By Philip Jakpor
Africa is on the menu again. This time, it’s a renewed scramble for oil and gas by Global North governments like France, Germany, the United States, and Italy. Renewed interest in fossil fuels in Africa spiked since Russia cut off gas to most of Europe in response to sanctions imposed on it by the bloc after its invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Beyond the climate crisis that has engulfed most of Africa and the Global South at large heightened by fossil fuel extractions, the new scramble for fossil fuels will only lead to economic, social, and political underdevelopment by provoking conflict and displacement of African peoples.
In the last six months there has been a disturbing rollback of commitments by mostly European countries to their climate commitments at COP26 and earlier.
In a poll of 1,299 voters by public broadcaster ZDF, between September 6-8 most Germans want their nuclear power plants kept up and running in response to Russia’s halt on gas supplies to that country.
Germany, which had claimed it wants to become carbon neutral by 2045 and will generate all its electricity from renewable sources by 2035, now wants to discard a plan to shutdown nuclear power plants.
In the September 2022 poll more than half of German voters called on the Economy Minister Robert Habeck to keep the country’s three remaining nuclear power plants in operation to help secure energy supply.
Habeck, a member of the Greens party, subsequently announced that two of the plants would be kept in reserve and only the third would be shut down at the end of 2022, prompting widespread criticism by climate activists.
But there are more developments in the reverse. In May 2022, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, met with Senegalese President Macky Sall with the thrust of discussions centering on that country supplying Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) to Europe. The gas will come from Senegal’s substantial deposits along its border with Mauritania.