In the global fight against climate change, a swift transition is essential. But not only would that be particularly costly in poorer nations, many African countries have an abundance of natural gas or other fossil fuels, and they argue forcefully that the rest of the world doesn’t have a right to tell them not to use it.
Proven crude oil reserves on the African continentMore than 100 billion barrels spanning eleven countriesWith Nigeria and Libya being the top 10 largest producers worldwide, The region is also rich in natural gas: Nigeria, Algeria, and Mozambique together hold approximately 6 percent of the world’s natural gasReserves
Some African leaders and activists oppose a faster transition to renewables as world leaders meet in Glasgow at COP26. Instead, they are pressing for a slower transition, one that would embrace a continued reliance on fossil fuels — particularly natural gas, which burns more cleanly than coal or oil, but which still pumps planet-warming carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
They call at an awkward time.
Researchers and scientists have published numerous reports this year that show the devastating effects of the burning of fossil fuels on the climate over the past decades. These scientific findings emphasize the need to switch to cleaner energies if the world is to keep global temperatures from rising 1.5° Celsius from preindustrial times. This target was set by the Paris Agreement, an international agreement to slow climate changes.
Scientists warn that temperatures above this threshold increase dramatically and there is a risk of catastrophic events such as deadly heat waves, water shortages, and ecosystem collapse.
Analysts say that in order for Africa to reach their target and avoid the worst climate disasters, they should be financially supported by wealthy countries as they look for other ways to reduce their emissions. Mr. Gwemende indicated that when the time is right, Africa should receive technical knowledge about renewables from developed countries.