Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has highlighted the need for a fair and inclusive energy transition that takes into account the energy requirements of African countries.
President Buhari expressed his views in an opinion article published on Saturday before his departure on Sunday to the 26th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
“For today’s 1.3 billion Africans, access to low-cost and reliable energy is the highest of all possible concerns. Estimated to rise to 2.5 billion by 2050—by 2100 Nigeria alone is projected to have the second-largest population on the planet—this “great doubling” (for Nigeria, quadrupling) has the right to more dependable electricity than their forebears,” he said.
The President stressed the importance of energy generation for economic development in the continent: “Without extra and stable power, we cannot build the factories that will transform Africa from a low-job, extractives-led economy to a high employment middle-income continent. Children cannot learn for longer and better by battery light any more than by candlelight.”
He lamented about the rush to install alternative 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.
The President also explained the need for transitioning to cleaner, but consistent, energy production.
He highlighted some examples such as retooling fossil fuel power generation to be greener through carbon capture, Nuclear Energy, and mini-hydropower plants investments.
He also said Nigeria has pledged to eliminate illegal gas flaring by 2030 and harness it for electricity production.
“Our intention to end Nigeria’s single greatest contribution to greenhouse emissions may stall without it. Yet there are no such limitations on investment in natural gas power in the West where it is considered a transitional energy source,” he said.
“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. Yet unless the developed world wakes up, we run the risk of trying to fix the climate crisis with an energy crisis,” he said.
President Buhari is expected to deliver his national statement at the segment for Heads of State and Government at the conference on Tuesday, Nov. 2. The Climate Change Conference in Glasgow is hosted by the United Kingdom in partnership with Italy.
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