The Mozambican government has ruled out abandoning the mining of coal as part of the energy transition advocated by the United Nations in order to meet the target of reducing carbon emissions by 2030.
The government justifies this position on the grounds that coal remains a major Mozambican export and makes a crucial contribution to the balance of payments. The government argues that the energy transition must always take into account real conditions in the country.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy, Teodoro Vales, argued this position on 28 April during a seminar on "the challenges and opportunities for promoting an inclusive energy transition in Mozambique", organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).
"A lot is said about abandoning coal", said Vales. "But right now, coal is the major contributor to the balance of payments and in second place we have heavy mineral sands. So, we cannot abandon these sources from one day to the next, because the necessary conditions must be in place for us to do this".
Vales stressed that mitigation actions are underway to develop non-polluting energy generation. Among these systems are renewable energies including hydroelectric power but also less polluting fuels such as natural gas.
The government, he noted, has set an ambitious target of producing an extra 600 megawatts of power by 2024, of which 400 MW will be generated by gas-fired power stations with 200 MW from solar, wind, and hydro-electric power.