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Senegal president opposes halting financing of fossil fuel extraction

Senegal president fears 'fatal blow' to dreams of gas wealth   -  
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Senegal's President Macky Sall on Monday firmly opposed ending financing for fossil fuel extraction, saying the move would deal "a fatal blow" to economies like the West African country.

"Just as several African countries are preparing to exploit their significant gas resources, stopping financing for the gas sector on the pretext that gas is a fossil fuel... would deal a fatal blow to our economies as they seek to emerge," Sall told a China-Africa forum meeting outside capital Dakar.

A small group of countries including the US and France agreed at the COP26 climate summit to end financing for overseas unabated fossil fuels -- those without associated carbon capture technology -- by the end of 2022.

The final declaration at COP26 also said countries would "accelerate efforts towards phase-out of unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies."

Such moves "do not take into account that gas is also and above all clean energy," Sall said.

"Blocking financing for the gas sector would add a great economic injustice to the climatic injustice Africa is already suffering more than any other continent."

Hard-up Senegal hopes that gas and oil deposits discovered off its Atlantic coast in recent years will lift its fortunes, aiming to pump the first barrels within three years.


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