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Activists decry African leaders’ support for ‘false solutions’ at climate summit

As the Africa Climate Summit entered its second day on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, climate activists expressed concern with statements in support of false solutions such as fossil gas and carbon markets by African leaders.

Africa Climate Summit
Senegal’s President, Macky Sall (left), with Kenyan President William Ruto, at the Africa Climate Summit

Speaking during the high level opening ceremony, leaders such as Senegal’s President, Macky Sall, and African Development Bank (AfDB), President Akinwumi Adesina, claimed that Africa needs to utilise her gas, ignoring the fact that fossil gas would delay the just energy transition and exacerbate fossil fuel reliance.

Adesina also joined the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) chair, Kenyan President William Ruto, in advocating for carbon markets, a practice that activists say offers carte blanche to polluters to persist in their polluting ways.

Charity Migwi, Regional Campaigner, 350Africa.org, said: “While African leaders, on the one hand, talk tough on the need for climate action to avert the worst impacts of climate change, it is concerning that they also seem to be pushing forward dangerous distractions such as fossil gas, carbon markets and false solutions at the summit.

“As the continent most vulnerable to climate impacts, it is critical that our leaders have a clear and firm stance against fossil fuels and commit to boosting renewable energy, towards a sustainable energy future, rather than engage in doublespeak that risks delaying the transition and exacerbating fossil fuel reliance.”

Fatou Ndeye, Climate activist, Lumière Synergie pour le Développement(LSD), Senegal, said: “The push for fossil gas under the guise of a transition fuel is misleading and counterproductive. Fossil gas has no place in the energy transition, in fact it serves to derail it. Fossil gas contains methane which is responsible for approximately 30% of global warming. It is critical that any funds allocated to the Senegal Just Energy Transition Partnership be directed to real solutions – powering up people centered renewable energy.“

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