Broad-based African coalition on just transition will advance net-zero target – Osinbajo tells world leaders

Oredola Adeola

The need for African countries to be  given the liberty to add alternative energy to exiting energy sources as a mean to achieving its net zero target has been reinforced by  Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President,  during the meeting with diplomats from the G-7 countries on Thursday at the Presidential Villa.

According to him, the continent lacks the means of transitioning wholesale away from fossil fuels, and should be allowed to use. He argued that the continent’s abundant resources would be needed to provide all of the energy needed for development in a much cleaner way.

Osinbajo made the pan-African position known in a  statement released by Laolu Akande,  Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Office of the Vice President, obtained by EnergyDay on Thursday.

The VP said that the issue raised were articulated and promoted by leaders of the continent on the global Net-zero emissions target by 2050-2060.

Speaking after a presentation of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan, and brief comments by the diplomats and country representatives, Osinbajo said the plan is geared towards the actualization of a Pan African initiative.

According to him, “developing a common African narrative is absolutely important because it sets the stage in providing a clear vision and a clear objective to have a Pan African initiative.

He said, “The broad-based coalition will ensure that the private sector and government work together in driving the processes and the nuances are adequately taken care of. It is important that we factor in all the nuances across the continent.

Speaking specifically on the progress of Nigeria’s plan, the Osinbajo said, “there is a great deal of enthusiasm and support for the country’s energy transition plan.”

He said the Federal Government has adopted intentional approaches including the setting up of an Energy Transition Office, among others to coordinate the processes.

Speaking earlier, the Minister of Environment, Alh. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, emphasized the need to have a Pan-African transition plan that will ensure a shared vision on the continent’s position at the forthcoming Climate Change conference.

He assured development partners and members of the G-7 countries of Nigeria’s firm commitments to the net-zero emission targets.

In the same vein, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, said while authorities make effort to ensure stability in fiscal and monetary policies, stakeholders especially in Africa must “define our common interest and leverage existing opportunities to build new partnerships.”

In his remarks, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Matthias Schmale, commended the leadership of the Vice President in developing and implementing an energy transition plan, pledging the UN’s support towards its actualization.

In the same vein, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard said the United States would support initiatives aimed at creating conducive environment for investments in the sector.

She acknowledged the emergence of a movement championing common initiative for Africa’s energy transition, describing Nigeria’s plan as a manifestation of country’s position on energy transition.

The UK High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, said in addition to what her country planned to do in the area of off-grid solutions, more UK investors have indicated interest in the country’s renewable energy sector.

Also, the World Bank Country Director in Nigeria, Mr Shubaham Chaudhuri commended ongoing efforts to reform Nigeria’s energy sector, and called for more investments in off-grid solutions while pledging the support of the bank for initiatives adopted by government.

In separate remarks, the representatives of the European Union, Republics of France, Germany, Japan, Canada, and Egypt, the IMF and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), all commended Nigeria’s leadership towards the actualization of an African initiative for energy transition.