(Bloomberg) -- Kenya’s President William Ruto, who took office last month, urged Africa to embrace renewable energy, breaking ranks with continental peers that are pressing ahead with plans to develop natural gas resources. 

In order to boost energy generation from renewable sources and to adapt to a warming climate, Africa will need funding and technology from the rich world, Ruto said in an opinion piece in the UK’s Guardian newspaper on Tuesday. Unlike many African countries, Kenya already derives 92% of its energy from renewable sources and aims to increase that to 100% by 2030, Ruto said, referring to the country’s geothermal, wind and solar plants.

“We do not need to destroy the climate to prosper,” he said. “Rather than trudging in the fossil-fuel footsteps of those who went before, we can leapfrog this dirty energy.”

Ruto’s call to arms comes as Senegal, Tanzania and Mozambique rush to develop gas-fields off their coast and South Africa looks to develop its own fields and import the fossil fuel as it struggles with an energy shortage. African leaders have repeatedly insisted at international forums that as a continent that’s barely contributed to historical greenhouse gas emissions it should be allowed to develop its fossil fuel resources.

Unlike Kenya, many African countries rely on fossil fuels for power. South Africa depends on coal for more than 80% of its energy, Senegal generates power from diesel and coal and diesel generators are common across Nigeria.

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