The Mozambican government has ruled out, for now, the possibility of giving up mining coal in the country, as part of the energy transition advocated by the United Nations to meet emission reduction targets by 2030.
This position was recently defended in Maputo by the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy (MIREME), Teodoro Vales, at a seminar entitled “Challenges and opportunities to promote an inclusive energy transition in Mozambique.
According to the News publication, MIREME explains its position by stating that coal is the largest contributor to balancing the balance of payments and a crucial source of revenue for the economy.
“There is a lot of talk about the coal renunciation. However, coal is at this time the main contributor to the balance of payments and in second place we have the heavy sands. Therefore, we cannot give up these sources from one day to the next, because it is necessary that we have conditions for that,” said Teodoro Vales.
This way, the Executive understands that the transition should always take into account the existing conditions in the country, despite its political and economic weight. In fact, it should be noted that about 60 per cent of the population still doesn’t have access to energy, besides other challenges linked to the development that Mozambique faces.
However, he assures that there are other mitigation actions underway in the context of the country’s transition, more focused on the development of non-polluting systems in the energy matrix.
In these systems, renewable energies are highlighted, including hydroelectric plants, as well as other less polluting fossil fuels, such as natural gas. The Government has also set a target of producing 600 MW of energy by 2024, of which 400 MW will be produced from natural gas and 200 MW from solar, wind and hydro.
In its turn, the Oil and Gas Chamber of Mozambique, represented by Florival Mucave, believes that the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is a global imperative.
The Chamber argues that the country should discuss the energy transition issue widely, bringing together the Government, the private sector and civil society to produce a concerted vision to take to the next summit on climate, to be held this year in Egypt.