By Samson Echenim
Global oil producers convened on Thursday in Vienna, Austria for the 177th OPEC meeting, where the oil producers aimed to determine the management of oil production in 2020.
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.
“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 Amazon best-seller, 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 percent of global oil reserves and 7.2 percent of global gas reserves, Africa should have a voice” added Ayuk.
Last week, 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 our western counterparts to develop and industrialize our 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, H.E. Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of OPEC 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.”