Can COP27 convince Africa to ditch gas in green energy transition?

(Context, 7 Nov 2022) African governments have stated publicly that they need to use more gas - a less-dirty fossil fuel - to develop their economies but climate campaigners say it won't help the poorest.

It may not be on the official agenda at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt, but the thorny question of whether African nations should receive financial support to produce, use and export natural gas as part of a clean energy transition is on everyone's lips.

Climate campaigners have pitched themselves against African governments that believe they should be allowed to use gas - which emits less climate-heating carbon dioxide than coal and oil when burned - to develop their economies and provide power to 600 million Africans who still lack access to electricity.

Activists raised the alarm last month when Tarek El Molla, Egypt's minister of petroleum and mineral resources, told a ministerial meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) that fossil gas is "the perfect solution" to "achieving the energy trilemma for security, sustainability and affordability".

GECF member countries - which include Algeria, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea and Mozambique - agreed that COP27 and next year's COP in the United Arab Emirates, also in the GECF, present "a great opportunity" to make the case for gas in the energy transition and efforts to meet global development goals.

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Context, 7 Nov 2022: Can COP27 convince Africa to ditch gas in green energy transition?