Dep/Speaker Tayebwa Urges EU To Address Emissions Disparities, Criticizes Heavy Penalties For Africa Despite Higher Emissions From Developed Countries

Dep/Speaker Tayebwa Urges EU To Address Emissions Disparities, Criticizes Heavy Penalties For Africa Despite Higher Emissions From Developed Countries

By Spy Uganda

 Kampala: Uganda’s Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa is rallying leaders at all levels to reject what he called unacceptable proposal by the European Union (EU) that requires Africa to pay the heaviest penalties of Climate Change yet the continent is the least emitter.  

“We must have a fair and just transition that is not rushed,” Tayebwa who has just been elected to represent East Africa to the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) – the European Union General Assembly said.

Speaking during the 64th session of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly and Constitutive Sessions of the OACPS-EU Joint Parliamentary Assemblies happening in Luanda, Angola between February 17 and 21, Mr Tayebwa said Africa shouldn’t be forced to do away with fossils without a properly negotiated transition plan.

“There is no way Africa should be forced to go away with fossils yet fossils and coal developed Europe and for us Uganda who are just going to start exploring our oil in 2025 and someone urges that no, Uganda don’t exploit your oil. That’s not acceptable,” he said.

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He rallied African Members of Parliament to reject such proposals and call for a fair and just transition to clean energy.

“We are saying that these guys have made a lot of money out of using dirty fuel and through releasing all these emissions in the air. So, they should pay more”. This energy transition needs around $25 billion per year up to 2030 according to the energy reports that we are getting. Now, if we are to do that, it means that these countries must pay more. European Union by saying they committed Euros 20 million. That’s not enough. We need to do more,” he added.

The Ruhinda North MP also appealed to the European Union to invest more in affordable Solar Africa which he said is home to 60% of the global solar resources.

“Africa has 60% of the best assessed global solar sources but only 1% have installed solar globally is in Africa, so meaning, we are seated on a very huge potential and that’s clean energy,” Tayebwa said raising the voice of the global south high.

The deputy speaker also asked the European Union to stop shipping counterfeit electrical accessories to Africa, reasoning that the continent also needs quality and sustainable products.

Mr. Verner Ayukegba, a Senior Vice-President of the African Energy Chambers, on Access to Reliable, affordable, and Sustainable Energy for the Africa-EU said over 600 million Africans have no access to reliable or affordable energy.

Another 900 million Africans have zero access to clean cooking fuels, most of them women and children,” he told the join assembly.

“We need to be able to say the truth that is going to represent what these people are looking for and what they want is power. I’m going to be honest to say, that in many cases, they really don’t care where the molecules that create the power come from. They don’t care whether it is coming from gas, or whether it’s coming from solar, or whether it’s coming from hydro, what they care about is reliable and affordable energy,” Mr. Ayukegba said.

He added: “If we can’t provide that for them, there I think we are in trouble. We also do need to recognize that you will not be able to develop agriculture, to develop industry to be able to ensure that we can have jobs, if at all, we cannot push reliable and affordable energy and that is why the chamber continues to say for Africa. We need to first ensure access to power.”

“Yes, we do believe transition is important. We do believe that energy transition is necessary. But Africa needs to industrialize. We need jobs. And so if that means that we need to use gas resources, we do need to hurry up and use those gas resources.”

He said that all African children deserve to have access to whatever it is other kids have everywhere.

Marc Angel, Vice President of the European Parliament said access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy is a key priority for the European Union’s partnership with Africa.

He said that the EU has committed up to Euros 20 billion to support the deployment of at least 50 gigawatts of renewable energy in Africa and to provide at least 100 million people with electricity access by 2030.

It seeks to increase access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy services for African people and businesses to promote the increased generation of renewable and sustainable energy but also increase energy efficiency,” the EU vice president said, adding that at the regional level, key interconnectors will be built to enhance electricity, trade, regional integration, and fostering economic development through enhancing security and reliability of electricity supply such as the Zambia-Tanzania -Kenya interconnector to build at least 594Kms line up to the Tanzanian border.

“In several countries, the European Union initiative will support the construction and rehabilitation of hydro power plant for example Nalubaale-Kiira dam in Uganda that is key to manage electricity production and full control,” He said.

Micheal Gahler, a Member of the European Parliament urged African investors and those from the EU to find a common ground when it comes to the implementation of clean energy transition proposal.

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