Nigeria’s vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, has cautioned that limiting development of gas projects poses dire challenges for African nations, while making an insignificant dent in global emissions.
Osinbajo also noted that energy demand in Nigeria and across Africa is set to rise, as indeed it must, to deliver the industrialization, jobs and economy-wide progress people deserve.
The vice president was addressing the issue of defunding of gas projects, at the High-Level UN events on the Energy Transition plan in Africa with a special focus on Nigeria ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) summit in London.
The event was a closed-door session with COP26 President-Designate, Mr Alok Sharma, a cabinet rank British Minister and the Chair of the UK Government’s COP26 Energy Transition Council (ETC) at Whitehall.
The discussions which Vice President Osinbajo held with Sharma centered on the 2050 global Net-Zero emissions target and the need for the international community to align on the key elements of a just and equitable transition for all.
Osinbajo reminded that the just and ultimate goal of the global energy transition should be to achieve reliable net-zero-energy systems to power prosperous, inclusive economies.
He emphasized that Nigeria had already made a commitment to have 30 percent of electricity supply from renewables by 2030.
According to him, natural gas was being used for industry, fertilizer manufacturing, and cooking, which were more difficult to transition than power generation.
He reiterated Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to its National Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement, and had updated same in its New Energy Transition Plan.
Being the first African nation to develop an energy transition plan, Osinbajo explained that Nigeria was making efforts to use large shares of clean energy sources.