What is Fossil Fuel and why is it a problem?
Fossil Fuels are simply materials that contain hydrocarbons formed naturally in the earth’s crust from the dead remains of dead plants and animals and can be extracted and burnt as fuel. Fossil fuels consist mainly of coal, crude oil, and natural gas.
As of 2019, 84% of the world’s primary energy consumption in the world and 64% of its electricity was produced from fossil fuels. The large-scale burning of fossil fuels causes severe damage to the environment. Over 80% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) generated by human activity comes from burning them.
Natural processes on Earth, such as photosynthesis, and absorption by the ocean, can only remove a small part of this. Therefore, there is a net increase of many billion tonnes of atmospheric carbon dioxide per year. Also, fossil fuel is a major cause of global warming and the rise in ocean levels due to the melting ice cap in arctic regions.
This whole chaotic scenario has led to movements led by activists focused on reducing their use of fossil fuel to cleaner and more renewable sources of energy such as the one MAX Ride provides.
International policy, in the form of United Nations sustainable development goals for affordable and clean energy and climate action, as well as the Paris Climate Agreement, is designed to facilitate this transition globally. In 2021, the International Energy Agency concluded that no new fossil fuel extraction projects could be opened if the global economy and society want to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and meet international goals for climate change mitigation (Source: Wikipedia)
Fossil Fuels and the effect on Africa
Crude Oil also known as Black Gold is a product of Fossil fuel and is majorly exported by countries in Africa such as Nigeria, Egypt, and Angola. Using Nigeria as a case sample, since the discovery of crude oil in Oloibiri at Bayelsa, the oil spill caused by the whole drilling process and vandalism has led to serious environmental impact and also affected the lives of neighbouring villages. Also in Mozambique, open-pit coal mining has severely harmed the health of people in local communities and led to human right abuse. This begs the question, is crude oil really sustainable for the future of Africa?
Possible Solutions and Alternative
Instead of investing more money into fossil fuel production and perpetuating the crises many African countries face (and causing more damage to the environment), we should focus more on renewable sources of energy. Renewable energy is not as costly as fossil fuel and they have little to no negative impact on the environment.
Africa could phase out fossil fuels altogether and rely on renewable energy. This transition can create more African job opportunities and empower people out of poverty.
One company in Africa has been driving the transportation space with eco-friendly solutions. MAX launched in 2015 and has expanded to various African countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, and Rwanda. MAX provides electric vehicle solutions that not only offer eco-friendly, renewable solutions but gives job opportunities to people who would like to drive with MAX. In 2021, MAX partnered with the UK government to assemble more electric vehicles. And also the project was spoken well of and applauded by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing.
Also, let’s not forget to mention some notable vehicles produced by MAX such as the MAX M3 electric two-wheeler and “MAX T1” which is a compact and comfortable three-wheeler electric vehicle with a replaceable battery and a 4KW motor-rated power that provides an enjoyable experience for the driver and passenger.
Africa is a rich continent with rich knowledge and the potential for establishing an ecologically sound economic system. Investing in renewable energy would produce a healthier, cheaper, and more ethical economic model. Adopting cleaner solutions is a step forward toward this goal and can be beneficial in long-term sustainability.