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Nigeria restates commitment to ending gas flaring, seeks alternative energy investment

Nigeria has reaffirmed its commitment to ending gas flaring in line with the global thrust to stop methane emission.

President Bola Tinubu
President Bola Tinubu with world leaders at COP28 in Dubai

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu made the declaration on Saturday, December 2, 2023, at the ongoing United Nations Climate Conference (COP28) summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The President, who shared the platform with the President of COP28, Dr Sultan Ahmed al-Jabar; the United States Special Envoy on Climate, John Kerry; and the Chinese Envoy on Climate, Xie Zhenhue, told the world that Nigeria has already imposed a heavy penalty for defaulters.

Applauding the leadership of the host country in the drive to reduce greenhouse gases, the President said he was aware of the need for participants to make commitments to the goal of limiting the earth’s temperature increase to 1.5C by the end of the century.

“Sitting here in this room, I know that we have to commit ourselves. We have been doing so before today. We are committed to critical steps to reduce methane emissions by ensuring gas flaring is eliminated. There is a huge penalty for that. There is equally a huge incentive to do so.

“The measures that are taken here are a welcome development, no doubt about that. I am with the leadership of the UAE for the commitment shown so far.

“We are consolidating on gas export, usage domestically and export to other countries. I can assure you that we will be partners in progress to achieve renewable energy.

“We are committed to the energy mix; we are providing cooking gas for our large population. We will continue to do that.

“We have signed off on the reduction of methane. We will leverage new technology and we hope that the two giant nations and the Emirates will be able to help us,” the Nigerian leader added.

President Tinubu called the World Powers to action, the US and China specifically urging them to take responsibility for greenhouse emissions.

The Nigerian Leader added that the earth needs urgent healing.

While expressing delight that both countries were present at the summit, he said: “What I know of Africa is the fact that de-risking in additional investment and technological knowhow is very necessary and the largest economies that have benefitted immensely should do more real fast because the earth needs healing and needs more attention.”

Speaking earlier, Sultan al-Jabar stressed that the efforts being made prove that success is possible in the objective of limiting the earth’s temperature.

He observed that the elimination of all CO2 gases could be done with the necessary cooperation and hard work on the part of the countries.

In his remark, John Kerry announced that over $1 billion in new grant funding has been mobilised since COP27 in Sharm el-Shiekh, Egypt.

He applauded more financial commitments recorded in COP28 from other nations, saying that more countries have made methane pledge endorsements.

“Earlier today, the United States finalised standards to sharply reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations. Those efforts will achieve a nearly 80% reduction and is planning a rule-making review.

“We, the United States, are planning a rulemaking review on methane emission standards for landfills. The United States and the European Union launched a global methane pledge two years ago in Glasgow, with 100 countries joining.

“At COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, we were able to grow the list of endorsements to 150 countries. And I’m pleased today to announce a new global methane pledge endorsements from Angola, Kenya and Romania. And I’m particularly excited that Turkmenistan Kazakhstan joined yesterday, and Kosovo President Costco is here to join today. We’re working to turn the pledge itself into action.

“Over 86 countries covering well over half of emissions have national methane action plans in place and we are engaging with our partners to develop them. And we are launching exciting new initiatives and partnerships including lowering organic waste or low methane to support some national waste reduction efforts around the world.

“And to help support this country’s efforts, my friends, President Biden launched the methane finance sprint at the April 2023 major economies forum he hosted at the White House. That had the aim of raising $200 million to help us go forward.

“Well, I’m very pleased to announce today that the United States, the European Union, other governments, philanthropies and the private sector significantly exceeded that target. And together, we have mobilised over $1 billion in new grant funding since COP27 for methane that has more than tripled previous annual methane grant fundin,” John Kerry added.

Tinubu said Nigeria and Africa urgently need investments in alternative energy to be able to fully and effectively transition to clean energy.

President Tinubu stated this while Speaking on a panel on African Green Industrialisation hosted by the COP28 Presidency and the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The Nigerian Leader said there is an urgent need to heal the earth, he also called for an urgent need for new investments in critical sectors to leverage on Africa’s massive potential contribution to the new global green economy while enabling the continent to effectively adapt and transition.

Being aware that Africa contributes the least to global carbon emissions but bears a disproportionate share of economic burden for transitioning to cleaner energy, President Bola Tinubu says risk management is vital for Africa’s full and swift transition to cleaner energy, emphasising that Africa must not become a victim of the disruptions that come with climate change mitigation measures.

“Global manufacturers must partner with us to invest in the health of our collective environment. Africa doubles as an unrivaled opportunity in this respect. We are removing all obstacles that are inhibiting progress as Africa’s largest economy. The investment environment is becoming cleaner and better.

“But how will Africa not be a victim of all these changes? How do we get value for our resources. We all agree that the earth is crying for healing, but how do you tell a grandmother to stop using firewood to prepare her food? It is for me to invest in solar energy, alternative energy.

“Here, you must encourage investment, and equally consider: how would this investment affect us? Yes, we have the market and sufficient housing that you can electrify with solar panels. There is iron ore; there is investment there, too. Risk management is very key for Africa. The opportunities must be translated soonest. We are moving forward with urgency, and we will maximise the value given in return for those resources,” the President added.

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