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Osinbajo reaffirms Nigeria’s stance on `just transition’ to net-zero emissions

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says Nigeria will continue its frontline advocacy for a `just transition’ to net-zero emissions.

Net-zero emissions aims at completely negating the amount of greenhouse gases produced by human activities; it is to be achieved by reducing emissions.

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Friday in Abuja, said that the vice president presided over a virtual meeting on net-zero emissions with other top Federal Government officials.

The vice president said that funding for gas and fossil fuel projects in Nigeria and other developing countries should be sustained during the global transition to net-zero emissions.

He said that Nigeria would play a critical role with other gas exporting countries to stop the defunding of gas and fossil fuel projects in developing countries.

Other government officials at the virtual meeting included the Ministers of Environment, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and Minister of State, Environment, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor.

Also in attendance were the Minister of State, Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba, and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mr Bitrus  Nabasu.

Osinbajo said it was vital that the Forum of Gas Exporting Countries (GEC) joined forces together to prevent defunding of gas and fossil fuel projects, especially from developing countries, by international bodies and institutions.

“Concrete steps should be taken by the GEC Forum to stop further plans by international bodies and Western countries on defunding of gas/fossil fuel projects as it does not benefit developing countries especially.

“It is vital Nigeria plays a significant role in achieving a consensus with the GEC Forum on these issues, even as the 26th United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) – which is scheduled to hold later this year approaches,’’ he said.

The vice president asked the Inter-ministerial Committee on Climate Change, led by the Federal Ministry of Environment to fine tune Nigeria’s position for COP26.

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He said the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources would focus on strengthening the country’s strategy, particularly in its initiative to use gas as a transition fuel.

Both the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, and Minister of Foreign Affairs were directed to work together, ensuring the GEC Forum reaches a consensus that reflects Nigeria’s advocacy on defunding of gas projects.

It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had in March, declared that the country’s Decade of Gas was a bold statement to demonstrate the administration’s resolve that gas development and utilisation should be a national priority.

More so, Osinbajo had at different forums in the past months raised the issue of financing of gas projects in developing countries, especially Nigeria.

The vice president had been advocating a `just transition’ and more effective engagements since the campaign for the Net-Zero Emission by 2050 resumed. (NAN)

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