African Group Pushes OPEC Members To Focus on Energy Poverty

Global oil producers were expected to convene on 5 December in Vienna, Austria, for the 177th OPEC meeting. Through the meeting, the producers are aiming to determine the management of oil production in 2020.

The African Energy Chamber is urging African OPEC and non-OPEC members to commit to a declaration of cooperation and work to ensure compliance. The chamber says that this commitment is key because it keeps open the path to dignity and prosperity for African economies.

The OPEC meeting falls amid the climate change debate, which has put pressure the global energy industry to implement less-carbon-intensive energy solutions.

Attending the 177th meeting, the African delegation said it sees this gathering as an opportunity for OPEC members to focus on the realities of energy poverty on the African continent and provide a solution that allows Africa to meet its objectives of improving power access and building competing economies while participating in the dialogue about addressing climate change.

“Climate change is real. At the African Energy Chamber, we do not reject its existence and impact on the environment. Instead, we are determined to express the importance of Africa’s progress not being halted, particularly when it is progressing towards its summit,” said Nj Ayuk, executive chairman of the African Energy Chamber and author of the book “Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals.”

“There must be a dialogue between businesses and governments about the future of the global energy industry, but African business must be on the table. Accounting for 7.3% of global oil reserves and 7.2% of global gas reserves, Africa should have a voice,” Ayuk added.

Recently, the African Energy Chamber launched a petition against the proposition that, in the wake of the climate change debate, Africa should limit the development and exploration of its full hydrocarbon potential. This it has done not as a means to reject the realities of climate change but rather as a plea to be given the same opportunity as its western counterparts to develop and industrialize African countries.

In tune with the African Energy Chamber’s plea for a gradual energy transition that does not enforce a swift change from one source to another, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, secretary general of OPEC, said earlier this year, “The oil industry must be part of the solution to the climate change challenge. The scale of the challenge means that no single energy source is a panacea; nor can the contribution of an entire industry or group of countries be overlooked. This is not a race to renewables alone; it’s a race to lower greenhouse gas emissions.”



HSE Now is a source for news and technical information affecting the health, safety, security, environment, and social responsibility discipline of the upstream oil and gas industry.