Africa Won’t Go Along with the Climate Change Dictates
The international climate conference, scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 12 in Dubai, is not shaping up to be a success – if one is to judge by the African Energy Week, that ended Oct. 20. The event, held in Cape Town, South Africa, was organized by the African Energy Chamber, which represents the African hydrocarbon industry, under the slogan “make energy poverty history by 2030”. For that, the expansion of the oil, gas, coal and nuclear energy sectors is indispensable on a continent where over half of the population does not have access to electricity.
The theme of the conference was “The African Energy Renaissance: Prioritizing Energy Poverty, People, the Planet, Industrialization and Free Markets”. Attendees included almost every African government and energy-related business and state energy company.
Speaking for the highly disgruntled climate lobby, the Daily Maverick of South Africa published a long article denouncing the conference under the title “Africa Energy Week: Where Climate Science Makes Way for the Gods of Gas and Coal”. The authors lament that “its speakers ferociously pushed back against global calls for an immediate transition from fossil fuels….”
Indeed, in opening the Week, South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, called for the continued use of coal and gas, and charged NGOs with weaponizing climate change to stop economic development.
Namibian President Hage Geingob told the conference: “For the African energy renaissance to be meaningful, Africa should be permitted to explore and exploit its natural endowments for the good of the continent. It should not be for export to other countries, but for the benefit of African people.”
One panel, entitled “King Coal Is Back: Africa’s Future Clean Coal Industry”, was keynoted by Dr. Zwanani Titus Mathe, CEO of the South African National Energy Development Institute. He declared: “The energy mix of the future will always have coal. We must therefore continue to invest in coal, continue researching around coal … it is very clear that baseload power will come from coal-fired power plants and nuclear power plants.”
Enobot Agboraw, Executive Secretary of the African Commission on Nuclear Energy, told participants that, “Nuclear power with its long lifespan and reliability, stands out as a key pillar in Africa’s energy transition efforts.”
Sayed Salah Eldin Motyaser Aly of the Egyptian Nuclear Power Plant Authority briefed the participants on the progress of Egypt’s first nuclear power plant, which marks the “start of our future industrialization. It has created the opportunity for highly skilled jobs and the development of local industries and Egypt has invested in many initiatives such as the dedicated El Dabaa vocational school, as well as a training program implemented with our strategic partner to ensure we have the skills needed to take this project forward.”