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Osinbajo arrives in New York for African Carbon Market meeting

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has arrived in New York to attend high-level meeting on African Carbon market in a bid to mobilise funding and technical support for the Nigerian Energy Transition Plan.

Yemi Osinbajo
Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo

Osinbajo arrived New York on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, and was received by Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, Dr (Mrs) Uzoma Emenike.

The Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, Amb. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, Amb. Lot Egopija and his counterpart in Atlanta, Amb. Amina Smaila, were on also on ground to receive the Vice President.

Osinbajo will be delivering the keynote address at a high-level meeting hosted by The Rockefeller Foundation in New York on Friday, according to a statement by his Spokesman, Laolu Akande.

Akande said the vice president would be participating at the meeting with global agencies and potential financial partners in attendance to facilitate the activation of the Voluntary Carbon Market in Nigeria and on the African continent.

The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, GEAPP, UN-Sustainable Energy for All, (SEforALL), the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, all of whom have been advocating and actively planning for the African Carbon Market Initiative, are also expected at the meeting.

Ahead of the high-level meeting, Osinbajo will on Thursday interact with some of the agencies with whom the Federal Government has been engaging on the Energy Transition Plan and the activation of the Voluntary Carbon Market, including GEAPP and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

An International Steering Committee is driving the activation of African Carbon Markets in Africa, under the auspices of the African Carbon Market Initiative (ACMI).

Members of the Committee include the Nigerian Vice President, former President of Colombia, Ivan Duque Marquez, officials of the United Nations, United States Agency for International Development, USAID; Gates Foundation among others.

It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had announced “Nigeria’s commitment to net-zero by 2060 on the basis of a detailed Energy Transition Plan (ETP),” in his COP26 statement.

At COP27 in a speech delivered on the President’s behalf by Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, Mohammed Hassan Abdullahi, he indicated that “the public finance urgently needed to fund energy transitions and climate action is lacking – a situation compounded by debt distress affecting many low and middle-income countries.

“We are therefore taking bold steps to pioneer innovative climate finance instruments such as debt for climate swaps, and championing the development of the African carbon market initiative.”

According to ACMI, launched at COP27 in Egypt in Nov., there are clear indications “that Nigeria could mobilise $600 – 800 million per annum in capital by 2030 (assuming the current average price of $20 per ton of carbon) from Voluntary Carbon Markets and potentially support 3-5 million jobs over the energy transition period.

Osinbajo is the Chair of the government’s Energy Transition Plan Working Group, a multi-ministerial team set up by President Buhari to implement the ETP.

By Cecilia Olgunagba

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