African Energy Chamber blast lawsuit citing continental energy gap

African Energy Chamber blast lawsuit citing continental energy gap
An aerial view showing oil producing states and showing possible oil pollution. [Photo: Courtesy]

The African Energy Chamber (AEC) has fiercely condemned and termed as “hypocritical” the lawsuit filed by UK-based firm challenging the continued use of fossil fuels. 

The Chamber says the use of such sources of energy can never be wished away if Africa is serious about ending the energy poverty in the continent by 2030. Hence, it is now advocating for support from African countries to win the case, filed by Hyve Group CEO, Mark Shashoua, saying it is a conspiracy against African oil and gas.

AEC said in a press release that if Africa is to transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy, then western countries must avail appropriate funding, and also revert from using fossil fuel.

AEC argues that Africa accounts for less than 2 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions yet the continent faces a scarcity of oil and gas due to stringent measures on worsening climate change. The Chamber argued that the UK had announced an oil and gas licensing bid; the US opened federal land for drilling, England restarted coal mines after 30 years, Germany is building Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals and Norway giving 52 oil licenses. These it noted were a clear indication of hypocrisy.

“The chamber believes that Africans should have the right to explore oil and gas in the same these countries are,” the press statement read.

NJ Ayuk, the Executive Chairman of AEC, said the organisation would stand against what he termed as “intimidation and ruthless attempts to keep us quiet.”

“When they lose, they get desperate, and this is what this lawsuit is: a desperate attempt to silence Africa. They are employing their bullying tactics, threatening the AEC, an organization which has only ever been committed to Africa’s development,” Ayuk argued.

“We will fight back like never before. We will not give in to intimidation and the ruthless attempts to keep us quiet. The stakes are too high for Africans for us to let some ‘woke’ British company tell us to go green. They do not represent Africa and any attempt to silence Africa by this UK-based company must be put to a stop.”

The organization said that more than 600 million Africans craved electricity and 900 million lacked clean cooking solutions, citing the importance of oil and gas in making “energy poverty history by 2030.”

“African business, the oil industry and everyday people are with us because they know the work the chamber does and its commitment to driving development in Africa. We have and continue to finance a lot of programs across Africa and pay taxes,” the statement continued.

The organization called for immense support by joining the campaign to win the case and end energy poverty in Africa by 2030 and enabling them to win the case.

In 2020, The Associated Press obtained a report claiming that the use of fossil fuels had caused birth defects and miscarriages among others in South Sudan.

Egbert Wesselink, the former Head of the European coalition of over 50 non-profit organizations claimed there were grave impacts associated with South Sudan’s oil production.

“South Sudan is running one of the dirtiest and poorest managed oil operations on the planet,” said Egbert.

“I don’t think there’s a single major industrial operation on earth that’s getting away with this,” he said.

The oil-producing communities accused the government of South Sudan and the Dar Petroleum Operating Co. led by the Chinese and the Greater Pioneer Operating Co. that they should not rebuke those who were exposing the matter.

According to the Voice of America, two surveys conducted in 2013 and 2016, by the South Sudanese government showed oil pollution prevalently.

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“When they lose, they get desperate, and this is what this lawsuit is: a desperate attempt to silence Africa. They are employing their bullying tactics, threatening the AEC.’’-NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman or AEC.

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