Buhari sets a 2060 deadline for Nigeria to achieve net-zero emissions: COP26

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President Muhammadu Buhari announced yesterday that Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan aimed to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060, as opposed to the UN’s 2050 deadline (UN). Buhari made the remarks during the high-level segment for Heads of State and Government at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC26th )’s Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland.

This comes as Jeff Bezos, the American billionaire and founder of Amazon, has praised Buhari’s leadership role in restoring Nigeria’s degraded lands.

In his speech, President Buhari emphasized Nigeria’s top priorities and actions in the fight against climate change, as well as progress on the country’s transition to a low-carbon economy in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.

“Nigeria is committed to net zero by 2060,” he stated.

Nigeria will need $1.5 trillion over a ten-year period, according to Buhari, to achieve an appreciable level of national infrastructure stock.

The president told the world leaders in attendance that Nigeria was more of a gas-producing country than an oil-producing country. He stated that the country would require financial assistance in order to make the transition to clean energy.

“For Nigeria, climate change is not about the dangers of tomorrow, but about what is happening right now,” Buhari says. Nature has shrunk from a vast expanse of biodiversity to a shadow of its former self in our lifetime.

“We’re putting money into renewable energy, hydropower, and solar projects. Nigeria does not want to repeat the mistakes that others have been making for decades.

“We’re looking for partners in innovation, technology, and finance to help us make better use of all available resources and create a more stable energy market transition.”

“There are more priority sectors in the revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).” Water and waste, nature-based solutions, adaptations and resilience, vulnerability assessment, and a clean cooking gender and green job assessment are among the topics covered.”

Nigeria, according to Buhari, has created a detailed energy transition plan and roadmap based on data and evidence.

“Our transition plan also highlights the critical role of gas in transitioning our economy across sectors,” he said.

“The evidence and data show that Nigeria can continue to use gas until 2040 without jeopardizing the Paris Agreement’s goals.”

“Nigeria has a national action plan on gender and climate change that has been approved. This document includes our economic recovery and growth plan’s priority areas as well as contributions determined at the national level.

“This national action plan’s implementation strategy has been developed. The revised national policy on climate change was approved in June 2021 in an effort to commit to transitional change through climate policy.

“This will allow us to implement mitigation measures as well as strengthen adaptation in Nigeria in order to achieve a long-term climate-resilient development path.”

“Achieving national and global climate change goals will necessitate adequate and sustained technical and financial support for developing countries,” Buhari stated.

According to him, Nigeria’s commitment to transition in the area of energy access is reflected in the country’s ambitious energy compact, which includes the government’s flagship project to electrify five million households and 20 million people using decentralized solar energy solutions.

“This is a significant first step toward closing our energy access deficit by 2030,” he said.

“All outstanding issues relating to the finalisation of the Paris Agreement rule book, adaptation, mitigation, finance, and loss and damage must be resolved quickly as a result of the outcome of this conference.”

Buhari believes that gas will be critical in addressing the clean cooking challenge, as well as “giving our electric grid the stability and flexibility to integrate renewables at scale,” which he described as a deforestation issue. To achieve net-zero energy, Nigeria will need to add an unprecedented 7GW of renewable capacity each year.’

In Nigeria, the president announced that federal government agencies have been directed to ensure that projects with climate change components are included in the budget.

“I am pleased to announce that the 2022 budget, which I recently submitted to our National Assembly, is the first cross-sectoral, gender-responsive, and climate-responsive budget in our history,” he said.

The Climate Change Bill, which provides a framework for achieving low greenhouse gas emissions, inclusive green growth, and sustainable economic development, was also passed by the National Assembly, according to the president.

Buhari’s thoughts were revealed in a statement by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, during a meeting on improving global infrastructure hosted by US President Joe Biden, EU Commission President Von Der Leyen, and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the ongoing COP26.

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“Nigeria is ready for your investments in infrastructural development in the country,” Buhari told the COP Leaders, inviting them to visit Nigeria as an investment haven.

“My administration has established a clear legal and regulatory framework for private infrastructure financing to establish a standard process, particularly on the monitoring and evaluation process,” he says.

“We look forward to collaborating with you on this.”

Buhari stated that expanding infrastructure was a top priority for his administration.

“There is a link between infrastructure development and a country’s overall economic development,” he said. My administration recognized this early on as a key enabler of long-term economic growth and the achievement of other continental and global development goals, particularly the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.”

According to the president, Nigeria had a massive infrastructure problem when he took office in 2015, with the total National Infrastructure Stock estimated at 35% of GDP (GDP). He said his government launched a massive infrastructure expansion program focusing on health care, education, transportation, manufacturing, energy, housing, agriculture, and water resources to address the infrastructure deficit.

“We increased financial resources for these policies, established new international partnerships, and pursued liberalization policies that would allow private sector participation,” he said.

Buhari continued, “We introduced the revised National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan – a policy document that ensures our infrastructure expansion projects are cross-sectorally integrated and environmentally friendly.”

He applauded the G7 countries’ plan to raise hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure funding for low- and middle-income countries.

The president stated that the G7 countries’ “Build Back Better World” plan would be a values-driven, high-standard, and transparent infrastructure partnership.

“It is our sincere hope and expectation that this plan will be carried out to its logical conclusion in order to close the infrastructure gap between the North and the South,” he said.

Buhari also discussed the principles, values, and standards that Nigeria expects from infrastructure projects, as well as the challenges that the country has faced in collaborating with donors on infrastructure development.

“The goal of pursuing quality infrastructure investment is to maximize infrastructure’s positive economic, environmental, social, and development impact and create a virtuous circle of economic activities while ensuring sound public finances,” he said.

“This virtuous circle can stimulate the economy in a variety of ways.”

“Domestic resource mobilization is critical to addressing the infrastructure financing gap,” the president added. With the participation of international organizations, assistance for capacity building, including project preparation, should be provided to developing countries.”

Meanwhile, Bezos praised Buhari for his commitment to restoring four million hectares.

“We are fortunate to have President Buhari of Nigeria with us today,” the Amazon founder said during a side event that included French President Emmanuel Macron, Prince Charles, and Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani at the ongoing COP26 on Monday.

“Nigeria is a key player in the restoration movement, having committed to restoring 4 million hectares of degraded land.

“This level of ambition from Africa’s largest economy emphasizes how important this issue is.”

The Bezos Earth Fund has a ten-billion-dollar fund that will be used to fund climate-change projects.

 

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