The agenda of COP 27 climate change talks is launched!  What are the ongoing negotiations and what impact will the discussions have on Central Africa?

What is COP27 Summit?

The 2022 Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Change Conference, known as COP27, is the United Nations’ international conference currently taking place in Egypt, from November 6 to 18 in Sharm el-Sheikh, and chaired by H.E. Sameh Shoukry, Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs. The conference brought together the signatory countries of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It also allows governments and non-governmental organizations to negotiate in order to implement solutions to limit climate change.

110 heads of state were expected to attend, and one of the challenges of the summit is to ensure that the « rich » countries pay for the damage inflicted on developing countries.

African energy is an important topic and Africa must make its point.

A number of speeches have caught our attention since the opening of the summit:

  • The UN Secretary General, H.E. Antonio Guterres, has called for governments to establish taxes on the extraordinary profits made by fossil fuel companies to address the problems arising from the crisis.
  • The Prime Minister of Barbados, H.E. Mia Mottley, whose country is recurrently hit by extreme weather phenomena, pleaded for a new North-South relationship on climate. She called for a massive overhaul of international development loans and a tax of at least 10% on corporate profits ($200 billion of profits in the last three months). Her intervention had previously made an impression during COP in Glasgow in 2021. This year, she is once again a powerful voice at COP27.
  • Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, believes that being on African soil, priority must be given to this low-carbon region, but a major victim of climate disruption, by tackling the crux of the matter: funding. « Africa is suffering from what it did not cause. The developed world long ago pledged $100 billion a year to support climate finance for developing countries. What we are getting so far is a lot of discussion and no funding. »

The various exchanges have highlighted the lack of consideration by developed countries for African realities as well as the failure to respect their COP26 promises. A deep feeling of injustice is felt.

Why Central Africa does not recognize itself in the current climate debate?

For centuries, Western countries have massively exploited their fossil fuels and are the first polluters on the planet. It is partly through this exploitation that they have developed their countries. On the contrary, 48 African countries have emitted less than 1% of the world’s CO2 emissions since 1751. African emissions, all countries combined, represent only 5 to 10% of global air pollution. Africa is therefore considered a minimal polluter.

In a complete contradiction, developed countries continue to use fossil fuels to increase their own wealth while urging other countries not to do the same. The leaders of these different countries showed up at COP27 in extremely polluting private jets. COP27 is also sponsored by Coca Cola, which is the world’s « number one plastic polluter », producing 120 billion disposable bottles every year..

Despite such low numbers, many developed countries are opposed to African exploitation of its own fossil resources. Western countries, particularly from Europe, are trying to push Central Africa out of fossil fuel exploitation and this pressure is having a direct impact on the industry. A decrease in international investment in new oil and gas projects is already being felt.

CABEF’s vision.

Western countries want a rapid energy transition while ignoring African realities. In Central Africa, millions of people do not have access to electricity and fossil fuels play a major role in providing reliable energy and significant industrialization potential to the sub-region. According to CABEF Chairwoman, Ms. Nathalie Lum, CABEF does not deny the evidence of climate urgency, but given the low rate of pollution from the Central African sub-region compared to developed countries, the mirror of solutions must be turned to the West and not to Africa.

Central Africa is still in the process of conquering its emergence. The sub-region must create its own solutions, its own funding and gas remains the most appropriate short-term solution. The governments of the sub-region must reject attempts to ban the exploitation of fossil fuels and Central Africa must continue to move towards the creation of its own internal energy market. Through its actions, CABEF promotes this objective daily, which is one of the keys to our energy future.

CABEF fully recognizes the climate emergency, but denounces an injustice in the energy transition. As the continent is one of the least polluting in the world, the sub-region has an extremely wide margin of industrialization before it can be considered a polluting region. Central Africa Business and Energy Forum goal is to eradicate energy poverty and create a better future for its people in Central Africa. In this context, the energy transition of the Central African sub-region will take place, but only within its own timetable that takes into account its development through access to reliable energy.

Sources : Wikipedia, The African Energy Chamber and Le Monde.