Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called on Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries to fulfill their promise of $100 billion to developing countries towards achieving Net-Zero Emissions.
Net-Zero Emission entails removing all man-made greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere through reduction measures by 2050.
Osinbajo made this call while featuring in a conversation session at the closing ceremony of the 27th Nigeria Economic Summit (NES 27) under the theme: “Securing Our Future: The Fierce Urgency of Now’’, on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 in Abuja.
He said that being aware of the challenges of defunding fossil fuel projects was important.
“Frankly, a lot of African countries, especially African petroleum and gas producing countries have been like someone asleep at the wheel on these questions of defunding of fossil fuel projects and all that.
“I think that what is crucial is for us to pay attention to this because the world is confronted by the climate crisis and we are part of the world.
“But, we are also confronted with an existential crisis of poverty and even of maternal mortality and all of the various challenges that come with extreme poverty.
“So, while the wealthier countries are focused on climate change and climate change alone, we have to focus, not just on climate change, but access to energy, which is the major constraint that we have.’’
He said that what the developing countries contributed was a minor fraction to what the rest of the world was responsible for, citing the U.S as accounting for 15.5 tons per capita of emissions.
“We, here in Africa is about 0.1 per cent and we have far less power; we have far less access to energy.
“So, the truth of the matter is that this transition to zero emission by 2050 or 2060 or whenever. must he based on fairness, equity and justice.
“And I think it is important for us to keep emphasizing this and to also negotiate this; so, we should not be negotiating just national contributions, which is what we spend a lot of our time doing; we must negotiate the terms of this transition.
“We must ensure that the $100 billion dollars a year that the OECD countries promised as funds towards a transition of developing economies, they are faithful to that promise; I think that really it is time for hard bargaining. ‘’
Osinbajo said developing countries must insist that although they were part of the movement for zero emission and believed in it, but they were not the worst polluters and were being asked to make the greatest sacrifice.
“Today, we are experiencing severe manifestations of climate change, flooding in various parts of our country, but these manifestations of climate change were not caused by us.
“But, we receive practically all of the problems associated with it,’’ he said.
Presenting a summary of the outcomes of the summit earlier, Mrs Adenike Adeyemi, Vice Chair, NES 27, Technical Committee, said there were key thematic areas of focus.
She listed the areas as High and sustained growth, Quality of life, National security, Political economy and digital transformation.
By Chijioke Okoronkwo