The African Energy Chamber (AEC) praised the European Commission (EC) on January 3 for proposing to classify natural gas as a sustainable investment in its taxonomy, saying the fuel’s development in Africa would both spur economic growth and help with global decarbonisation efforts.
The AEC said Africa was seeking a “just and inclusive energy transition,” and that this call had been answered with the EC’s proposals. Classifying gas as sustainable will “pave the way for new European investments in natural gas in Africa and will therefore allow Europe to unlock billions of euros in finance and sustainable energy funds to support gas as a transitional energy source.”
“The EU will want to import whatever natural gas Africa develops, which is constructive for project funding and will open doors to have candid discussions about furthering energy availability across the continent,” the AEC said.
“Despite predictions that demand for African LNG is expected to grow for the foreseeable future, investments in gas exploration have been hit hard by a short-sighted bias against our low-carbon natural gas resources,” the AEC’s chairman NJ Ayuk said. “This has led to a reluctance towards investing in supply projects because of the fractured global outlook towards natural gas.”
He also called on African nations to be more pragmatic by helping to fast-track project approvals.