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Don’t rush Africa on energy transition, Buhari tells world leaders

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Solomon Ezeme

As the global community converged for discussions at the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari has cautioned world leaders, especially, leaders of Western nations, against unduly pressurizing Africa to meet global Net-Zero emissions targets, through deploying foreign policies that discourage investments into its fossil fuel projects.

This was disclosed by the Presidency in an article titled ‘The Climate Crisis Will Not Be Fixed Buy Causing Crisis in Africa’, published in Newsweek Magazine.

The President raised alarm about the possibility of Africa inheriting an unstable economy if it bows to pressure from the global community to abandon fossil fuels hurriedly and hasten up its transitioning to cleaner energy.

“It is an inconvenient truth, but energy solutions proposed by those most eager to address the climate crisis are fuel for the instability of which they warn.

“No more clearly can this be seen than in Africa. For today’s 1.3 billion Africans, access to low-cost and reliable energy is the highest of all possible concerns,” he said.

He described wind and solar as clean but unreliable energy sources that may leave the continent’s economy and power sector vulnerable in the future.

“No more than the Africa of today, the Africa of tomorrow cannot advance using energy production that intermittently delivers.

“Yet, in our rush to address climate concerns and for western aid agencies and investors to burnish their green credentials, we rush to install the most alternative of energy sources which are often the most unreliable.

“Wind and solar, the most fashionable of modern energy technologies, are flawed by their reliance on back-up diesel generators or batteries for when there is no wind for the turbines or sun for the panels,” he said.

He called on the international community to stop placing restrictions on fossil fuel projects in Africa, as the continent is also needed as a relevant contributor to global decision-making processes.

He noted that Africa will support the climate struggles but emphasized that it will not allow its pressure to hinder the progress of the continent.

“There is no single “green bullet” that can be deployed either in Africa or the world that solves concerns of environmentalists while simultaneously offering the power to fuel hope of greater wealth and progress for the extra 1 billion citizens of our African future.

“We call on them to lift the moratorium they have placed on fossil fuel investments in Africa.

“There is a deal to be done at COP26, but none without the agreement of the nations of Africa. The climate warnings we hear them. We live them.

“But no one has the right to deny the advancement of our continent,” Buhari said.

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