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AU Agenda 2063 Sees Use of Both Renewable and Non-renewable Energy Sources

When the EU voted last month to classify natural gas as ‘green energy,’ it opened a window that Africa has been waiting for: access to low-cost funds to run energy projects that do not rely on solar, wind nor geothermal. A technical paper published by the African Union (AU) reads, “In the short- to medium-term, fossil fuels, especially natural gas, will have to play a crucial role in expanding modern energy access,” the paper reads. This planned move is enraging climate activists, who say Africa is now in danger of locking itself into fossil fuels for the foreseeable future, despite having the highest solar energy potential among all continents. The AU paper, the activists argue, lays the groundwork for the COP27 climate talks in Cairo this November, where countries will lobby to label natural gas production green, as Egypt looks to boost exports to a gas-starved Europe. “It’s ironic that the continent with the highest renewable energy potential and [the one] hit hardest by the impacts of the climate crisis is the one willing to go down the dirty, risky fossil fuel path,” Mohamed Adow, the director of Nairobi-based climate think tank Power Shift Africa, told Quartz. During a press call at the US-Africa summit in Morocco last month, Adesina Akinwumi, the president of the African Development Bank said that “no part of the world ever developed using renewable energy alone. Gas is a fundamental energy source in Africa.”