Global Launch Of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan
REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE GLOBAL LAUNCH OF THE NIGERIA ENERGY TRANSITION PLAN ON THE 24TH OF AUGUST, 2022
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us at this global launch of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan. I am grateful to our partners and sister governments for their support of the plan and for their robust participation in the launch today.
Climate change is perhaps the greatest existential threat of our lifetime. The most reliable evidence today shows that every inhabited region across the globe is already affected and that no place on earth will be immune to its effects.
In Africa, the effects are expected to be particularly damaging. For instance, climate change threatens crop productivity in regions that are already food insecure. And since agriculture provides the largest number of jobs, reduced crop productivity will simply worsen unemployment.
Yet from all indicators, as a global community, we are behind schedule on the pathway to limiting warming to 1.5 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. It is certainly time for decisive action, and we just cannot afford to delay. African nations are rising to the challenge.
All African countries have signed the Paris Agreement and some countries, South Africa, Sudan, Angola, and Nigeria have also announced net-zero targets.
But for Africa, the problem of energy poverty is as important as our climate ambitions. Energy use is crucial for almost every conceivable aspect of development. Wealth, health, nutrition, water, infrastructure, education, and life expectancy are significantly related to the consumption of energy per capita. Africa with about 17% of the world’s population only generates 4% of the world’s electricity. The current lack of power hurts livelihoods and destroys the dreams of hundreds of millions of young people.
And although Africa’s current unmet energy needs are huge, future demand will be even greater due to expanding populations, urbanization, and movement into the middle class. It is clear that the continent must address its energy constraints and would require external support and policy flexibility to deliver this.
Unfortunately, in the wider responses to the climate crisis, we are not seeing careful consideration and acknowledgement of Africa’s aspirations. For instance, despite the tremendous energy gaps, global policies are increasingly constraining Africa’s energy technology choices.
There is a clear need for African nations to engage more critically and vocally in conversations on our global climate future. More importantly, we need to take ownership of our transition pathways and design climate-sensitive strategies that address our growth objectives. This is what Nigeria has sought to do with our Energy Transition Plan.
The plan was designed to tackle the dual crises of energy poverty and climate change and deliver SDG7 by 2030 and net-zero by 2060 while centering on the provision of energy for development, industrialization, and economic growth. We anchored the plan on key objectives including lifting 100 million people out of poverty in a decade, driving economic growth, bringing modern energy services to the full population and managing the expected long-term job loss in the oil sector due to global decarbonization.
Given these objectives, the plan recognizes the role natural gas must play in the short term to facilitate the establishment of baseload energy capacity and address the nation’s clean cooking deficit in the form of LPG. The plan envisions vibrant industries powered by low-carbon technologies; streets lined with electric vehicles and livelihoods enabled by sufficient and clean energy. The plan has the potential to create about 340,000 jobs by 2030, and 840,000 by 2060 and presents a unique opportunity to deliver a true low-carbon and rapid development model in Africa’s largest economy.
However, the plan also highlights the significant scale of resources required to attain both development and climate ambitions. Nigeria would need to spend $410 billion above business-as-usual spending to deliver our Transition Plan by 2060, which translates to about $10 billion per year. The average $3 billion per year investments in renewable energy recorded for the whole of Africa between 2000 and 2020 will certainly not suffice.
Towards the implementation of the plan, we have an inter-ministerial Energy Transition Implementation Working Group, which I have the privilege of chairing. We are currently engaging with partners to secure an initial $10 billion support package ahead of COP27 along the lines of the South African Just Energy Transition Partnership announced at COP26 in Glasgow.
In addition, we are currently implementing power sector initiatives and reforms focused on expanding our grid, increasing generation capacity, and deploying renewable energy to rural and underserved populations.
Significantly, today, we are also launching an innovative, results-based, finance programme that focuses specifically on scaling up electricity access for productive uses. The Universal Energy Facility will provide grant payments to enable solar companies to expand their operations to small- and medium-sized enterprises across Nigeria while crowding in additional private capital. Projects supported by the Universal Energy Facility will help grow businesses and create jobs, making them key contributors to our Energy Transition Plan.
I’d like to encourage solar companies in attendance today to engage with this innovative financing opportunity, which is being managed by Sustainable Energy for All.
We developed our Energy Transition Plan to engage with the rest of the world in a serious, thorough and data-backed manner. We are hopeful that investors and the global community, particularly in the lead-up to COP27 will recognize the immense opportunities and potential for impact on the African continent.
Working together we can make this moment count for Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world.
Thank you for your attention.