Abuja — Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has urged developed countries to change the direction of the conversation around energy transition in favour of Africa at the COP26 summit.
The summit, scheduled to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, from October 31 to November 12, is aimed at accelerating action toward the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement yesterday in Abuja, said the Vice President spoke at a virtual panel discussion organised by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change ahead of the summit.
The Vice President, while insisting that conversations at the conference must be tilted in favour of Africa, explained that Nigeria already had a plan for the transition.
He said, “The conference will be an opportunity to engage and change the direction of the current conversation, especially as it affects Africa. It is an opportunity to talk, to engage and I think that we really need to engage. I think we need to just change the direction of the conversation, especially as it affects Africa and then talk in concrete terms about what the implications of net-zero emissions by 2050 or whenever, will mean for Africa and the world.
“We drew up an energy transition plan and we are probably one of the few developing countries to have drawn up a plan and try to cost the plan; this is why we have the figure of 400 billion dollars. If you look at what can work, we are looking at Nigerian Climate Change Finance Facility. There’s one which we are working on at the moment with the African Finance Corporation (AFC), and ARM Harith; we are trying to create that facility. We think that we could mobilise up to 10 billion dollars to finance local green projects.”
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Osinbajo further said that the federal government was also on the verge of operationalising InfraCo, a N15 trillion Infrastructure Fund.
According to him, the fund could have a dedicated green finance component as well as projects to reduce emissions from main pollutant activities in Nigeria.
“There are other initiatives that we are working on, and one of those is being able to exploit our gas resources for as long as it is possible because it is an important issue for us and thereafter, a diversified economy, especially around technology. That would help us a great deal in being able to secure a significant amount of money,” he added
In his submission, former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, called for a new partnership with Africa on Climate Change.
He noted that it is going to be necessary to use gas as a transitional fuel, and doing that is essential, not only for development, but also for the environment.
According to him, the partnership will also help put the projects for clean energy and development in Africa on an investable footing.
His words: “The partnership will also help put the projects for clean energy and development in Africa on an investable footing. When people invest in Africa, the rates of returns are very good and the risks are not as great as people think they are. It is an important forum to talk about what we really could do in concrete terms. I really like the idea of a new partnership with Africa on climate change because a lot of the conversations going on about climate change are over the heads of many of us in Africa because the issues that concern us are not on the table.”