African Leaders urged to End Fossil Fuel Investment by Climate and Energy Campaigners

A solar energy establishment

African climate campaigners and renewable energy industry advocates convened a press conference at COP28 in Dubai today, urging African leaders to put their communities first and reject new fossil fuel investments.

“The climate crisis continues to impact the frontline communities’ livelihoods in the Global South, especially in Africa. The affected community’s voices need to be heard. African leaders have to make the right choice and decision at COP28, decisions which consider their communities’ needs. Fossil fuels phaseout must be a priority for African leaders, not the carbon market that will continue fuelling the climate crisis”, said Kwami Kpondzo, Executive Director, Centre for Environmental Justice Togo.

While African leadership has leaned towards increasing renewable energy investments, there is still widespread concern with the ongoing scramble for Africa by oil and gas companies and the willingness of some nations to engage in new fossil fuel investment.

In an open letter addressed to African Heads of State and Governments, 50 African scientists and over 4000 youth across 30 African countries decried a renewed rush for oil, gas, and coal in the continent, driven by former colonial and neocolonial powers, urging leaders to reject fossil fuels at COP28.

​​”Africa is making promising steps away from the outdated extractive practices of fossil fuel industries which for decades have locked communities in conflict, human suffering, and ecological death. We must encourrage further development driven by innovation rooted in pan-Africanism. To achieve this future, we need our leaders to push back against further attempts at neo-colonial plundering of resources on the continent at the expense of Africans.” said Thandile Chinyavanhu, Greenpeace Africa’s Climate and energy campaigner.

Parts of the African continent are already ahead in the renewable energy push, with countries like Kenya generating over 80% of their energy from renewable energy and the government promising to achieve 100% by 2030. Ethiopia has over 4 GW of installed hydropower capacity, and it is planning to add 10 GW of capacity in the coming years.  Morocco has made significant investments in wind and solar energy, and the country now has over 5 GW of installed renewable energy capacity. Morocco is also rapidly decarbonising its grid, wind and solar.  South Africa has made notable progress in renewable energy development on the continent, and has ambitious plans to generate 42% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. The historic Loss and Damage Fund, agreed at COP28, could further support the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries in enhancing such green energy investments.

“Solar can deliver a more accessible, cheaper, and cleaner energy system for African countries. But this can only happen if the continent’s leaders make the right decisions in Dubai to raise ambition, action, and accountability.  They can start by   joining over 100 countries from across the world to support a global target to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030,” said Sonia Dunlop, the CEO of Global Solar Council                                                                                                                       

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