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COP28: Fossil fuel phase-out not in line with Nigeria’s position, says climate council DG

COP28: Fossil fuel phase-out not in line with Nigeria’s position, says climate council DG
December 09
21:21 2023

Salisu Dahiru, director-general of the National Climate Change Council, says the call for a phase-out of fossil fuels is not in line with Nigeria’s position.

Fossil fuel phase-out is the gradual reduction in the use or a move away from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas until there is no more need for them as a holistic transition to renewable energy.

The need to include the message on fossil fuel phase-out in the final outcome of COP28 has been pointed out by civil societies as a determinant for the success of the conference.

Speaking during a press conference at the Nigerian pavilion, Dahiru said Nigeria as well as other African countries are finding ways to ensure that their position on not phasing out fossil fuels is reflected in the final outcome of the conference.

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He said Nigerian delegates are following closely with negotiations to ensure that “we are not shortchanged in any way”.

“We’re concerned about the phase-out of fossil fuels which is against Nigeria’s position and Africa’s position and we are trying to see how that can be reflected in the COP itself,” Dahiru said.

“Where we are at the moment is that we have passed the technical phase. We are in the political phase where the ministers will be leading the negotiations.

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“Our delegates have been here since the beginning and will make sure that Nigeria’s interests are well protected. Other delegates are also here and have been reading through the lines to ensure that we are not short-changed in any way.”

‘WE WILL NOT STOP USING FOSSIL FUELS’

Dahiru: Fossil fuels critical to our economy.

Speaking to TheCable, Dahiru said Nigeria will not stop the use of fossil fuels because it is critical to our economy and other developed countries are expanding on their fossil fuel use.

He said the phase-out of fossil fuels has implications for Africa’s economy including fertiliser production.

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“Fertilisers are made from gas, so you phase it out and you don’t make fertilisers. These things have implications,” Dahiru said.

“All of them that are oil producers are expanding their drilling, UK did the same thing, Denmark too. Nobody is talking about stopping them. It is your own that will stop. We will not stop.”

He said what Nigeria can do is to walk towards cleaning its emissions and the country needs support to be able to set up the infrastructure to do that.

He said Nigeria and Africa will still remain at four percent even if we continue at the current emissions rate, adding that net zero does not require that fossil fuels should be phased out entirely but that emissions should be balanced with removals.

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STAKEHOLDERS DISAGREE

Sharma

Meanwhile, Alok Sharma, president of COP26, has said a failure to agree to the phase-out of fossil fuels at COP28 would lead to a climate breakdown and push the world beyond the crucial 1.5C temperature limit.

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He said it is vital that governments make a clear commitment in the next few days to eliminate coal, oil and gas.

“If you’re going to keep 1.5C alive, you’re going to have language on a phase-out of fossil fuels. And you’re going to need to accompany that with a credible implementation plan,” he said in an interview.

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Also, Babawale Obayanju, communications coordinator, Friends of the Earth Africa, said African leaders need to stop being hellbent on continuing with the use of oil and gas and refusing to see the potential of renewables.

“Gas as transition fuel will take 10 to 15 years to build infrastructure in Africa. The gas transportation plants are all bulky in the sea and are not for use in Africa,” Obayanju said.

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“If local communities are given mini-grid systems, they can manage it and use it how they need it, where they need it and when they need it over time.”



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