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COP28: Nigeria Proposes Gas Utilisation As Alternative To Fossil Fuel, Seeks Investment

By Obiabin Onukwugha

The Federal Government of Nigeria has called for investment in gas utilisation as alternative to fossil fuels as world leaders opt for green energy.

Nigeria’s gas reserve is measured at about 206.53 trillion cubic feet worth over $803.4tn. However, substantial amount of the gas are being flared by multinational oil companies operating in the country, thus contributing to environmental degradation.

Presenting Nigeria’s position at the Conference of Parties (COP28), on Saturday, the Minister for Environment,
Balarabe Lawal, said the country will continue to do its part in the global fight against climate change.

Balarabe who delivered the national statement on behalf of President Bola Tinubu on Saturday, said Nigeria as a country of over 200 million people, contends with both development and climate change.

He highlighted the importance of a holistic approach to solving the diverse environmental issues in Nigeria, saying treating one challenge and leaving the other unattended to will be counter productive.

According to Balarabe, Nigeria needs large-scale investments, using gas as a transition fuel as well as in renewable energy.

He further noted that investments in Nigeria will enable the country to expand on the great green wall project, enhance water and flood management efforts and improve agricultural productivity and food security.

He said; ‘As the leader of over two hundred million diverse people spread across an equally diverse geography, I know my country must contend with both development and climate change.

“To treat one but not the other, will cause us to fail at both. Thus, despite the challenges, my country will continue to do its part in fighting this collective menace.

“Pursuant to our ‘decade of gas’ policy, we now seek to shift from oil, coal and wood to using cleaner gas. We seek large-scale investment in this area as well as in renewable energy.”

He slso pointed out that the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), was the first national oil company in Africa to endorse the Global Oil & Gas Decarbonization Accelerator (OGDA), reiterating that Nigeria stands ready to contribute in the effort to decarbonise the global economy.

He continued: “Our vast renewable energy resources present an opportunity for sustainable growth. We call for strong and decisive collaboration in unlocking these resources for the benefit of our people and the world at large.

“It is unfair to ask Nigerians as well as other developing countries to only travel by road alone. Any durable solution must be based on cooperative fairness.

“Developing economies cannot be pressured into bearing a disproportionate share of the burden, thus the framework of a sustainable climate change solution cannot mirror the “extant imbalances” of the current global economic order.

“The wealthy and powerful cannot continue to do as they will while the poor countries endure because those who benefit most from the current system have the onus to invest the most in repairing the environmental breaches we now suffer.’

The Minister also encouraged developing countries to honour their commitments of providing the needed technology and finance, while developing countries commit to moving to cleaner energy.

He asked for commitments that have been publicly announced to be honoured such as making the loss and damage fund operable and ensuring a measurable global goal on adaptation.

He further called on world leaders to right old wrongs by instilling equity and fairness into the global economy, adding, ‘Because that way “we might not just save this planet, we just might make it a better home for all who dwell on it.”

Recall that Tinubu earlier skipped Nigeria’s presentation on day two of the conference.

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