AfDB, American Experts Back Osinbajo on Gas Defunding Projects

0
189

A continental and international mobilization in support of Nigeria’s effort to block plans to defund gas projects may have begun, just as the world inches closer to the United Nations Climate Change Agenda’s 2050 net-zero emissions objective.

Nigeria has been at the forefront of worldwide criticism of the planned defunding of gas proponent, just as the global community moves towards the 2050 net-zero emissions target under the United Nations Climate Change agenda.

Nigeria has been in the vanguard of worldwide activism calling into question the planned defunding of gas projects as part of the effort to achieve net-zero emissions. Now, at a meeting between Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, and a bank delegation last week, the continent-wide Africa Development Bank, AfDB, has thrown its weight behind the demand. In a widely circulated essay, a group of US experts did the same.

Kevin Kariuki, the African Development Bank’s Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate, and Green Growth, led a delegation to pay him a visit on October 21 to convey the bank’s commitment and support for a just energy transition.

His words: “First thing I would like to mention is that you have inspired us a lot in the recent past, through your strong and very well-articulated position on the issue of gas as far as Nigeria and Africa is concerned.

“You clearly stated that gas must be seen to be a transitional fuel for Africa, which is a position that our bank also supports because we do understand that Africa needs to increase its energy access, and you can’t increase energy access without utilising some of the resources and energy sources that we have. I believe that this position you have taken was also supported and stated by the Bank’s president (Mr. Akinwunmi Adesina) during the ministerial retreat.”

In recent months, Osinbajo has advocated for a just transition to global net-zero emissions, specifically urging multilateral agencies and western countries to halt planned defunding of gas projects in developing countries.

Osinbajo has maintained a firm stance against ending investments in gas projects in developing countries during the transition period at various national and international forums, including recent meetings with a delegation of the European Union (EU), at the Africa Regional Heads of Government Commonwealth Roundtable, and also at different meetings in London at the High-Level United Nations event on the Energy Transition Plan in Africa, among others.

On Nigeria’s energy transition plan, the VP disclosed that one of the components in the plan included “the use of renewables and bringing that into the general stream of things that we are doing. We have a #SolarPowerNaija project, where we are hoping to connect 5 million homes with solar power, which is part of our Economic Sustainability Plan.”

The vice president welcomed AfDB’s support and stated that “we look forward to doing far more in the power sector and hope that we would be able to get your (AfDB) support going forward. We know that there are quite a few things that the bank has put resources into.

“Thank you very much for the great support we get from AfDB and also for your willingness and readiness at all times.”

The vice president welcomed AfDB’s support and stated that “we look forward to doing far more in the power sector and hope that we would be able to get your (AfDB) support going forward. We know that there are quite a few things that the bank has put resources into.

“Thank you very much for the great support we get from AfDB and also for your willingness and readiness at all times.”

Mr Kariuki had earlier stated that at COP26, the AfDB would “be making a strong pitch to developed countries to fulfill their promise of the $100 billion per year” that should have started in 2020, “because the significance is that today, even if we wanted to address the climate challenge, we really can’t because the issue of climate finance needs to be addressed in a big way,”

In another development, a number of US-based experienced clean energy policy researchers have argued that “the blunt exclusion of all non-renewable energy projects from development finance is an inequitable and ineffective climate strategy that gaslights over 1 billion Africans.”

“When it comes to carbon dioxide emissions, Sub-Saharan Africa is collectively responsible for barely half a per cent of all global emissions over time, while the US, UK, EU, Japan, and Russia are responsible for more than 100 times that amount, or about 57 percent,” scholars Benjamin Attia and Morgan Brazilian of the US Payne Institute wrote in a recent article titled “Why banning financing for fossil fuel projects in Africa isn’t a climate solution.”

Mr. Osinbajo’s lobbying on the topic was mentioned by the experts. “ Given the energy shortages in nations like Nigeria, Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo recently termed “energy transition” as “a weird concept” when applied generally.

They noted that indeed “increasing electricity in industrializing regions of sub-Saharan Africa would first power income-generating activities and public services, both drivers of economic growth.”

The U.S. experts concluded that “equitable and effective climate negotiations will require nuanced policy considerations that balance the priorities of alleviating energy poverty with urgent climate change mitigation and adaptation. A just energy transition would leave African governments to make and implement policies and deliver on their own national climate commitments under the Paris Agreement rather than shouldering the West’s.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

2 × 5 =