Looking to secure funding partners for a $2.5-billion plant to produce synthetic fuels from coal, Botswana believes it can tap its extensive coal resources, following Sasol’s model in South Africa, according to Bloomberg.
“Look at Europe, who are sending vessels coming down to Africa to get coal,” Botswana Minerals and Energy Minister Lefoko Moagi said, adding that a quick transition away from fossil fuels isn’t practical.
“There’s no moving away just like that,” he said. “People have to live.”
Botswana’s view echoes a common argument in Africa against foreign financiers who shun funding for its projects that involve fossil fuels even though the continent is only responsible for about 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, regions of Africa offer some of the best conditions for clean energy including solar and geothermal technologies.
“You have to balance between cleaner technologies, between ensuring that the carbon emissions are reduced, but it can’t just be a clean sweep,” Moagi said.