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Uganda's Tayebwa calls for fair climate policies at international assembly

Thomas Tayebwa, Uganda's Deputy Speaker of Parliament, has urged leaders at all levels to oppose what he describes as an unfair proposal by the European Union (EU), which would impose the most significant climate change penalties on Africa, despite the continent's minimal emissions.

Uganda's Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa

"We must have a fair and just transition that is not rushed," stated Tayebwa, recently elected to represent East Africa at the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) - European Union General Assembly.

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During his speech at the 64th session of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly and Constitutive Sessions of the OACPS-EU Joint Parliamentary Assemblies held in Luanda, Angola, from February 17 to 21, Tayebwa emphasized the need for Africa not to be coerced into abandoning fossil fuels without a well-negotiated transition plan.

“There is no way Africa should be forced to go away with fossils yet fossils and coal developed Europe and for us Uganda who are just going to start exploring our oil in 2025 and someone urges that no, Uganda don’t exploit your oil. That’s not acceptable,” Tayebwa articulated.

He encouraged African Members of Parliament to dismiss such proposals and advocate for a just and equitable shift towards clean energy.

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“We are saying that these guys have made a lot of money out of using dirty fuel and through releasing all these emissions in the air. So, they should pay more”. This energy transition requires about $25 billion annually until 2030, according to energy reports. "Now, if we are to achieve this, it means that these countries must contribute more. The European Union's commitment of Euros 20 million is simply insufficient. We need to do more,” Tayebwa added.

Tayebwa also appealed for the European Union to increase investments in affordable Solar Africa, noting that the continent possesses 60% of the world's assessed solar resources but has only 1% of installed solar capacity, underscoring Africa's significant potential for clean energy.

Additionally, the deputy speaker called on the European Union to cease the export of counterfeit electrical accessories to Africa, highlighting the continent's need for quality and sustainable products.

Verner Ayukegba, Senior Vice-President of the African Energy Chambers, addressing the assembly on access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy, reported that over 600 million Africans lack access to reliable energy, and 900 million have no access to clean cooking fuels. “What they want is power... They don't care whether it's gas, solar, or hydro; what they care about is reliable and affordable energy,” Ayukegba stated, emphasizing the importance of energy access for development and job creation in Africa.

Marc Angel, Vice President of the European Parliament, outlined the EU's commitment to enhancing energy access in Africa, with plans to deploy 50 gigawatts of renewable energy and provide electricity access to 100 million people by 2030. The EU also aims to build key interconnectors to improve electricity trade and regional development.

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Micheal Gahler, a Member of the European Parliament, highlighted the need for African and EU investors to find common ground in implementing the clean energy transition proposal, stressing collaboration for a sustainable future.

This content was created with the help of an AI model and verified by the writer.

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