As the global oil producers convened today in Vienna, Austria for the 177th OPEC meeting to discuss about and take decisions on issues that would guide the future of the global hydrocarbon resources industry, the African Energy Chamber has urged African OPEC and non-OPEC members at the meeting to commit to the Declaration of Cooperation and ensure compliance.
The group stated that doing this remained a key importance as it keeps the path to dignity and prosperity for African economies open.
It noted that the meeting was coming amidst the climate change debate, which has put pressure the global energy industry to implement less carbon-intensive energy solutions.
The energy industry chamber pointed out that by attending the 177th meeting, the Africans see 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 still meet its objectives of improving power access and building competing economies while participating in the dialogue about addressing climate change.
In his comments about the strategic importance of the meeting and what should be the major preoccupation of Africans at the meeting, the Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber NJ Ayuk said: “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.
“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 percent of global oil reserves and 7.2 percent of global gas reserves, Africa should have a voice”, Ayuk.added.
It would be recalled that just last week, the 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.
According to Ayuk, the petition was launched not as a means to reject the realities of climate change, but rather as a plea to be given the same opportunity as our western counterparts to develop and industrialize our countries.
Similarly, the Secretary General of OPEC, H.E. Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, had said earlier this year that “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.”
The Chamber stated that Barkindo’s position was in tune with its plea for a gradual energy transition that does not enforce a swift change from one source to another.