At least 25 African NGOs, networks and community resistance groups have called on African governments to tap into the opportunities offered by renewable energies and reduce the use of fossil fuels.
This comes following the recent Africa Energy Leaders Summit on Climate Change, Energy, and Energy Finance in Addis Ababa.
A statement sent to the media over the weekend ahead of the African Union Summit (yesterday and today) indicated the meeting in Ethiopia criticised the deliberate proliferation of coal, oil, and natural gas in Africa, contrary to scientific evidence that highlighted the contradiction between planned fossil fuel expansion and globally agreed climate targets. The group calls on African leaders to put an end to fossil fuel development; to manage the decline of existing production of fossil fuels and to rapidly initiate a transition to clean and safe renewable sources of energy.
“In order to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to below 1.5C degrees the continent is required to prevent the proliferation of coal, oil and gas, at the scale and speed required to stabilise the earth’s climate,” said Mr Mohamed Adow, who is the director of climate and energy think tank Power Shift Africa.
“African states and institutions need to take a lead in the creation of a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty in order to advance the interests of our continent and its people,” he said.
Mr Omar Elmawi, the coordinator for the ‘deCOALonize Campaign’ said in the statement that the abundance of renewable energy makes it possible for Africa to leapfrog dirty fossil fuels like coal.
He states that coal and other fossil fuels has lost the war to renewable energy on both environmental and economic grounds. It’s the reason developed countries, including China, are now shutting their coal plants in favour of clean energy. “Africa should tap into its vast renewable energy resources that can power the continent without harming its people or the environment,” he said.
“Climate science has confirmed the nexus between anthropogenic emissions – mainly from the exploitation of fossil fuels – and climate impacts. Climate impacts include extreme-weather events, food security, public health crises, conflict, and internal and cross-border displacements. This is a jarring reality and not so-called signalling by climate alarmists – the reality is that climate change is a clear and present global emergency that does not respect borders,” Emilia Siwingwa, founder of AHADI, based in Tanzania, observed at the meeting.