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US climate envoy John Kerry last week warned African nations not to rely too heavily on natural gas in their efforts to modernize and provide electricity to millions of people.
Speaking on the sidelines of a conference of African environment ministers in Dakar, Senegal, Kerry told Reuters the gas could be used in the short term to switch to cleaner energy sources.
“We’re not saying there’s no gas,” Kerry said. “What we’re saying is that in the next few years gas will replace coal or replace oil.”
His comments tapped into a fundamental problem for Senegal and other energy-poor countries in Africa. According to the International Energy Agency, more than 600 million people – almost half of Africa’s population – lack electricity.
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Many African countries say developing their oil and gas resources is key to boosting electricity generation, fueling industries and alleviating energy poverty. Yet many developed countries, including the United States, are holding back fossil fuel investment to fulfill their promise to switch to cleaner energy by the end of the decade.
“We don’t have to rush to roll back, we have to be very careful about exactly how much we’re going to deploy, how it’s going to be paid for, over what time period and how to capture shows.” said Kerry.
President Biden appointed Kerry to lead the State Department’s global climate policy outreach shortly after taking office in January 2021. Since then, Kerry has traveled the world to United Nations climate conferences ( UN), meetings with international heads of state and the World Economic Council. Annual Meeting of the Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
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Federal data obtained by Fox News in July showed that Kerry’s family jet had emitted 300 metric tons of carbon dioxide since the start of the Biden administration.
Fox News’ Thomas Catenacci contributed to this report.