End Carbon Imperialists’ Impoverishment of Africa

By Vijay Jayaraj

When citizens in London, Vienna, and Berlin are at risk of blackouts due to energy shortages, their governments turn to coal-fired plants to rescue them. We witnessed this as the Russian gas embargo forced European states to suppress their revulsion to coal — a bit like a produce shortage causing vegans to run to steak houses.

But what about Africa? Millions of Africans are being systematically forced by the elites of Europe and North America into a future free of fossil fuels and rife with poverty. This is carbon imperialism where Western leaders, who have embraced climate superstitions, control what kind of energy people in Africa use.

Philosopher Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò calls the phenomenon climate colonialism, defining it as the “deepening or expansion of foreign domination through climate initiatives that exploit poorer nations’ resources or otherwise compromises their sovereignty.”

The story of economic success is the same regardless of where one looks: North America and Europe during the industrial era or the India and China of recent decades. In all cases, fossil fuels have been the predominant drivers behind meaningful, long-term economic development.

To expect Africa to produce the same out of thin air (literally wind technology) is to display an arrogance that denies the physical realities of generating electricity and the energy poverty of millions.

“Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest energy access rates in the world,” reports the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. “Electricity reaches only about half of its people; roughly 600 million people lack electricity and 890 million cook with traditional fuels (polluting and harmful).”

The online publication ESI Africa points out that “a kettle boiled twice a day by a family in Britain uses 5x as much electricity as a person in Mali uses per year. A Tanzanian takes 8 years to consume as much electricity as an American consumes in 1 month, while a freezer in the United States consumes 10x more electricity than a Liberian in North Africa uses in 1 year.”

Africans thus have the barest of energy supplies, far less than what is regarded as a basic convenience in rest of the world. And no end to abject poverty in sight.

The solution to Africa’s immediate energy needs and long-term economic improvement is more investment in coal, oil, and natural gas — fuels that offer reliability and affordability.

“It is through manufacturing goods, be it value addition in agriculture, high tech components, tractors, machine tools, household goods or even bread that sub-Saharan African economies will reduce poverty by supplying productive employment and enabling economic growth,” explains PD Lawton, a researcher committed to the continent’s restoration.

The International Energy Agency notes that current investments in the power sector, especially fossil fuels, is well below the required levels, though easily achievable. However, Africa, already under-financed, faces campaigns to prohibit funding of fossil-fuel projects.

Climate crusaders accomplish their objectives both through international policies and domestic measures. Internationally, carbon imperialists use devices such as the Paris Agreement to ban hydrocarbons. Further suffocating development, major funding institutes are halting the flow of funds to fossil-fuel projects. The World Bank, African Development Bank, and numerous large donor organizations in Europe have stated that they won’t finance any new such initiatives in Africa.

This is condemning African states to perpetual poverty and to dependence on pathetically unreliable renewable energy installations. At the domestic level, the climate crusade is led by environmentalists and and so-call climate-justice groups.

In South Africa for example, activists in 2021 told Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe to abandon plans to develop 1,500 megawatts of new coal-fired generation or be taken to court. Grassroot activism and propaganda are key tools of global carbon imperialists to sway public opinion.

However, more and more leaders are standing up to the imperialists. In June, Niger President Mohamed Bazoum said, “Africa is being punished by the decisions of Western countries to end public financing for foreign fossil-fuel projects by the end of 2022…We are going to continue to fight, we have fossil fuels that should be exploited.

“Let the African continent be allowed to exploit its natural resources. It is frankly unbelievable that those who have been exploiting oil and its derivatives for more than a century prevent African countries from reaping the value of their resources.”

President Bazoum is right. To use naturally available energy sources is an inalienable right of every sovereign nation. Africa’s destiny should be decided by its people.

Vijay Jayaraj is a Research Associate at the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, VA., and holds a master’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of East Anglia, UK. He resides in Bengaluru, India.

This commentary was first published by Real Clear Energy July 27, 2022

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July 28, 2022 10:17 am

I heard China is going to pick up the slack that the Greenies won’t allow other countries to do. I assume that China will basically be buying not only the natural resources but the government itself.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Brad-DXT
July 28, 2022 10:46 am


While the Green lunacy is destroying the West, China is actually giving
Africa what it wants & needs. What China is extracting for this, I don’t know
but it’s probably at least both arms & legs. The West will have to look
elsewhere for their much needed & plentiful natural resources.

Reply to  Brad-DXT
July 28, 2022 2:01 pm

China will colonize Africa and wipe out the locals.

Reply to  GeronL
July 28, 2022 7:52 pm

That is already in hand.

Reply to  GeronL
July 29, 2022 5:43 am

I doubt China has any interest in colonizing Africa. They have an old population that is on the brink of cratering due to an upside-down age distribution and low birth rates (their population is projected to decline by nearly 50% by 2100). They don’t need more Lebensraum.

What they do need is oodles of natural resources to feed their manufacturing base and client states to manage those resources. It’s the same move European empires pulled in the 19th century before WWI and WWII ended their imperial ambitions.

