The dispute over the pipeline reveals the rift between the EU and Africa over fossil fuels

The dispute over the pipeline reveals the rift between the EU and Africa over fossil fuels

A disagreement over an oil exploration project in East Africa has highlighted the rift between the EU and African leaders ahead of the COP 27 climate summit to be held in Egypt in November.

Political leaders in Uganda and Tanzania have reacted violently to a European Parliament resolution adopted last week, in which they “the end of resource extraction in protected and sensitive ecosystems, including on the shores of Lake Albertwhich is part of the East Africa Pipeline Project.

The resolution adopted by MEPs also calls for the exercise of a “maximum pressurein this $3.4 billion project backed by French oil and gas giant TotalEnergies and Chinese company CNOOC International, as well as Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) and Tanzania Petroleum Development.

This application”represents the pinnacle of neocolonialism and imperialism against the sovereignty of Uganda and Tanzaniareplied Thomas Tayebwa, Deputy Speaker of the Uganda National Assembly.

Disagreements among the Ugandan authorities

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, meanwhile, said the European Parliament’s initiative was “the bad battlefield for them. We cannot stand arrogance».

«The project is therefore implemented according to the planned schedule.», with or without TotalEnergies, he specified.

Tanzania’s Ambassador to Belgium and the EU, Jestas Nyamanga, said: “the decision was based on misinformation about certain facts. We will provide MEPs with the exact facts».

This dispute reveals a rift that could become all the more apparent during the COP27 climate change conference in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Southern leaders fear the summit will be an opportunity to roll back rich countries’ long-ago commitments to finance adaptation, mitigation and cut-carbon emissions — actions their countries have taken will hit harder .

They also complain that the EU is urging them not to increase fossil fuel production as EU member states scramble to find alternatives to Russian gas supplies.

The pledge made 12 years ago by rich countries to collectively raise $100 billion by 2020

Adaptation finance: in order of global solidarity

At the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week, Senegal-African Union President Macky Sall said climate adaptation funding should come from global exchange for developing countries’ efforts to avoid the polluting models that have plunged the planet into the current climate emergency».

Furthermore, Mr. Sall added: “the continent that pollutes the least and is furthest behind in the process of industrialization should use its available resources».

The Presidents of Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda have conveyed similar messages to the United Nations, stressing that they should not be penalized for choosing to exploit undeveloped oil and gas reserves.

However, the African Union has backed away from explicitly involving the continent in expanding fossil fuel use and extraction, projects included in a draft position paper.

European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans downplayed the idea of ​​increased fossil fuel exploitation by African states at the Africa Climate Change Adaptation Summit, held in Rotterdam in early September, which drew few people.

«In the long term, the great opportunity for Africa is to exploit its immense solar and wind potential, which far exceeds the continent’s own needs, and to convert this energy into hydrogen, ammonia or other ecological fuelssaid Mr. Timmermans.


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