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COP 26: Akinwumi Adesina advocates gas for stable power supply

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Image Credits: Getty Images/Ron and Patty Thomas, Eric Roset/Africa Progress Panel.

Says even if Africa triples gas consumption, only 0.67% of global gas will be emitted

African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina said on Thursday that gas remained critical for African economies despite the global push to end investments in fossil fuels as the world transitions to cleaner fuels.

Speaking from the side-lines at the COP26 Global Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Adesina, told Reuters that Africa, where around 600 million people are without access to electricity, is still trying to build just energy systems.

Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank (AfDB)

The bank is one of the backers of Total’s $20 billion Mozambique liquefied natural gas project.

Adesina said despite increased investments and access to electricity, particularly from renewables, there were limits with the currently available technologies because Africa needed steady power supply to grids and stable baseload for industries.

“Therefore, gas is fundamental to Africa’s economic survival. I see gas as an important part of Africa’s energy mix,” Adesina said.

Several African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Mozambique are dependent on oil and gas, and are counting on recent discoveries not only to boost revenues, but also to provide steady gas-fired generation.

“Even if Africa triples its use of gas to generate electricity, it will only contribute to only 0.67% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. Without gas, Africa’s economies will be killed,” Adesina said.

He added that the bank had decided to no longer fund coal projects.

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“A week ago, our board approved our new policy. No more coal. However, we will support Africa to have a stable energy system, and gas is critical to that,” he said, adding that gas will prevent deforestation as the bulk of the population in the continent still depend on wood fuel and charcoal.

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