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COP 24: Africans promote oil and coal at UN climate summit

By David Wojick

Hecklers protested the U.S. event on fossil fuels but nobody bothered the Africans when they promoted the role of oil and gas in national development.

The event was led by the African Development Bank (AfDB), which earlier this year broke with the ever-green World Bank and announced that it will now fund coal-fired power projects. As AfDB put it, “we have to use what we have” and this is true of oil and gas as well as coal.

A number of African countries are rich in fossil fuel resources and they intend to develop these, in order to develop their economies and provide for their people. Mind you the Africans are also aggressively active in the Paris Agreement negotiations, which they also see as a potential source of funding for development. They are pushing hard on the finance front.

But as with many developing countries, Paris lip service does not interfere with their use of coal, oil and gas. In fact since the World Bank pulled out, China has become the world leader in financing and building coal-fired electric power plants. Now the African Development Bank is also in the coal, oil and gas game. This is great news for a lot of poor people.

Here is the official report of the event. Of course it is couched in terms of Paris Agreement nonsense, but the meaning is clear. We have oil and gas and we intend to use it.