REMARKS FOR THE GLOBAL LAUNCH OF THE NIGERIA ENERGY TRANSITION PLAN
It brings me great pleasure to welcome you to the global launch of Nigeria’s trailblazing Energy Transition Plan. In today’s world, climate change is a reality. In the past few months, the world has witnessed record-breaking heatwaves, supercharged rainstorms, ongoing drought and wildfires to name a few. In Nigeria, we recorded devastating floods across the country in states like Lagos, Ogun and Oyo. These clear climate signals indicate that we do not have the luxury of time when it comes to the impacts of climate change. The time for action is now.
Nigeria understands this and in 2017, we signed the Paris Agreement. In 2021, we extensively updated our Nationally Determined Contributions and our Climate Change Act, the first stand-alone comprehensive climate change legislation in West Africa was passed into law. Significantly, at COP26 in Glasgow, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari announced Nigeria’s commitment to a 2060 net-zero target.
The Energy Transition Plan being launched today is the first of its kind in Africa. It centres on energy because we recognize that the energy sector is both the largest single source of global greenhouse gas emissions and the foundation of any vibrant economy. Our Energy Transition Plan aims to achieve net-zero by 2060 while developing new industries, improving the quality of life of all Nigerians, and creating thousands of new jobs.
The Nigeria Energy Transition Plan has been fully approved by the Federal Executive Council and as a government, we are committed to the plan and its potential to be transformative for not just our economy but the planet as well.
Nigeria is proud to have shown climate leadership by developing our energy transition plan. We are grateful to partners such as Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) and the World Bank that have shown support for the development and implementation of the plan. We look forward to wider support from the international community and hope to see similar strategies from other nations to tackle climate change.
Once again, welcome to the global launch of the Nigeria Energy Transition Plan. We aim to inspire and to provoke action on climate, energy access and prosperity for the planet and for future generations.
It has long been established that while Africa has contributed the least of any global region to both historical and current emissions, the continent is set to be hardest hit by the impacts of climate change. Recent reports indicate that Africa is warming faster than the global average and experiencing greater increases in sea-level rise. These shocking reports highlight the need for urgent action by countries that are historically the most responsible for the emissions that cause climate change. In addition, African nations cannot afford to wait. We must signal our own commitment to tackling climate change by embarking on bold action ourselves.
These actions, in recognition of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, must be self-directed. As a continent, we must reject restrictive one-size-fits-all approaches and design transition pathways grounded in local realities and focused on the achievement of development priorities. We must tackle the climate crisis in tandem with the many other pressing concerns including rising populations, poverty rates, security threats, energy paucity and other declining human development indicators.
Although Africa is home to about 17% of the world’s population, it generates only 4% of the world’s electricity. Close to 600 million Africans have no access to electricity, and 780 million Africans rely on traditional solid biomass for cooking. Any climate strategy that does not involve the rapid buildout of energy systems to address these deficits is unjust and unacceptable.
The global energy transition must be inclusive, equitable and just, particularly for developing countries. This means accounting for diverse realities and accommodating various pathways to net-zero. At the same time, African nations need to take ownership and begin shaping these pathways. We are already seeing exemplary vision across the continent with a number of countries including Nigeria developing and signing on to the Kigali Communiqué which came out of the Sustainable Energy for All Forum in June, and outlines principles for a just and equitable energy transition. The next step is to articulate clear pathways that capture these principles.
We hope that the Energy Transition Plan being launched today will be the first of many on the continent. Nigeria has taken the first step, but we look to our brothers and sisters across Africa to join us. It is time for Africa to set the agenda on these issues and come together at this pivotal moment for our people and for our future.
Mohammed H. Abdullahi
Minister of Environment