Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the use of gas as a transition fuel will help in stemming deforestation and advancing Nigeria’s broader development goals.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said the vice president received the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy on Climate Change, John Kerry, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday
Kerry was on a working visit to Nigeria; prior to his meeting with the vice president, Kerry had also met with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Osinbajo said that other developing countries would also benefit from the adoption of gas as a transition fuel.
The vice president highlighted the need for Nigeria to continue the exploration and use of gas as a way of arresting deforestation.
He said it would also help in transiting away from dirtier fuels like diesel, kerosene and petrol, while at the same time ensuring that the country had the necessary energy baseload for industrialisation.
Osinbajo said that that Nigeria had one of the largest gas reserves in the world and should benefit from its exploitation.
He also highlighted the significance of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan(ETP) which is the first in Africa.
Osinbajo had discussed the ETP during his recent visit to Washington D.C., where he met with his American counterpart, Kamala Harris at the White House, among other top US government officials.
Before the recent US trip, the Federal Government had launched the ETP at a global virtual event.
The vice president and Kerry also discussed the issues of renewable energy sources and the global transition.
In his remarks, Kerry praised the plan and the efforts already being made in Nigeria to step up the use of renewables, especially solar and hydro-power, as major components of the energy mix.
He acknowledged that Nigeria ought to benefit from its gas reserves and urged an even more rapid adoption of renewables, especially electric vehicles, which were certainly the next wave in auto-manufacturing.
Kerry observed that the technology of renewables improved daily, adding that batteries were in production which lasted far more than those that were already in the market.
Upon a request by the vice president, Kerry promised that U.S. would assist Nigeria with the expertise to scientifically determine the most appropriate energy mix toward the goal of energy for all by 2030 and net zero carbon emissions by 2060, without compromising the country’s energy security.
The US Special Envoy also affirmed the readiness of the U.S. Government to assist Nigeria in a bilateral partnership to realise its Climate Change adaptation and resilience capacity, thereby consolidating the nation’s place as a model for other countries on the planet.
He added that he looked forward to Nigeria presenting an inspiring position, which would no doubt attract all necessary global support at the upcoming COP 27 in Egypt later in the year.
Kerry was accompanied by other U.S. officials including the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms Mary Leonard.