As part of the global call on Japan and the G7 to rescind the decision in oil and gas investments to that of renewable energy technologies, AbibiNsroma Foundation, FIDEP, DHG, 350GROC, and ECA Watch Ghana with other members of its coalition have delivered their petitions and demand letter to the Embassy of Japan at Accra, Ghana’s capital.

Additionally, the National Dean of Presiding Members in Ghana, Hon. Joseph Korto was also picketed at Tema Metropolitan Assembly.

Community engagement with other stakeholders such as students, teachers, and some fisher folks at Tema Manhean.

They said such communities would be built on a “just and sustainable energy system which ensures the basic right to energy for everyone and respects the rights and different ways of life of communities in Africa.”

Earlier in a press statement read by Bob Amiteye, Coordinator, AbibiNaroma Foundation, Mr. Kenneth Amoateng said, “Africa, the continent worst hit by the climate crisis, with the biggest energy access gap and the highest renewable energy potential, does not need more investment in fossil fuels.

Kishida cannot be allowed to promote fossil-fuel dependency on the African continent. It is critical for Japan to listen to the African people, who want a just transition to 100% renewable energy. Therefore, as African civil society organizations, we have one message to rich countries: Don’t Gas Africa.”

According to the group, with 600 million Africans without access to clean renewable energy, we say scaling up cheap, clean, decentralized, renewable energy is the fastest and best way to end energy exclusion and meet the needs of Africa’s people.

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Africa is rich in renewable energy sources, including hydro, sun, wind, and others. Recent improvements in the performance and cost of renewable energy technologies favour Africa, given the continent’s vast renewable energy potential and need to address growing demand.

Last month, G7 Environment, Energy, and Climate Change Ministers met in Sapporo, Japan to discuss the response to the fossil energy crisis linked to the war in Ukraine while meeting climate goals.

Japan tried to convince the G7 to endorse investments in gas and Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), as well as fossil-fuel-based technologies that extend the lifetime of fossil fuel assets, such as ammonia, but the United Kingdom, France, and Canada pushed back.

At the recent G7 Environment, Energy and Climate Change in Japan, most members of the G7 agreed “to accelerate the phase-out of unabated fossil fuels so as to achieve net zero in energy systems by 2050 at the latest in line with the trajectories required to limit global average temperatures to 1.5°C…”

These are critical commitments. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), respecting the 1.5°C warming limit means no investments in new coal, oil, or gas supply or LNG infrastructure without stranded assets. In addition, it is a myth that fossil fuels support development.

The statement said, for decades, the resources and profits from fossil fuel extraction in Africa have been exported to the richest countries, while communities are left behind with pollution, inequality, and poor energy access.

Shifting to renewable energy and phasing out fossil fuel reliance will permanently bring down soaring energy costs and increase energy security. Renewable technologies are more affordable, can be scaled up more rapidly, and do not introduce further volatility through increased climate damages, fiscal instability, and stranded asset risks as global gas demand drops. They can also be community-led and owned and can better reach rural communities.

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Despite longstanding commitments to align financial flows with climate goals, data from Oil Change International shows that between 2020 and 2022 the G7 provided at least USD 73 billion in international public finance for fossil fuel projects, almost 2.6 times their clean energy support over the same period ($28.6 billion).

The G7 Ministers claim that they have now ended this fossil fuel finance, but the data shows this is untrue. The Japanese export credit agency, Japan Bank for International Cooperation has financed a new gas project in Uzbekistan in 2023 and approved support for LNG imports.

Prior to the end of 2022 deadline for ending fossil fuel support it backed a massive gas development in Mozambique, with devastating consequences, and Japan is considering additional financial support, the statement said.

Almost all international public finance for gas developments in Mozambique has gone to facilities supporting gas exports rather than increased energy access.

The gas developments have exacerbated the ongoing conflict in the region, people have been displaced or lost their lives, the environment is polluted, the region’s climate vulnerabilities have worsened, and local communities have seen little to no socioeconomic benefits.

So this is our message. Rather than bringing outdated and climate-destroying fossil fuel technologies to Africa, Japan should meet its G7 promise to end international finance for fossil fuels, and instead ensure that, together with fellow rich countries at the G7 Leaders’ Summit in May, it delivers its fair share of climate and loss and damage finance and just energy transition support to the Global South.

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By shifting their fossil fuel finance, the G7 can increase their clean energy finance to at least USD 34 billion, a sum almost large enough to close the global clean energy access finance gap, estimated at USD 36 billion. This is the only effective route to securing a more secure, prosperous future, for Africa and worldwide.

The CSO based in Ghana, the Don’t Gas Africa – Ghana Chapter believes that natural gas as an energy source is inconsistent with the Paris Agreement, according to the statement.

We believe that it is possible to build a climate-safe, socially-owned, just, and sustainable energy system that ensures the basic right to energy for everyone is fulfilled and respects the rights and different ways of life of communities around the world. This is the energy trajectory we want the Ghana government to commit to.

AMA GHANA is not responsible for the reportage or opinions of contributors published on the website.

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