Vice President of Nigeria Yemi Osinbajo Kick Against total ban on Fossils fuel

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 Global energy transition must be inclusive, equitable and just, taking into account the different realities of various economies and accommodating various pathways to net-zero by 2050.

This is important for two reasons: First, the Paris Agreement which highlights the role just energy transition plays in sustainable development, and second, an ongoing ban pushed by wealthy nations and institutions on public investment in fossils including natural gas.

While some organizations such as the AfDB understand the importance of fossil investments, they are facing pressures to end it. A move that does not take into account the principles of common enshrined into global treaties around sustainable development and climate action.

But to understand this move and the case for equity in energy transition, we must look at the numbers. Excluding South Africa, the remaining 1 billion people in sub-Saharan Africa depend on 81 GW which has contributed less than 1% of cumulative CO2 emissions.

Energy poor countries like ours emit low quantities of CO2 in comparison to the US and Europe. Also, these foreign countries develop gas in African countries for export while limiting financing to gas projects for domestic use. So what is the case for social justice and fairness?

What is often not sufficiently considered in the transition to net zero emission is the critical role energy plays in catalyzing the economic development of poorer countries from its use industrialization and manufacturing, to basic things such as cooking.

In Nigeria, there is a transition from petrol to natural gas, as well as the gradual replacement of charcoal and kerosene cookstives with LPG. However, if financing is constrained, it could set back the progress we’ve made.

We also witnessing a dramatic mismatch in energy investments. High income countries who hold 15% of the world’s population receive 40% of global energy investment, while other countries, home to 40% of the world’s population receive just 15%.

With energy consumption doubling in this low income countries, it is important that we are not left behind. LPG-based policies and programs guarantee clean cooking solutions by 2030, however, an investment of $4.4b is needed annually till 2030.

While Nigeria remains committed to a net-zero future, we must all on a global scale, link the energy access part of the transition to the emission reduction aspect. To reach net-zero by 2050, we must first end energy poverty by 2030.

But we also look to developed countries, the private sector, and development agencies to recognise the potential that a just and clean energy transition can bring to the development of our continent, and other developing regions. We hope to work jointly towards common goals including the market and environmental opportunity presented by the financing of clean energy assets in growing energy markets.

On our own part, we have also developed the Solar Naija Programme under the Economic Sustainability Plan, which aims to connect 25 million people to power by 2023. As we believe in the power of off-grid renewables to close the energy gap in Nigeria and Africa.

We keenly look forward to working with UN in highlighting opportunities present in the clean energy sector, and also to draw the attention of developed countries, the private sector and development agencies to these opportunities.

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