July 28, 2022 10:28 am

China and Russia will come to the rescue with coal power plants and coal mines.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
July 28, 2022 1:25 pm

China and Russia will most likely mainly extract those resources for use as the Chinese and Russians see fit. In country projects will most likely be covers for the raiding and looting.

Reply to  AndyHce
July 29, 2022 5:48 am

To a degree, certainly. But providing infrastructure wouldn’t just benefit the population. It would also benefit the efficiency of their extraction operations. You need roads and rail and electricity and pipelines and ports if you want to run a high-output mining/drilling and export operation.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
July 28, 2022 2:01 pm

“rescue” in their own interests, not the interests of the locals

Reply to  ResourceGuy
August 1, 2022 1:20 pm

Coal which they will buy from the West, I suppose.

July 28, 2022 10:30 am

They will still have their photo op demonstration projects built by NGOs to feel good but the heavy lifting will be done by China.

July 28, 2022 10:36 am

Remember to turn back on the reliable power after the NGO publicists have departed.

Andy Pattullo
July 28, 2022 10:52 am

Lysenko under Stalinist USSR engineered a collapse of domestic agriculture by imposing his own fabricated view of agricultural “science” that had no real world evidentiary support. He added many millions to those that perished from famine in an already difficult period for soviet agriculture. Mao in China, during the “Great Leap Forward”, adopted those same practices and sent 30-40 million or more of his own people to their early graves from starvation.

Now the so-called environmentalists of the Western wealthy nations who, at their heart, appear to abhor the presence of fellow humans on our shared planet, have hatched a plan that will dwarf the efforts of Stalin, Lysenko and Mao by orders of magnitude. At it’s worst, the present plan to prevent Africa and other underdeveloped countries from accessing their own resources and the cheap reliable energy needed for development, could carry a death toll over a billion or more.

This is the most evil plot humankind has seen and yet the leaders of wealthy western democracies stand behind it proudly and claim to be saving the planet. Every one of them must be named and shamed as the vilest of hypocrites and the enemy of human society. They can’t use the excuse of saving the environment either. Every one of their solutions to “Climate Change/Global Warming” has a huge energy, CO2, land, financial and mineral resource demand that will devastate the environment and turn much of the protected wild lands and ocean into useless wind farms, solar installations or inefficient “organic” crop lands. The only benefit will be to the promoters of this travesty who pocket more and more wealth at every step.

Not only is this movement completely wrong headed, evil and the opposite of progress for both humanity and the planet, but it is entirely unnecessary. No objective review of the evidence supports any significant concern about dangerous climate change driven by human activity. But the outcome of this movement would lead to 8 billion people trying to survive, feed themselves, shelter and protect their families without the benefit of modern social structures and services. That will mean that every scrap of protein becomes food and natural species will be decimated; every scrap of vegetative material will be fuel and our forests and grasslands will be destroyed; every other human will be a competitor for the last remaining resources till conflict and death become the norm of everyday life.

The elite who seem to imagine themselves surviving in a pristine world devoid of inconvenient “peasants” and with unlimited personal resources are fooling themselves as well as everyone else. Most likely they will be the first to go when the rest of us discover what they have done. Finally the old scare of “population explosion” is also not a justification. As cheap reliable energy allows nations to develop they naturally reach a stage of social maturity where family size and fertility are intentionally reduced. Most developed nations with ample reliable energy are there now. Demographers tell us already that human population growth will naturally end about mid century and thereafter the population will begin a slow contraction.

If we only choose to do the right thing, which is the opposite of what Club of Rome, WEF, UN, EU, World Bank, Blackrock, progressive liberal politicos, a large majority of “academics”, and almost every large environmental organization are proposing, we can all develop together, while lessening our footprint on the natural systems of earth and building a society of peace, creativity and intelligence like never seen before. If only.

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
July 28, 2022 11:01 am

I worked with a Chinese scholar whose grandfather was shot for stealing food during the ‘great leap forward’. So it was not just starvation alone that ended their lives.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  ResourceGuy
July 28, 2022 12:09 pm

Agreed. It was a multifactorial calamity but almost entirely engineered by “progressive – thinking” communist party planners. The parallels with what is happening now are unmistakable.

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
July 28, 2022 4:38 pm

Central planning is a favorite tool of leftists, liberals, autocrats, and dictators. It generally has no or few workarounds when there is a supply chain failure….whereas profit motive means many people correct and supervise the supply chain on every level so that they have more customers who receive what they were willing to pay for even if the chain has flaws.

Shooting farmers for not turning over their crops instead of paying them a reasonable market value was very normal treatment by Stalin during Holodomor, and Mao during the Great Leap forward. Mass Firing squads are virtually a standard methodology at some point in countries whose politicians believe that their centrally planned goals are the best way. Many people die before they succeed by allowing people to earn an income…

Indur Goklany
Reply to  ResourceGuy
July 28, 2022 6:20 pm

Starvation may not have been the proximate cause but it set off the chain of events causing the grandfather’s shooting.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
July 28, 2022 11:17 am

IIRC, Mao had seen high-grade Soviet steel production & wanted to recreate
that in China. He diverted millions of farmers to work building local primitive furnaces. He also smelted a lot of the small farm tools to use as feedstock
for the mills. So when the drought hit, they had fewer tools to harvest the
crops, making the situation much worse. To top it off, little of the iron
produced was even usable.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  Old Man Winter
July 28, 2022 12:11 pm

And he took the educated who knew better and tossed them into reeducation camps and manual labour allowing people with no knowledge of how to produce to control the means of production. We’ve filled a large proportion of our leadership and administrative posts in the Western world with similarly unintelligent progressive thinkers who bring calamity with every decision they make.

