Public figures such as actress Alba Flores or climate expert Fernando Valadares, as well as civil society organizations, have called on Spain and the European Union to stop the “race for gas” in Africa and instead favor the deployment of renewable energy.
According to a press release issued by several organizations, this request was conveyed by “hundreds of celebrities and NGOs” to various EU leaders in a letter delivered, among other things, to the head of government, Pedro Sánchez, to the Minister of Transition, Environment and Demographic Challenge, Theresa Ribera, to the Heads of State of Germany, Italy and France and to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
Supported by famous artists and professionals in Spain, such as CSIC researcher and climate activist Fernando Valadares or actress Alba Flores, known for her performance in series such as ‘La casa de papel’-, the message has been supported by hundreds of environmental experts. Scientific organizations, institutions and movements in Europe and Africa.
The press release was published in Spain by the Council for Global Strategic Communications, Environmental Scientists at Work, the Global Gas and Oil Communications Network, and the Fossil Fuel Treaty Initiative
Signatories include, for example, Climate Action Network Europe, Global Witness, Friends of the Earth, German Watch, Laudato C Movement, CSIC, Club of Rome, Transport and the Environment. Urgewald, African Network for Environmental and Economic Justice, OilWatch Africa or Friday for Future.
The letter was also signed by individuals such as French MEP Marie Toussaint; Portuguese actor Gonzalo Deniz or German activist Luisa Neubauer who has nearly 420,000 followers on Twitter.
“The massive influx of European investments in African fossil resources is very worrying,” Toussaint says in a statement to the media, noting that “the French multinational Total is at the forefront of exploiting African resources, either through the East African oil pipeline project, in Uganda, or the opening of naval operations in South Africa.”
In his view, the EU must “decisively commit to establishing an international financial mechanism for loss and damage,” as well as creating “green associations to support the African transition towards sustainable, low-cost energy sources that ensure real participation in the benefits for all and their energy independence in the long term: renewable energies.” “, Confirms.
The letter also directed Spain to its “central role” in linking the African continent and Europe through gas pipelines and stations that receive gas from Algeria and other countries, explaining that the promoters of the initiative who distort the country are investing in new projects. Gas infrastructure “even when the existing ones are not used enough”.
The signatories ask to “seize the historic moment” to “immediately terminate any agreement to expand gas production and infrastructure in Africa, reaffirm the Glasgow COP26 Declaration to halt investment in new oil and gas projects, and apply it to projects not yet developed”.
They are also calling for the introduction of “quick gas demand reduction measures in Europe” being applied in energy and industrial processes, such as the production of plastics, as well as investment in a “large-scale deployment” of renewable energies in cooperation with Africa. Countries.
Of the African No Gas Africa campaign, its facilitator, Lauren Chibunda, explained in the statement that “the promotion of gas is not directed by the needs of the 600 million people in Africa living in energy poverty or the development needs of the continent.”
He argues that what Africa needs is “regime change that heralds a just transition that provides renewable economies for people, decentralizes energy systems to reach marginal populations and provides clean energy for all, and ultimately enables everyone to thrive in a clean and healthy environment.”
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