By Spy Uganda
President Yoweri Museveni, who is overseeing a $10 billion oil-development plan, said his government is committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The East African nation needs petrodollars from the TotalEnergies SE-led project to fund its energy transition plan that involves developing an electric-vehicle industry, Museveni said in a speech at a Standard Bank Group Ltd. climate summit in Johannesburg. “Uganda remains committed to achieving the goal of carbon neutrality,” he said.
Museveni’s comments come as environmentalists criticize the East African Crude Oil Pipeline that’s planned to transport the fuel from fields in western Uganda to Tanzania’s coast for export. The critics argue that the conduit will put at risk the habitats of endangered species and will affect at least 118,000 people. Last month, the European Union called on the government to suspend plans for the pipeline over similar concerns.
The project expected to start producing oil in 2025 will go ahead, Museveni said, as he defended the continued exploitation of hydrocarbons at a time when there are growing calls to reduce their use.
“Even when we stop using hydrocarbons for driving cars, we shall use them for other purposes which are not polluting,” he said.
“Even when we have electric cars or buses, we shall need these products like plastics and so on, so it is therefore nonsensical to say that we stop developing our petroleum because there is a plan to stop using petroleum for transport.”