The use of gas as a transition fuel will not only help in stemming deforestation but advance Nigeria’s broader development goals, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has said.
Stating that the country has one of the largest gas reserves in the world, he believes other developing countries will also benefit from the adoption of gas as a transition fuel.
Osinbajo stated this on Tuesday night when he received the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy on Climate Change, John Kerry, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Kerry, who was on a working visit to Nigeria, had met with President Muhammadu Buhari prior to his meeting with Professor Osinbajo, the Vice President’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, said in a statement on Wednesday.
The Vice President, at the meeting with Kerry and the US delegation, highlighted the need for Nigeria to continue the exploration and use of gas as a way of arresting deforestation, transiting away from dirtier fuels like diesel, kerosene, and petrol, while at the same time ensuring that the country has the necessary energy baseload for industrialisation.
He pointed out that Nigeria has one of the largest gas reserves in the world and should benefit from its exploitation, and highlighted the significance of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan, which is the first in Africa.
Professor Osinbajo had discussed the Energy Transition Plan during his recent visit to Washington D.C., where he met with his American counterpart, Kamala Harris, at the White House, among other top US government officials.
Before the recent US trip, the Federal Government had launched the Energy Transition Plan at a global virtual event.
In addition to a review of the Energy Transition Plan, including a discussion about its implementation, both the Vice President and Kerry also discussed the issues of renewable energy sources and the global transition.
In his remarks, the US envoy praised the plan and the efforts already being made in Nigeria to step up the use of renewables, especially solar and hydropower, as major components of the energy mix.
While acknowledging that Nigeria ought to benefit from its gas reserves, Kerry urged an even more rapid adoption of renewables, especially electric vehicles which are certainly the next wave in auto manufacturing.
He observed that the technology of renewables keeps improving daily, adding that batteries are already in production which last far more than those that are now on the market.
Upon a request by the Vice President, the Special Envoy promised to assist Nigeria with the necessary expertise to scientifically determine the most appropriate energy mix that would move the country toward the goal of energy for all by 2030 and net zero carbon emissions by 2060, without compromising the country’s energy security.
He also affirmed the readiness of the US government to assist Nigeria in a bilateral partnership to realise its climate change adaptation and resilience capacity, thereby consolidating the nation’s place as a model for other countries on the planet.
Kerry said he looked forward to Nigeria presenting an inspiring position, which would no doubt attract all necessary global support at the upcoming COP 27 in Egypt later in the year.
He was accompanied by other US officials, including the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms Mary Beth Leonard.