lopes12_PIUS UTOMI EKPEIAFP via Getty Images_fossil fuel worker PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images

Helping Middle-Income Energy Exporters Kick the Fossil-Fuel Habit

Volatility in oil and gas markets has been devastating for middle-income energy exporters, which produce nearly half of the world’s oil and gas. As the world shifts to renewables, these countries must adopt strategies to ensure that the transition does not harm workers and communities.

CAPE TOWN – The ongoing volatility in oil and gas markets has come as a shock to many people across the developed world. But its impact on developing countries that rely on producing fossil fuels has been far worse.

Over time, as the world increasingly shifts to cheaper and cleaner energy sources, fossil fuels will likely become less profitable, forcing energy-exporting countries to find other sources of income. What would that mean for “middle-income” developing countries which together account for 48% and 52% of global oil and gas output, respectively?

While oil and gas have propped up the economies of countries like Nigeria, Mexico, Ghana, and Argentina over the years, dependence on them has led to a host of problems, from environmental pollution that harms public health to overreliance on fossil-fuel exports at the expense of the development of other sectors.