COP27 conference must advance African energy, development – officials

African nations rich in energy but otherwise underdeveloped must secure a right to growth and power at the COP27 climate conference in Egypt in November, senior officials from across the continent said this week.

A High voltage power line next to a geothermal pool with steam in the KenGen or Kenya General Energy Olkaria geothermal power station. /Getty Images

Rich nations must not let concerns over emissions causing climate change hinder energy projects, including fossil fuels, energy leaders told the African Energy Forum in Brussels.

For many, the sanctions and reduced flows from Russia that have sent European countries scrambling to shore up their energy supplies from elsewhere is a boon, as the energy crunch drives up inflation and stokes recession fears.

“All the arguments we heard at COP26 are not the same anymore,” Cheikh Niane, vice petroleum minister of emerging gas power Senegal told Reuters.

“At COP27 we are expecting the G7 and all developed countries to consider in the energy transition letting African countries develop gas which finances electricity for our citizens and helps industrialize our countries”.

Nearly 200 countries at last year’s summit in Glasgow, Scotland, agreed to strengthen climate pledges.

Wealthy nations disappointed many in Glasgow by saying they would not deliver the $100 billion per year promised from 2020 until 2023 to help developing countries with their energy transition and with adapting to a warming world.

“We need this oil … and what we need is for them to keep their promises, because we have seen nothing so far,” he added.

Egypt, a natural gas exporter, takes over the presidency of the U.N. climate talks from Britain and hosts the COP27 summit Nov. 7-18 summit in Sharm el-Sheikh.

“The COP27 session is going to be a different flavour,” said Ayman Soliman, CEO of the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, adding the conference will focus on agreements to finance fuel and power projects especially climate-friendly ones like its plan to ramp up green ammonia for shipping in the Suez Canal.

“We want to do projects and to unlock financing … we’ve been trying to speak the language of the rest of the world but now the world needs to look at us and speak our language.”