Friends of the Earth Africa today titled ‘Don’t Let Africa Burn’, a position paper that says no to gas exploitation in Africa. The paper highlights the damaging impacts of the climate crisis that communities across Africa, and the world, are already experiencing. While action stalls, these impacts are becoming more frequent and extreme. Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa are examples of countries whose impact story is shared in the paper. The African continent is the least polluting but worst hit. The continent is warming the fastest among the other continents and has the fewest resources to adapt.
It speaks about false solutions being proposed, from “Net Zero” pledges, “Nature-Based Solutions”, offsetting, and Carbon Capture and storage (CCS) to dangerous, untested geoengineering. Many times, these are very unrealistic and dangerous for people and the climate.
This paper is focused on the latest push for African gas for export to Europe which will further incinerate Africa, as scientific reports and analysis have pointed out. Gas is not a clean fuel. Gas is not a transition fuel. Gas is not needed for development. Gas across the world has never been a sustainable energy model owing to the havoc it has wreaked on many developing countries and its contribution to global CO2 emissions.
It culminates with clear demands and alternatives to exploiting gas on the continent. It calls on world governments to adopt “A Just Recovery Renewable Energy Plan for Africa” recently published by Friends of the Earth Africa, which envisions system change. The plan shows that it is not only urgent but entirely possible to reduce emissions, transform the energy system and support a just recovery on the continent.
Ahead of COP27, this position paper clearly states that energy should not be developed solely for profit but to ensure the dignity of all peoples and reduce energy poverty so as to catalyze sustainable societies. African governments must work with all people and remove all obstacles that may retard progress or detract from attaining this goal.