Namibian oil should not be discriminated against - Kandjoze

Developing countries should be allowed to drill for oil to boost their economies, the director-general of the National Planning Commission says.

15 December 2021 | Energy

NAMPA

WINDHOEK

While the global commitment is to cut emissions, Namibia should not be discriminated against for new oil discovery projects, such as the Canadian oil company ReconAfrica’s exploration for oil in the Kavango East and West regions, National Planning Commission director-general Obeth Kandjoze has said.

In an interview with Nampa recently, Kandjoze stressed that though the world aspires to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, developing countries discovering oil which will boost their economies should not be discriminated against, saying that developed economies continue to generate money from the oil industry despite its big climate impact.

The recent United Nations climate conference, COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland, called for a global agreement to accelerate action on climate change by transitioning to green energy.

Money talks

Environmentalists and community leaders locally and further afield have also slammed the oil exploration in the Kavango Basin, citing its threat to livelihoods, the ecosystem and to endangered animal species such as wild dogs, cheetah, white and black rhinoceros and lions.

Kandjoze said the world should not doubt Namibia’s commitment towards climate change as it is amongst the few countries that constitutionally protects the environment, noting that any oil discovery projects geared for revenue in order to fulfil the interests and aspirations of Namibians will be guided by law.

“There is no contradiction on Namibia’s oil discovery to the world’s commitment on climate change. Developed countries are not stopping to pump money from the oil industry although they have the biggest climate impact compared to Southern Africa alone, developing countries must actually be put on the same level,” he stressed.

Kandjoze added that it is the government’s role to provide for Namibians’ aspirations from the resources the country is blessed with in a manner that keeps the environment safe through the provided laws, noting that oil and gas will have a footprint long into the future. However, it is on a diminishing level as the world seeks green energy.

“Namibia is also amongst the few that have protected the big five animals, why don’t we get recognised as well for the efforts of our conservation? As a country we are also embarking towards clean energy through the proposed green hydrogen project,” he noted.

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