Operationalizing a Clean-Energy Transition for Sustainable Development in Africa
Energy Transition implies ‘shifting’ from current energy systems to one that is better in terms of sustainability, environmental impact, climate change, human health, economics, employment, and social equity. A Just Energy Transition (JET) aims to make the process of shifting to a better energy system as fair and ‘just’ as possible. The justice part focuses on looking after people in the current energy system who could be negatively affected by the energy transition.
Sub-Saharan Africa currently hosts 18% of the global population but contributes only 2% of the global CO2 emissions giving credence to the fact that Africa’s carbon footprint is very small. As Africa grows wealthier however, it will be very difficult to achieve climate stabilization if low-carbon pathways are not implemented.
The global oil & gas industry currently faces opposition from a public greatly concerned with the environmental impact of fossil fuels, and policy makers seeking to simultaneously meet decarbonization goals and expected oil and gas demand. Despite this opposition, oil and gas continue to be an important part of the energy mix especially in Africa, with natural gas having the potential to remain an integral component of the low carbon energy transition for decades to come, depending on the policy mechanisms and technologies in place.
The challenge for the African oil and gas industry then will not only be that of adapting to a changing policy and investment landscape, but also to evolve in ways which don’t simply support but lead efforts to decarbonize the energy system. The players in this industry will thus need to focus on using renewables and new technologies not just as a hedge against demand risk or to decarbonize their production, but to leverage their expertise with supply chains and market development to support low carbon energy deployment in the energy transition overall. Realistic Conceptual Frameworks are therefore required to path a course for the achievement of sustainable energy transition in Africa via use of low-carbon energy sources. These frameworks should take into cognizance the following aspects:
- Show of more responsibility from Industry players in the areas of Carbon storage and the achievement of Net Zero / Gross Zero in Africa
- Energy Efficiency and the effects of Energy deficiency on achieving Energy transition.
- Clearly define the role of the Oil & Gas Industry in achieving Clean Energy Transition in Africa
- Articulate the strategies required for Oil and Gas businesses to survive the low carbon energy transition
- What role does technology play in closing the energy deficiency gap and providing sustainable development in Africa?
- How to support the development of Environment Social Governance (ESG) metrics that are transparent, objective, and accessible to investors
How to develop a workforce strategy that focuses on restoring oil and gas as an attractive destination for younger talent concerned about the ESG footprint and stranded asset risk of the oil & gas industry.