The Federal Government has called on the international community to understand defunding gas projects to achieve the global net-zero emission would be unhelpful to developing countries like Nigeria.
According to a statement issued by the government, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made the call at the High-Level United Nations event on the Energy Transition plan in Africa with a special focus on Nigeria.
He said the scaling up in the Nigerian context was based on clean energy, a reflection of the Federal Government’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, with energy consumption in developing countries doubling in the last 15 years, and expected to grow another 30 per cent in the next fifteen years.
Osinbajo stated, “It means building sustainability into our economic planning, and so our Economic Sustainability Plan, includes a plan to provide five million homes with cleaner energy through its decentralised solar power programme. This means an estimated 25 million Nigerians would have access to solar power.
“The first phase of this plan is already underway, and we think that this sort of programme will very quickly ramp up our progress towards net-zero emissions.
“This is why the international community should understand that the plan to defund gas projects in the run-up to the global net-zero emissions target would be unhelpful to developing countries like Nigeria.”
The Vice President added, “The energy access element of the transition must be linked with the emission reduction aspect of the transition. For too long, we have considered these to be parallel tracks. However, pathways to reaching net-zero by 2050 have to include first ending energy poverty by 2030.
“If energy access issues are left unaddressed, we will continue to see growing energy demand being addressed with high polluting and deforesting fuels such as diesel, kerosene and firewood.”
He said, “Nigeria has already made a commitment to have 30 per cent of our electricity supply from renewables by 2030. Also, natural gas is currently used for industry, fertiliser manufacturing, and cooking, which are more difficult to transition than power generation.”
The meeting 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 at Whitehall.