling for the world to end fossil fuel, over 600 million people in Africa still don’t have access to electricity. A situation most experts blame for the continent sluggish growth.
“Energy is the catalyst for growth,” said Gwede Mantashe, South Africa’s energy minister and national chair of the ruling African National Congress.
“They even want to tell us to switch off all the coal-generated power stations,” he said. “Until you tell them, ‘you know we can do that, but you’ll breathe fresh air in the darkness’.”
Developed economies with huge manufacturing plants contributed the most to global warming.
In fact, recent data from Carbonbrief revealed that since the 18th century all African countries combined emitted seven times less carbon dioxide than China, 13 times less than the United States and 18 times less than the combined countries of Europe.
This explains why more efforts are put on developed economies to cut emissions than developing economies.
Noel Mboumba, Gabon’s minister for hydrocarbons, said oil is one of the key drivers of development.
“We will do all in our power to develop it.”