The United States government has offered to assist Nigeria and other countries with President Joe Biden’s $12 billion emergency programme for adaptation and resilience, if the Nigerian Government sustains its effort to reduce gas flaring and venting.
U.S Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change, Sen. John Kerry, made this known during his visit to Abuja on Tuesday with some U.S technical experts and the Embassy team to boost partnership with the Nigerian government in the fight against climate crisis and reduction of global carbon emissions.
According to him, Nigeria is one of the countries in Africa that would suffer most from the consequences of the climate crisis. He cautioned that the country’s decision in the way it handles climate-related crises would have a profound impact on the choices made by other African countries.
Kerry, while lauding Nigeria for stepping up in an effort to reduce gas flaring and venting, urged the government to explore the opportunity of selling to Europe, which has a high need for that now.
He said it had put together an emergency programme called the President’s emergency programme for adaptation and resilience, which put 12 billion dollars on the table to assist countries.
“Fifteen million people die yearly from air pollution, which is greenhouse gases. Five million people die yearly from extreme heat and that is getting worse. We look forward to bringing people together to solve this problem.
Kerry further urged the Nigerian Government to explore the opportunity of selling to Europe, which has a high need for that now.
The US Secretary of State said, “48 countries in Africa contribute to 0.5 per cent of carbon emissions. The easier way is for us to provide power by using gas.
“We are not denying the fact that climate change is real, we accept it and would also like to be on the energy transition train but we have certain realities that the world must take into account.
“Our reality is that we have a large number of people without access to electricity and we don’t have the funds and technology to achieve the transition. We need synergy to create funding to move at the same pace,” he said.
Kerry also noted that 80 per cent of all the emissions in the world came from 20 countries, warning that if those top 20 countries could not get it right, it would be hard for the rest of the world to get it right.
He also noted that 48 sub-Saharan African states were responsible for 0.55 per cent of all emissions, but observed that Mother Nature, whose life has been greatly disturbed by the act of human beings, doesn’t measure whether the emissions are from the Chinese, U.S or Europe.
The US Secretary of State however noted that the challenge of the climate crisis came from the emissions that arose from the choices we made, about powering vehicles and homes, lighting our homes and energy to cook and power machines.
Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, who had earlier met with Sen. John Kerry and the U.S Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change, appealed for the support of the U.S. and global community on funding, and technology to tackle climate change as well as achieve the energy transition.
Sylva Nigeria required funding and technology to be on the train with the global community, adding that Nigeria set its net zero targets at 2060 and by working together we would achieve this before 2060.
He said, “We are doing a lot, we are trying to break down our gas flares. Our gas flare commercialisation programme is at an advanced stage, which will take out 13 million tonnes of Co2 from the atmosphere.
He said since the global community was moving to cleaner fuel, Nigeria thought that the lesser evil was actually to provide energy and clean cooking fuel for people by utilising gas.
Mallam Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer(GCEO) Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC Ltd) who also met with the US Secretary of States, on his part, promised the commitment of the national oil company to reducing carbon emission.
He said, “NNPC Ltd will continue to decarbonise its operations in the drive towards reducing carbon emissions”