President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Glasgow, Scotland, pledged that Nigeria would cut its carbon greenhouse gases emission to net zero by 2060.
Delivering his speech at COP26 Leaders’ Summit, the President, in a statement by Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said that attaining national and global climate change goals will require adequate and sustained technical and financial support to developing countries.
He said greater effort should be channelled towards assisting developing nations to meet their ‘‘Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) commitments through the pledges made by the developed countries to provide at least $100 billion yearly.’’
President Buhari noted that easier access to climate finance had become imperative in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, which really battered the economies of developing countries.
‘‘I do not think anyone in Nigeria needs persuading about the need for urgent action on the environment. Desertification in the North, floods in the centre, pollution and erosion on the coasts are enough evidence.
‘‘For Nigeria, climate change is not about the perils of tomorrow, but what is happening today. Nigeria is committed to net zero by 2060.’’
Making a case for gas-based energy transition in Nigeria, President Buhari requested international partners to finance projects using transition fuels such as gas in Nigeria.
‘‘Parties to the Paris Agreement are expected to transition from fossil fuel to clean energy and reach a Net Zero ambition for greenhouse gases emission.
‘‘Nigeria is actually more of a gas than an oil producing country. Consequently, I am requesting financing of projects using transition fuels, such as gas.
‘‘Nigeria has energy challenges for which, we believe, gas can be used to balance a renewable energy-based system, be it wind or sun. This would enable us launch the long-term renewable energy infrastructure procurements and investments needed to have a sustainable energy supply.’’
Acknowledging that net zero ambition can lead to economic transformation across all sectors, Buhari said it would require critical infrastructure to be put in place.
President Buhari also told the COP26 Leaders’ Summit that Nigeria had developed a detailed energy transition plan and roadmap based on data and evidence.
He explained that the plan has highlighted some key facts that force difficult conversations.
‘‘Our transition plan also highlights the key role that gas will play in transitioning our economy across sectors, and the data and evidence show that Nigeria can continue to use gas until 2040 without detracting from the goals of the Paris Agreement.
‘‘Gas will be key for addressing the clean cooking challenge, which is also a challenge of deforestation, and for giving our electric grid the stability and flexibility to integrate renewables at scale. Nigeria will need to integrate an unprecedented 7GW additional renewable capacity each year to achieve net-zero,’’ he said.
On energy access, President Buhari declared that Nigeria’s commitment to a just transition is reflected in ‘‘our ambitious Energy Compact, which includes the government’s flagship project to electrify five million households and 25 million people using decentralised solar energy solutions.’’
He described the project as a major first step towards closing the energy access deficit in the country by 2030.
On green projects in the county, the president declared that the federal government agencies had been directed to ensure the inclusion of projects with Climate Change credentials in the budget.
‘‘I am happy to state that the 2022 budget, which I recently submitted to our National Assembly, is the first cross-sectoral, gender and climate-responsive budget ever prepared in the annals of our history,” he said.
The president announced that the National Assembly had also passed the Climate Change Bill, which provides a framework for achieving low greenhouse gas emissions, inclusive green growth and sustainable economic development.
President Buhari concluded his address with a note of caution, saying: ‘‘The outcome of this Conference must result in quick resolution of all outstanding issues pertaining to the finalisation of the Paris Agreement Rulebook, Adaptation, Mitigation, Finance, Article 6 and Loss and Damage.’’