Mines and Energy Minister, Tom Alweendo, said that Namibia and other developing nations should retain the right to exploit fossil fuel resources, despite ongoing global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Alweendo said this during the Namibia-Korea Energy and Resource Business Forum held here on Monday, emphasising the importance of tapping into the substantial oil and gas reserves recently discovered offshore in the Orange River Basin.
“You’ll hear that recently we have discovered oil and gas. Although this discovery was made at a time when the energy transition discussion has reached its crescendo, we are still of the view that this is a resource that we need to exploit in such a way that it can improve our livelihood.”
“And when we say that, it is not because we are denying the fact that there is climate change. It is simply to say that the energy transition that has been talked about has to be an energy transition that is just. Just in the sense that countries that have resources such as fossil fuel should be allowed to use that resource.”
Despite acknowledging climate change concerns, Alweendo pointed out that developing countries like Namibia should not bear the sole responsibility for global warming.
“We need to transition, but especially in developing countries like ours, we always say our contribution to emissions is very minimal. Even if we were to make use of all those resources, it would not even account for one percent of the global emissions.”
Alweendo informed a South Korean business delegation that Namibia has embarked on a strategy to produce green hydrogen, stating that, “when that happens, we can also affirm that we have been contributing to the solutions to address climate change.”
Sanghoon Lee, President of the Korea Energy Agency, praised Namibia and South Korea for their unwavering commitment to energy development. He highlighted South Korea’s distinction as the first country in the world to establish a green hydrogen plant, while acknowledging Namibia’s leadership in the green hydrogen economy. He also mentioned Korea’s launch of its first large-scale green hydrogen and ammonia manufacturing pilot project last year.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency