13 Dec 2022, 13:46
Julian Wettengel

Civil society alliance calls on German govt to abandon plans to support gas project in Senegal

Clean Energy Wire

An alliance of civil society organisations including Fridays for Future, Germanwatch and Misereor has called on the government to abandon plans to support natural gas production in the western African country of Senegal. Ahead of a board meeting of the state-owned development bank KfW on 15 December, at which new rules for financing oil and gas projects could be decided, the so-called Senegal-Germany People’s Alliance for Climate Justice has said that support for such fossil fuel projects is not in line with climate targets. “In our assessment, a serious examination would show that the gas from Senegal endangers the 1.5 degree limit and that it is not necessary for Germany's energy security if we wish to accelerate the energy transition and become more energy efficient,” said Christoph Bals, policy director at Germanwatch.

The NGO Environmental Action Germany (DUH) earlier said that draft KfW guidelines for the project’s financing in the power generation sector would allow for financing of oil and gas pipelines, LNG terminals and tankers, as well as ships for laying pipelines. These could be adopted at a board meeting this week. DUH published parts of the draft rules on its website.

German officials ahead of the 2022 UN climate change conference COP27 reiterated that public support for new gas projects overseas should be possible, as long as they are in line with overall climate commitments. Germany signed the pledge at last year’s COP26 in Glasgow to end foreign fossil fuel financing by the end of 2022 with very limited exceptions. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been pushing to allow support of foreign fossil fuel projects, and included a sentence on cooperating with potential partner countries in its 200-billion-euro support package plan. Scholz secured an agreement among G7 leaders at their summit in Bavaria earlier this year, which opened the door to public gas sector support that is “consistent with climate objectives.” Scholz’s government reportedly tried to agree similar wording at a recent meeting of EU heads of state and government, but failed. Plans to support Senegal’s gas projects have come under fire.

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