For Africa, Energy Poverty Is a Far Greater Problem than Climate Change

Africa is home to nearly one fifth of the world population, but accounts for less than 4% of the total electricity consumed. Nearly 650 million Africans, or well over half the total population, have no access to electricity. In terms of global carbon dioxide emissions, the entire continent accounts for 3% maximum, according to the UN.

And yet, the Malthusian “climate change lobby”, backed by the financial oligarchy, demands that Africa commit to net zero emissions. And that they sacrifice their own development so that the developed world can continue to pollute (thanks to the swindle of carbon offsets). Leaving aside for the moment the fact that man-made climate change in itself is a hoax, such demands are a sign of blatant moral bankruptcy.

A number of sub-Saharan countries, including South Africa, which is highly dependent on cheap and abundant supplies of coal, refuse to “drink the kool-aid”. Nigeria too, the most populous and richest country of the continent, insists on giving priority to development. In presenting the country’s Energy Transition Plan on Aug. 24, Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo explained that “For Africa, the problem of energy poverty is as important as our climate ambitions. Energy use is crucial for almost every conceivable aspect of development; wealth, health, nutrition, water, infrastructure, education, and life expectancy are significantly related to the consumption of energy per capita.”

According to the goals set out at the infamous Glasgow climate change conference last November, Africa is to achieve zero net emissions by 2060. Osinbajo pointed out that for Nigeria to meet that goal, it will need investments in the order of $410 billion — “above business-as-usual spending”. That means about $10 billion per year will have to come from “external support”. Considering that Western countries have not even come close to the funding packages promised at past climate conferences, this demand is the equivalent of declaring the “climate goals” dead in the water.

Vice President Osinbajo further pointed out that the “current lack of power hurts livelihoods and destroys the dreams of hundreds of millions of young people. And although Africa’s current unmet energy needs are huge, future demand will be even greater due to expanding populations, urbanization, and movement into the middle class.” Unfortunately, he added, the international community does not take into account Africa’s needs and aspirations. That is an understatement. The World Bank officials present for the occasion offered a “package” in the range of $1.5 billion, and representative of the United States Export Import Bank offered the same amount.

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