The United States’ incredibly competent and famously practical climate czar John Kerry warned African nations that they should not better their lives by relying on natural gas to modernize and bring electricity to millions across the continent.
During his trip to the African environment ministers’ conference in Senegal, Kerry told Reuters that gas could only be used in the short term as a vehicle to cleaner energy sources.
“We are not saying no gas,” Kerry said. “What we are saying is, over the next few years, gas replaces coal or replaces oil.”
Kerry’s comments come as more than 600 million Africans lack electricity, according to figures from the International Energy Agency. Gas and oil are seen as critical to modernizing the continent and essential in reducing poverty. Fossil fuel investments to the country from the likes of the US, though, have dried up.
“We do not have to rush to go backward, we need to be very careful about exactly how much we are going to deploy, how it is going to be paid for, over what period of time and how do you capture the emissions,” Kerry said.
Kerry has also recently made comments saying that the new monarch King Charles III should take a political stance in endorsing climate change as a cause, something that the king or queen is supposed to refrain from doing. “It’s not political. There’s no ideology in it. It’s not a Republican-Democrat/Tory-Labour issue. It’s a universal issue defined by science,” said Kerry.
“This is life or death,” he said. “I mean everybody is talking about this in the world, it’s an existential issue.”
“It doesn’t have a Tory or Labour or any other party in the world’s label on it… It’s a universal issue about the planet and he has for 50 years been ahead of the curve, speaking out, and working on approaches to deal with the challenge,” he said.