Nigeria reaffirms commitment to transition to net zero emissions




By Chijioke Okoronkwo

President Muhammadu Buhari reiterated Nigeria‘s commitment to improve access to affordable and reliable energy and switch to cleaner energy use, in line with the global net zero emissions target.

Net-Zero means that new emissions have not been added to the atmosphere.

The president made the pledge through Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo during a virtual roundtable of African Commonwealth regional heads of government on Thursday, a statement said in Abuja by senior special assistant Laolu Akande. on media and advertising of the vice president.

Buhari warned, however, that ending international financing of gas, as a fossil fuel, would create dire challenges for gas-producing countries, especially in Africa.

The president said Nigeria was already moving from gasoline – Premium Motor Spirit – to natural gas, more or less accepted as a transitional fuel, the bridge to renewable energy.

According to Buhari, Nigeria supports the Commonwealth’s goal by outlining responsible transition pathways to decarbonize and achieve net and negative zero emissions.

He highlighted his administration’s efforts, through its economic sustainability plan, to provide 5 million homes with cleaner energy through its solar power program, as well as the natural gas expansion program.

“We aim to install solar home systems in around 5 million homes, which means 25 million Nigerians would have access to solar power.

“It’s part of our economic sustainability plan. This is the first phase, and we believe that this type of program will very quickly accelerate our progress towards zero emissions.

“We also have our natural gas expansion program, this is where we use compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), to replace the use of petroleum, and this continues today. . We’re actually trying to install and upgrade existing gas stations, so the use of cleaner fossil fuels will replace them.

“We hope to be able to achieve this goal as quickly as possible.

“We are therefore resolutely committed to all our national contributions to development within the framework of all our agreements, the Paris Agreement, and we will support all actions undertaken in the direction of zero emissions.”

Buhari called on the Commonwealth to consider ways to help African countries achieve a just transition to net zero emissions, especially as natural gas has been accepted as a transitional fuel.

“But unfortunately what we are seeing is the move towards non-funding of natural gas projects by the EU, and the World Bank has also indicated that natural gas projects will be unfunded.

“Now that would obviously put countries, like ours, in a very difficult situation and make the transition extremely difficult for us. What we’re trying to do is make sure our gas projects replace coal and fuels. “

While calling for more support and cooperation from the Commonwealth, the President added that Nigeria remains committed to all of its contributions to national development under all of its agreements.

He said Nigeria was committed to the Paris Agreement and would support all steps taken towards zero emissions.

The Prince of Wales had called for a series of roundtables to find the best way for the Commonwealth to maintain a leading position on the global climate change action agenda and post-COVID stimulus packages.

The meeting also discussed the economic recovery and sustainable economic transition priorities of member states.

Previously, Buhari reiterated the condolences of the Nigerian government and people on the recent passing of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, saying: “He was much loved and admired here in Nigeria.”

The president prayed that his memory would always be blessed.

Other African leaders present at the summit included the presidents of Rwanda, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Botswana and The Gambia. Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland was also at the meeting (NAN)


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