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
August 1, 2022 1:23 pm

Such as the current crop of ‘leaders’ in DC?

Indur Goklany
Reply to  Old Man Winter
July 28, 2022 6:27 pm

If you haven’t already, you should read Jasper Becker’s Hungry Ghosts. Great but very depressing book on the Great Chinese Famine, 1958-61.

alastair gray
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
July 28, 2022 12:04 pm

I could not have put it better myself but alas the gadarene swine are not listening as they head for the cliff. Pray for a cold winter to sweep away government folly

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  alastair gray
July 28, 2022 12:14 pm

Though what I wrote is highly depressing, I remain an optimist in the sense that people will ultimately revolt. When they see the good life they’ve come to enjoy being taken away or, in the case of those living in underdeveloped nations, when the see the well-off refusing them the same opportunities to advance, people will rise up and remove the idiots who are destroying their future.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
July 29, 2022 10:29 am

Andy, while I agree with your optimism, I’m also sure that these “leaders” will blame all the negative consequences of their idiotic policies on “global warming” and/or “right wing extremists”. The open question is: how many people will believe them? If there are not enough people that recognize the craven lies for what they are, then we may be consigned to a future of famine, disease, and war on a scale never seen before.

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
August 1, 2022 1:26 pm

History will back you up on that, Andy! It seems that the Left never learned that lesson in their Marxist schools! “THIS time it will work, I promise!”

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
July 28, 2022 7:53 pm

Indeed, current trial runs in Sri Lanka and the Netherlands.

Steve Case
July 28, 2022 11:52 am

Here’s the Reuters story from last November.

Reply to  Steve Case
July 28, 2022 7:57 pm

They didn’t need to do that, the rampant corruption and outright funding theft by their bureaucrats and politicians would have achieved that with little effort.

July 28, 2022 1:01 pm

The Ukraine war is causing a weakening in western control over Africa and other non-western parts on the world.

July 28, 2022 1:12 pm

When citizens in London, Vienna, and Berlin are at risk of blackouts due to energy shortages, their governments will tell them it’s for the good of the planet

It’s not about security, it’s about net zero

Coeur de Lion
July 28, 2022 1:16 pm

Everybody is going to be sorry when the impoverishment birth rate. ( everywhere else in the globe under control) produces uncontainable northward emigration. As forecast by Rosling.

Reply to  Coeur de Lion
July 29, 2022 8:09 am

The west is offshoring childbirth

Michael in Dublin
July 28, 2022 4:55 pm

Here is some comparative data.
This puts CO2 emissions into perspective.
This shows why the EU and USA should not be pushing their green lunacy on Africa.

China 32.48%
USA 12.61%
EU 07.29% (EU27)
India 06.71%
Africa 03.92%

The population of China, India and Africa are all just over 1.4 billion.

Stats from EDGAR 2020 (Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research)

July 28, 2022 5:16 pm

Yet another example of the green movement/eco-nuts killing people. Another big one is the banning of DDT which is still killing Africans by denying the best anti malaria measures. Now they are trying to shut off our food supply with their war on nitrogen fertilizer.
These people are extremely dangerous mass murders.

Old Nick
Reply to  JimK
July 29, 2022 12:59 am

“These people are extremely dangerous mass murders.”

May be, but they are approved by “The System”..

July 29, 2022 4:53 am

Í agree completely- an excellent article on Carbon Imperialism.

Recently posted – excerpt:
GOLDSTEIN: Stop taking Trudeau’s farcical climate targets seriously | Toronto Sun

Four barrels of oil is energy-equivalent to a lifetime of hard labor. That is what modern primary energy does for us, and ~85% of modern primary energy is fossil fuels – oil, coal, and natural gas. Most of the rest is hydro and nuclear, and only a few percent is wind and solar, despite trillions of dollars of squandered subsidies. Green energy schemes and the alleged fossil-fuel-driven global warming crisis are scientific and technical falsehoods. See https://CorrectPredictions.ca/
The promotion of green energy in the developed world has hugely increased costs and destabilized electrical grids – it is a proven energy debacle, as we correctly predicted 20 years ago, Germany, Britain and others are now paying the price for their climate-and-energy foolishness. The deliberate curtailment of fossil fuels in the developing nations was even more criminal, denying modern energy to poor nations and thus keeping them poor. The greens are guilty of deliberate crimes against humanity. The IPCC’s climate falsehoods have cost trillions of squandered dollars and millions of wasted lives.

Walter Sobchak
July 31, 2022 1:33 pm

As I have often said Warmunism is the last socially acceptable form of racism.

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