Osinbajo cautions against climate injustice to Africa

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says a just transition to emissions reductions will mean more energy for Africa and must include ending global energy poverty.

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said the vice president spoke at a virtual event on climate finance.

The theme of the event organised by the Atlantic Council is, “Climate Finance and a Just, Equitable Energy Transition for Africa.”

The virtual meeting comes ahead of the next conference on Climate Change(COP27) scheduled for Egypt.

The Atlantic Council is a nonpartisan organisation that galvanises US leadership and engagement in the world, in partnership with allies and partners, to shape solutions to global challenges.

“We are already seeing the investment rules limit the technology choices of African countries in ways that do not apply to wealthy nations.

“Applying a set of standards to Africa that you can’t apply in your own country is the opposite of climate justice.

“If the global energy transition is going to become reality, if we are truly, in this climate crisis together, then the priorities of African nations cannot be sidelined.

“Climate justice must include far greater support for countries with the greatest needs and who contribute the least to global emissions.

“It must include investments, not only to mitigate carbon emissions but also to ensure that developing countries can adapt to the impacts of climate change caused by the rich polluting nations.

” Climate justice must include ending energy poverty; anything else would be the opposite of justice.”

He said that with the impacts of climate change bearing down, every nation must had enough energy to build resilient infrastructure, deliver essential public services, and provide the cooling and air conditioning to withstand a warming planet.

The vice president restated that climate justice must include ending energy poverty.

On expectations at the forthcoming COP27, Osinbajo said that every nation must play its part in solving the dual crises of global poverty and climate change.

“Africa must be committed to solving both of these emergencies because both poverty and a warming planet affect us more than any other region.

“We are absolutely clear that Africa must be proactive, we must be assertive of our needs, and we must do a better job of making our views heard.

“That is what to expect in Egypt.”

On Nigeria, the vice president said that the country remained committed to the net zero emission by 2060 but would require the support and partnership of other stakeholders.

“Nigeria will require huge investments in new infrastructure; we are going to build more roads, ports, industrial parks, and especially power systems.

“For every Nigerian to consume, the Modern Energy Minimum of 1,000 kilowatt hours per year by 2050 would require a 15-fold increase in our national power generation.

“To ensure every household has access to cleaner cooking will require access to LPG, biogas and electric cooking for the tens of millions of families still cooking with wood and charcoal.”

He said that an immediate priority was to create 20 million jobs and rebuild the industries.

According to him, Nigeria must add more than 200 gigawatts of new power capacity, principally utility scale solar by 2060.

“We will need to upgrade our power infrastructure, especially for transmission and distribution, using a strategic mix of grid and mini grid systems.

“To be successful we will need partners.

“The majority of investment in our energy transition will come from our own national resources.

“But we estimate we need an additional 410 billion dollars above business-as-usual investment to meet our goals,” he said.(NAN)

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