Again, African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARDA) has intensified the call for the adoption of cleaner fuel and just energy transition that will prioritise the unique situation in Africa.
In a series of engagements at the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27), which was held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, the Association, which comprises players in the African downstream petroleum sector, noted the need for energy transition but not at a pace that is detrimental to Africa’s overarching development objectives.
ARDA Executive Secretary, Anibor Kragha, said focusing on cleaner transport fuels, fast-tracking Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) adoption and decarbonising refining operations as well as storage and distribution infrastructure remained sacrosanct to delivering a sustainable energy transition.
Amidst growing population and the challenge of energy security in Africa, Kragha sees gas as a critical option, especially as an economic policy tool to balance the global climate mitigation agenda and the urgent need to overcome energy poverty in Africa.
Kragha’s take on the use of gas is coming on the backdrop of alliance between African Union and its strategic partner, AfroChampions, to pioneering governments around Africa and private sector enablers and industrialists to create a model multi-stakeholder innovation platform to show the recent advances in industry best practices.
The Executive Secretary said sustainable finance, proper regulation, standardisation and strategic policies were necessary to achieve needed energy transition across the continent.
Speaking in another panel led by US Chamber of Commerce, World Steel Association and US Council for International Business, and moderated by IPIECA, Kragha noted that just energy transition should capture every aspect of the economy.
Kragha noted that across value chains, a just transition remained sacrosanct even as various climate adaptation and mitigation projects are prioritised.
Decrying that the global south and Africa in particular are at the receiving end of climate-related impacts, while facing important challenges as well as opportunities on the transition to net zero, Kragha said ARDA is doing everything possible to attract funding into the downstream segment of the petroleum industry to accelerate transition into cleaner fuels in the sector.
At a side event hosted by Colombia, Kragha said that while Africa’s contribution to global cumulative CO2 emissions is very minor (2.73 per cent) compared to other continents with levels over ten times that, ARDA and other stakeholders on the continent are working on a unique African Downstream Energy transition roadmap, which highlights the need for investments in strategic storage and distribution infrastructure that would support cleaner fuels on the continent’s path to net-zero.
Also speaking at an IPIECA side event on ‘Enablers of a Net-Zero Emissions Future in the Global South,’ Kragha harped on the need for an effective finance plan to support the energy transition roadmap, noting that addressing Environment Social and Governance (ESG) issues would be essential to secure such financing and that African Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) would need to play a fundamental role to ensure success.