The climate cult group known as Extinction Rebellion is now taking its city-shutdown antics to the Middle East.

Off-shoots of the group that advocates peaceful protest as a way to pile on pressure to curb global warming are sprouting from Beirut to Doha, as activists in the oil-rich region want governments to ditch fossil fuels for renewable energy sources.

“Governments are not going to do anything unless they see that people themselves want that change – that’s how any movement starts,” said Iman, a member of the newly formed Extinction Rebellion (XR) group in Qatar who declined to give her full name for security reasons.

“There’s a very large number of Qataris who are very passionate about sustainability and who want to see change implemented but they also acknowledge the challenges to it – whether that be political or simply cultural,” she said.

However, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties (OPEC), many of which include those Middle Eastern, are pushing back against the climate crisis movement. The oil producer’s group is now aggressively promoting its claim to be a key provider of affordable energy in the developing world….the “poor and oppressed” that activists often claim they are helping with their protests.

To bolster its case, the organization on Tuesday released its latest annual World Oil Outlook, forecasting that global oil producers would need to pump 12% more oil in 2040 from current levels to meet expected demand of 110.6 million b/d.

…”What is clear is that the world will need a great deal more energy in the decades to come,” OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo said in the foreword to the report. “We also believe that the oil industry must be part of the solution to the climate change challenge.”

As such, the outlook, which attempts to take into account policy and technological developments, serves as OPEC’s roadmap for “a possible pathway for oil and energy in the future.” Banning oil and gas development, as some environmental campaigners have championed, would ignore the reality of rising energy demand, driven by population growth and global economic expansion, OPEC said.

To highlight the new pushback, protesters demonstrating against Africa’s Oil Week were recently in front of South Africa’s Cape Town International Convention Centre, spreading fake oil on the ground and demanding an end to fossil fuels.

They were met with nothing but disdain by the event’s participants.

“Under no circumstances are we going to be apologising,” said Gabriel Obiang Lima, energy minister of Equatorial Guinea, adding that they need to exploit those resources to create jobs and boost economic development.

“Anybody out of the continent saying we should not develop those fields, that is criminal. It is very unfair.”

The tension keenly felt at oil conferences in Europe was largely absent over the three-day event in Cape Town; there was little focus on climate change, apart from the shadow renewables cast over long-term demand.

It is good to see that some regions of the globe seem to remain free of green justice insanity. Let’s hope we can import some of this attitude from the Africans.


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