Mozambique: Carbon offsetting not solution for Africa sustainable energy future – NGO

Mozambican non-governmental organisation (NGO) Justiça Ambiental (Environmental Justice) argued on Tuesday that African leaders meeting in Kenya should align strategies for a sustainable energy future, considering that solutions such as the carbon market should be avoided.

“It is essential that the discussions focus on promoting real climate solutions, rejecting false solutions such as carbon markets or nature-based solutions,” the director of the NGO’s board, Anabela Lemos, told Lusa.

At stake is the Africa Climate Action Summit, which has been taking place in Kenya since today, bringing together more than 20 heads of state from the continent, as well as other world leaders, to articulate a common African position for different global forums.

For the Environmental Justice NGO, the African summit should serve to define strategies for a sustainable energy future, at a time when the continent prevails as one of the most affected by climate change, despite being the one that pollutes the least.

“This first African climate summit could be crucial in defining our continent’s energy future,” emphasised Anabela Lemos.

For the organisation, at a time when countries like Mozambique are growing expectations about the extractive sector, African leaders should rethink investments in this area, suggesting that the priority should be clean energies.

“The financial resources earmarked for the exploration of new gas and oil projects should be redirected towards resolving issues of loss and damage, investing in climate adaptation and prioritising clean and safe renewable energies that benefit the people,” said Anabela Lemos.

At the end of August, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced that it would fund a Mozambican environmental programme for international carbon capture investments over the next three years with two million dollars (1.8 million euros).

According to USAID information consulted by Lusa, this is the creation of the “Planeta” programme, an initiative aimed at facilitating the attraction of these investments and projects to Mozambique, to be implemented by CrossBoundary LLC and which will provide Mozambican partners, both public and private, with “the necessary knowledge to establish the links and implement the agreements” for carbon offsetting.

Mozambique is considered one of the countries most severely affected by climate change in the world, facing cyclical flooding and tropical cyclones during the rainy season, which runs from October to April.

The Africa Climate Action Summit, organised by the African Union and the Kenyan government, brings together African heads of state and government and other world leaders, “in a debate focusing on climate change, renewable energies and the development of the blue economy,” the Mozambican presidency previously explained.

The 2018/2019 rainy season was one of the most severe on record in Mozambique: 714 people died, including 648 victims of cyclones Idai and Kenneth, two of the biggest ever to hit the country.

At the end of the summit, which runs until Wednesday and is attended by more than 20 African heads of state and government, as well as leaders from other regions of the world and international organisations, it is planned to adopt the so-called “Nairobi Declaration”, a document that seeks to articulate a common African position for different global forums.

The participants want to have a unified perspective from the continent for their participation in the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, scheduled for the end of the year, in the UN General Assembly, before the G20 (a bloc of rich and developing economies) and with international financial institutions.

Africa is home to some of the countries most affected by climate change and phenomena, including Mozambique, for example, while African countries are among the least responsible for the global climate crisis.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *