Africa’s biggest crude oil producer, Nigeria, has pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2060. The announcement was made this week by the president of Nigeria Mohammadu Buhari at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) gathering in Glasgow, Scotland. Nigeria joins other oil producers like Saudi Arabia and Russia in committing to a net-zero emissions deadline.
Addressing delegates at COP26, Nigeria’s president stressed that his oil and gas dependent country will require financial and technical support to attain its climate change goals. “Attaining national and global climate change goals will require adequate, and sustained technical and financial support to developing countries,” said Buhari.
“In Nigeria, in the area of energy access, Nigeria’s commitment to a just transition is reflected in our initial energy compact which includes the government’s flagship project to electrify 5 million households and 25 million people using decentralised solar energy solutions. This is a major step towards closing our energy access deficit by 2030,” explained Buhari.
Nigeria’s gas centric transition
President Buhari further explained on Tuesday that Nigeria is aware of the danger presented by climate change: “I do not think anyone in Nigeria needs persuading of the need for urgent action on the environment. Desertification in the North, floods in the centre, pollution and erosion on the coast are enough evidence. For Nigeria, climate change is not about the perils of tomorrow but what is happening today. Nigeria is committed to net-zero by 2060.”
Under their strategy, Nigeria will make use of their vast gas resources in the transition towards green energy. Buhari stressed that gas is the key for addressing the clean energy challenge in Nigeria and explained that Nigeria will have to incorporate an unprecedented 7GW additional renewable capacity on an annual basis to reach net-zero.
“Nigeria is actually more of a gas than an oil-producing country. Consequently, I am requesting financing of projects using transition fuels, such as gas. Nigeria has energy challenges for which, we believe, gas can be used to balance a renewable energy-based system, be it wind or sun. This would enable us to launch the long-term renewable energy infrastructure procurements and investments needed to have a sustainable energy supply,” concluded Buhari.