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Ghana National Petroleum Corporation CEO Calls for African Countries to Define Natural Gas as a “Destination Fuel”

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The CEO of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, O-A Danquah, has urged African countries to leverage technological advancements to strike a healthy balance in exploiting fossil energy resources while pursuing opportunities presented by the global energy transition. Speaking at the 2023 Africa Development Conference at Harvard University, Mr. Danquah stated that Africa should not see the shift towards renewable energy as an imposition but rather as an opportunity to define natural gas as a “destination fuel.”

While the energy transition holds great potential for Africa, Mr. Danquah emphasized that the energy situation in Africa is vastly different from the West. Advanced countries may view natural gas as a transition fuel, but an African country with an abundance of natural gas resources cannot solely define it as such without impairing its capacity to address future energy deficits and development needs. Mr. Danquah stressed the need for Africa to control the narrative around a “just transition” and define natural gas as a “destination fuel,” especially as technology advances to make its use even cleaner.

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The CEO acknowledged the importance of achieving access to modern sustainable energy while emphasizing that fossil fuels remain a critical part of the energy infrastructure of many countries globally due to varying pathways to developing newer, sustainable energy options. He noted that Africa currently emits fewer carbon emissions but lacks the funding resources to develop newer energy infrastructure. As technology is expected to make natural gas cleaner, Mr. Danquah highlighted the importance of Africa charting a unique path to its energy transition.

In conclusion, Mr. Danquah called for a “just” or equitable energy transition to ensure Africa is not shortchanged. He highlighted the disparities related to both the ease and pace at which various countries can transition as the reason behind Africa’s collective call for a just transition. By defining natural gas as a “destination fuel,” African countries can ensure they are not left behind as the world moves towards renewable energy.

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