Appointment of Geoffrey Pyatt as US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources is good news for Africa (by NJ Ayuk and Jude Kearney)

DGAP-News: African Energy Chamber / Keyword(s): Miscellaneous
African Energy Chamber: Appointment of Geoffrey Pyatt as US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources is good news for Africa (by NJ Ayuk and Jude Kearney)
04.05.2022 / 12:10
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Appointment of Geoffrey Pyatt as US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources is good news for Africa (by NJ Ayuk and Jude Kearney)

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa: By NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman, African Energy Chamber (www.EnergyChamber.org) and Jude Kearney, Chairman of the United States/Africa Committee of the African Energy Chamber

President Joe Biden’s selection of Geoffrey Pyatt as his nominee for US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources is good news for Africa. The African Energy Chamber strongly supports his nomination.

Pyatt is, of course, well qualified for this important role based on an exemplary diplomatic career, including his terms as ambassador to Greece and Ukraine as well as his previous diplomatic posts. Above all, he has an in-depth knowledge of global gas policy and energy security issues. In his ambassadorial roles, he worked to advance energy security in Eastern Europe. He has always supported the broader agenda of energy independence, energy security and economic competence.

With regard to our focus on African energy issues, we believe that Pyatt’s experience will help him work with African countries to ensure a just energy transition, which will be particularly critical in the run-up to the United Nations Conference. on Climate Change 2022 (COP27). He seems to recognize that even if the global energy market is undergoing a major reorganization, countries must make energy security a priority. He demonstrated respect for a healthy energy mix that includes oil and gas as well as renewable energy, which Africa must cultivate if we are to avoid an energy transition that does more harm than good to Africans. In this regard, Pyatt has demonstrated that he understands the importance of natural gas as a gateway to a long-term renewable energy future.

We think Pyatt will understand why the African Energy Chamber has made ending energy poverty in Africa a top priority – nearly 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lack reliable electricity, 900 million people still do not have access to clean cooking technologies, with negative effects. impacts on health, especially for women and children and the environment — because he has witnessed the devastating effects of energy poverty and dependence. He most likely observed energy poverty during the early years of his diplomatic career in Honduras and when he was deputy head of mission in India in 2006 and 2007. Pyatt also lived in Vienna during the European gas crisis of 2008-2009 . He recalled vivid memories of regular reports of civilian deaths in areas of Austria that did not have enough energy to heat homes.

Additionally, Pyatt’s support of women in the energy sector speaks to its broad and informed view of the potential of our industry. He spoke about the importance of empowering more women to take on leadership roles, which is key to advancing Africa’s energy agenda. I have long been an advocate for bringing more women into our industry, and her stance on this issue is remarkable.

These are just some of the reasons why the African Energy Chamber strongly supports Pyatt’s nomination and encourages early Senate confirmation. It has shown its commitment to helping countries realize the full socio-economic benefits of a thriving oil and gas industry. It shares many of Africa’s values ​​and priorities when it comes to energy transition. He understands the issues of energy poverty and the value of gas monetization. His appointment signals a brighter future for our industry and our continent.

We can of course sometimes disagree on issues, but Geoffrey Pyatt is a solid and practical choice for this important role in the field of energy diplomacy. While many Western leaders and organizations have been lecturing and bullying Africa on how they think Africans should approach their energy transition (like not starting to phase out fossil fuels completely and seemingly all at the same time), African energy players would appreciate the opportunity to work with a Western representative who is interested in a two-way conversation. Someone who will talk to them and not just talk to them. Someone who could encourage American companies to bring their ingenuity to the task of Africa’s energy transition because America has a heritage of creating solutions as well as opportunities.

We would welcome the opportunity to work with someone who is open to considering African perspectives and priorities and developing a relationship based on mutual respect. We are optimistic that this type of dynamic will develop with Pyatt.

Distributed by APO Group for the African Energy Chamber.

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