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Business News of Saturday, 18 June 2022


Nigeria will adopt long term strategy to lessen use of fossil fuels - Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has hinted that Nigeria would adopt a long-term low-emissions development strategy to lessen the use of fossil fuels in the country.

He also disclosed that the government has set a target of 2050 for the elimination of kerosine lighting, increased bus transits and reduction in burning of crop residues.

Speaking yesterday at a virtual meeting, hosted by President Joe Biden of the United States, on Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate Change (MEF), President Buhari told the meeting that he approved Nigeria’s Sustainable Energy for All Action Agenda in 2016, which has a target of almost tripling generation capacity in the next decade, to reach a total of 30 Gigawatt by 2030.

According to him, 30 per cent of it would be generated from renewable resources, with almost half of this provided by medium and large hydro.

“The Clean Energy Transport Scheme in major Nigerian cities involves the introduction of compressed natural gas for buses in public transport,” he said.

The President noted that the country was aware that its heavy dependence on fossil fuel made the nation especially vulnerable in a world that has a target to reduce or even eliminate fossil fuel as a key driver of the global economy noting that a number of countries were already setting bans on the sale of oil consuming Internal Combustion Engine vehicles.

“However, Nigeria is also aware that short-term response to the transition from fossil fuel to clean energy may jeopardise our economic growth. As a result, we intend to use the Long-Term Low-Emissions Development Strategy as our transition process.”

He explained that the Long-Term Low-Emissions Development Strategy provides Nigeria the pathway to carefully assess the opportunities that might arise in terms of a cleaner, more dynamic, and more sustainable growth model.

According to him, achieving a climate-neutral economy by 2050 would require progressively phasing out or profoundly changing the country’s carbon-intensive industries, which would be particularly challenging and require a well-managed transition through effective visioning and full financial support from partners.

“Nigeria is ready to partner with countries and relevant stakeholders to achieve the goals of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and objectives of the Paris Agreement, while combining both local and international solutions in its quest to mitigate the challenges of climate change and adapting to the realities of the catastrophic environmental destruction facing our world,’’ he assured.

The President thanked President Biden for convening the important event which remains crucial to the well-being of national economies as well as the continued existence of all people on the planet.

He also appreciated other members of the Major Economies Forum for Energy and Climate Change for their commitment to climate action, particularly the consensus on the deployment of clean energy technologies at the lowest possible cost and the establishment of the Global Partnership to drive transformational progress across the globe.

According to him, “It is our fervent hope and expectation that the partnership will be vigorously pursued in order to mitigate the consequential adversities of climate change on our environment.

“Your Excellencies, the bad effects of climate change are disastrous to humanity, considering the magnitude of environmental destruction and its negative impacts on our respective countries.

“In Nigeria, we have witnessed several environmental challenges including creeping land degradation, desertification and drought in the northern part, wanton deforestation, land encroachment, invasion of coastal lines, biodiversity loss, flooding and coastal erosion in the Southern region of our country.

“These developments reinforce Nigeria’s commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change geared towards the stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic consequences and to the rules of the 2015 Paris Agreement.”

President Buhari said he had already signed the Nigerian Climate Change Bill on November 18, 2021, in fulfilment of Nigeria’s commitment to the Glasgow Climate Pact.

According to the President, “The Climate Change Act provides a legal framework for achieving low Greenhouse Gas emissions while ensuring green and sustainable economic growth.

“The Act will support and enable the implementation of national climate actions, including accessing climate finance and carbon trading that will enable a reduction in greenhouse gases that are contributory factors to climate change and its attendant effects."

The virtual summit was addressed by no fewer than 20 Presidents and Prime Ministers or their representatives, and those who personally did so included the host, President Biden, President Buhari, the German Chancellor, the President of Turkey, Prime Ministers of Japan and Canada as well as the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the President of the European Commission.