US to Nigeria: You’re emitting too many toxic gases, damaging atmosphere

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With the global energy transition anthem reaching a crescendo, the United States has told Nigeria to cut back on dirty fuel consumption, warning that the country would suffer the most on the continent if nothing was done to stem the tide.

The US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, gave the advice in Abuja while being hosted by the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, to deepen the energy transition conversation, since it has a direct impact on climate change.

According to him, the country remains one of the leading polluters of the atmosphere on the continent and would suffer the most.

“Nigeria is one of the countries in Africa that would suffer the most from the consequences of the climate crisis,” he stated.

“So, I’m here not to say to Nigeria, you are emitting too much. I’m here to say that what you decide to do in the future going forward will have a profound impact on the choices of all countries in Africa. And it will have a profound impact on our ability, all of us together to solve this problem.

“So how do we work on it together? What do we do? Well, the problem of the climate crisis is the emissions and the last thing we want to do is pick a path forward over the course of these next years, up to 2030. That makes it worse. Why 2030? Because scientists have told us that in order to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis, the worst crisis, worst implication, is not to avoid the crisis, but to avoid the worst consequences. We have to reduce our emissions all of us globally.

“By a minimum of 45%. And hopefully 50% or more. That’s the only way we avoid it. So you have as much interest as we do in making certain that we actually meet our goals.

“And what we don’t want to have to happen is that Nigeria and other countries make a decision that they’re going to build out a capacity infrastructure that is going to undo what we’re trying to do and set us back. Now we had a huge amount of agreement in our conversation,” Kerry explained.

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In his remarks, Sylva appealed to the United States to assist with funding of various projects that would help Nigeria ditch dirty fuels and migrate to cleaner energy sources like electricity, wind, solar and gas.

Sylva also asked for assistance in the acquisition of relevant technology and expertise to drive the energy transition agenda.

He said: “We need collaboration and funding. We are aware of the climate change crisis. But we didn’t initiate this problem. We’ve borne the brunt of the emissions discharged from elsewhere. There is a moral basis to getting funding for what we have suffered from those who started it.

“We don’t have the technology and we urge the USA to help us move quickly. Our net zero target is 2060 and with their help, it can be achieved earlier,” Sylva said.

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