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Uganda’s Oil Drilling a Major Environmental Blow

Uganda has launched its first oil drilling programme after it discovered crude reserves estimated at 6.5 billion barrels, with 1.4 billion recoverable nearly two decades ago in the western region in the Lake Albertine basin, Kingfisher and Tilenga oilfields.

But experts warn that fossil fuels must stay in the ground in order to prevent the worst effects of the climate emergency and putting at risk the goal of curbing global warming to a 1.5 degrees increase from pre-industrial levels.

Africa is rich in clean energy sources, such as sun and wind, but despite this abundant sunshine, ideal for renewable energy production, the continent relies heavily on crude oil. The continent also contributes the least to global warming and has the lowest total greenhouse gas emissions but remains the most vulnerable continent, facing systemic risks to infrastructure, water and food systems, public health, and livelihoods, that threaten to undo development gains and increase levels of extreme poverty. This has also prevented African countries from achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly in the areas of poverty, health, climate, and economic growth.