Russian war on Ukraine triggers conflict over ECAs and African oil

(ECA Watch, Ottawa, 30 June 2022) Sanctions on Russian fossil fuel exports have generated conflict over ECA support for African fossil fuel development. Existing ECA African projects include, for example, UKEF's reluctance to end discussion of Mozambique's LNG project, JIBC's talks with Kuweit's state oil company and innumerable others. The Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change report called out commercial banks and export credit agencies for the role they are still playing in financing fossil fuel investments. Adding to this pressure, Mary Robinson, ex-UN climate envoy, now says Africa's need for energy is so great it should be able to widely exploit its fossil fuel deposits.  Some back the idea that African gas can be exploited while the EU and developed countries find green alternatives. Others see an African dash for gas as a potential disaster. Nnimmo Bassey and Anabela Lemos state that “far from generating prosperity and stability in sub-Saharan Africa, investments in fossil fuels cause real harm,” noting “Decades of fossil fuel development have failed to deliver energy to much of the continent and have built economic models dependent on extraction that have deepened inequality, caused environmental damage, stoked corruption, and encouraged political repression.”