from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) – THE African Energy Chamber (AEC) is sticking to its guns in the face of ongoing demonstrations against fossil fuels.
Protests by environmentalists have broken out in Cape Town, South Africa where the organisation is hosting the African Energy Week (AEW).
Some protesters are from out of the continent, according to the AEC Executive Chairman, NJ Ayuk.
“It’s amazing that people will fly into Africa to protest Africans talking about making energy poverty history,” he said.
“Let me be clear, we support our energy industry and it will be criminal to give up our oil and gas without a just transition. That will not happen.”
Ayuk added, “No one loves the environment more than we done and no one is more interested in protecting the climate more than we do.”
He advocated for free market ideas.
“They (ideas) are needed as no one has done as much for the poor as capitalism has and the oil and gas industry is doing more to meet our climate challenge and will work with everyone to develop the technologies of the future.”
AEC has insisted it cannot push for inclusive dialogue within the global energy landscape if there was no inclusivity within Africa’s energy dialogue.
“By inviting the protesters to take part in the conversations at AEW 2021, the AEC is focused on providing everyone with the equal opportunity to take part in engaging and deliberate on energy and Africa.”
AEW 2021, in partnership with South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, is the AEC’s annual conference, exhibition and networking event.
– CAJ News