The Federal Republic of Nigeria has called on the Commonwealth of Nations to support African countries in achieving a just transition to net-zero emissions.
The President, Muhammadu Buhari, made the call at a meeting of the Africa Regional Heads of Government of Commonwealth.
Buhari, who spoke through Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said the call became necessary given the fact that natural gas had been accepted as a transition fuel.
In a statement on Thursday by Osinbajo’s media aide, Laolu Akande, the President was quoted as saying, “Unfortunately, what we are seeing is the move towards defunding of natural gas projects by the European Union, and the World Bank has also indicated that natural gas projects would be defunded.
“Now, this obviously would put countries, such as ours, in a very dire situation and make the transition extremely difficult for us. We are focused on trying to ensure that our gas projects replace coal and fuels.”
According to him, an end to international funding for gas, as a fossil fuel, could create dire challenges for gas-producing countries, especially in Africa.
The President, who noted that Nigeria was already transiting from Premium Motor Spirit to natural gas, said the country backed the goal of the Commonwealth in outlining responsible transition pathways to decarbonise and achieve net and negative zero emissions.
“We have the goal of installing solar systems in about five million homes, which means that 25 million Nigerians would have access to solar power. This is under our Economic Sustainability Plan. This is the first phase, and we think that this sort of programme will very quickly ramp up our progress towards zero emission.
“We also have our Natural Gas Expansion Programme. This is where we use Compressed Natural Gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas to replace the use of petrol, and this is going on. We are actually trying to fit and retrofit existing petrol stations, so that the use of cleaner fossil fuels will replace it,” he stated.
Buhari maintained that the country was committed to the Paris Agreement and would support all actions to ensure zero emissions.
He reiterated that the country was also committed to improving access to affordable, reliable energy and transiting to the use of cleaner energy, in line with the global target of net-zero emissions.
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