President Yoweri Museveni has called for a unified African stance at the upcoming climate change meeting in Dubai, emphasizing the importance of articulating the continent’s development and energy needs. Museveni’s remarks, delivered by Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Ruth Nankabirwa at the African Energy Week in Cape Town, aimed to stress the significance of presenting a common message at the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The President’s statements reiterated his defense of Uganda’s investment in the oil and gas sector despite opposition from environmental activists. Museveni highlighted that commercializing the country’s oil and gas resources would provide funds for Uganda’s development, investments in renewable energy sources, and achieving universal energy access.
Museveni addressed concerns related to potential environmental impact, asserting that Uganda’s oil and gas projects were designed to generate the lowest possible carbon footprint. He emphasized the importance of focusing on reducing emissions from oil and gas operations while proceeding with resource development.
The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), with 197 countries participating as Parties. The upcoming COP 28 aims to address global climate concerns and set guidelines for sustainable practices.
Uganda’s energy strategy involves a mix of renewables, including hydro-power, solar, and biomass. While continuing to develop renewable resources, the country also seeks to tap into its oil and gas sector to boost revenues. President Museveni emphasized the need for Africa to overcome structural bottlenecks, ensuring access to capital, technology, and building the capacity of its people to exploit energy resources effectively.
As Africa’s population is projected to reach close to 2.5 billion by 2050, Museveni underscored the challenge of achieving universal access to reliable and affordable energy, aligning with Sustainable Development Goals. He highlighted the importance of the continent pursuing energy independence, especially given the current global energy situation.