Op-Ed: The UK’s decision to halt funding for new oil & gas projects is ill-founded and counter productive

THE United Kingdom has recently declared that it will stop support and funding to any new oil, gas and coal projects on the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement. While this is a setback, we must continue to be unwavering in our commitment to stand up for Africa’s energy sector, its workers, energy poverty and those free-market values that will make our continent attractive to committed energy investors, writes NJ Ayuk.

The decision follows, among others, opposition to the recently announced support of the UK Export Finance’s (UKEF) for Total’s 12.88 mtpa Mozambique LNG export terminal in Cago Delgado. It is troubling that an aggressive foreign-funded anti-African energy campaign continues to undermine the potential of making Mozambique an oasis for gas monetization and meeting our increasing energy demands.

I will personally return to Mozambique next week and will engage with the country’s leadership and the energy industry. Dropping investments for LNG projects in Mozambique after pressure from uninformed extremist groups in the UK and claiming it’s for climate change is a publicity stunt by the Johnson administration and not factual. I understand they have to find a way to take off the anti-African energy pressure from Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.  The UK’s decision is poorly informed and highly hypocritical. This highly hypocritical decision comes at a time when Western governments should, in fact, be increasing their investment in Mozambique and Africa rather than focus on failed foreign aid and handouts.

We in Africa must continue working hard on saving for the future; diversifying our economies through gas monetsation; and improving the lives of Mozambicans and Africans. We will continue in our commitment to finding solutions to the global challenge of climate change and at the same time continue to be a major contributor to Mozambique and African economies through taxes, employment and buying goods and services from businesses across this country.

The energy industry and more specifically oil and gas companies operating in Africa, need to do a better job when it comes to communicating their efforts to reduce carbon emissions, energy poverty, create opportunities for local businesses, moving people out of poverty and putting countries on a path to a better future to prevent the continued exodus of large funds from the sector and Africa.

NJ Ayuk is the CEO of Centurion Law Group and Executive Chairman of Africa Energy Chamber

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