Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says any attempt to limit gas development projects in the bid to achieve Net-Zero Emissions will suffocate the economic plans and development of developing countries like Nigeria.
The Vice President said this on Friday during different meetings at the High-Level United Nations event on the Energy Transition plan in Africa with special focus on Nigeria, holding in London, the United Kingdom (UK).
Osinbajo, in a statement issued Saturday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, said Nigeria is already making efforts to use large shares of clean energy sources in its commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
He, however, said the international community needed to 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 meetings included 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.
Then an interaction with the academic community at Imperial College followed by meetings of the Global Energy Alliance and presentations on the Nigeria Energy Transition Plan and Nigeria’s Integrated Energy Plan.
Prof. Osinbajo observed at Imperial College that Africa as a continent is home to the world’s youngest fastest growing population and in order to create jobs and enable climate-smart industrialization, “the scale and quality of electricity services must increase significantly.”
On current energy consumption patterns globally, he said “energy consumption in developing countries has doubled in the last 15 years, and is expected to grow another 30% in the next fifteen years. So, making capital available to fulfil the growing energy demand in these regions of the world is central to reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement.”
He highlighted the disparity in global energy investments, noting that “while representing just 15% of the world’s population, high income countries received 40% of global energy investment in 2018. Conversely, developing countries with 40% of the world’s population received just 15% of global energy investments.”
Osinbajo said Nigeria is about the first African country that has developed an energy transition plan that seeks to demonstrate its commitment to the global net -zero emissions.