The European Union has drafted a proposal to classify natural gas as a ‘green energy’ source, a landmark deal that could boost Nigeria’s reserves.
The commission said it also considers including nuclear as a transition energy source.
“The Commission considers there is a role for natural gas and nuclear as a means to facilitate the transition towards a predominantly renewable-based future,” a recent statement released by EU reads.
Nigeria has proven gas reserves of over 206 trillion cubic feet (tcf) estimated at over $803.4 trillion.
This proposal by the EU is coming barely a month after Yemi Osinbajo had said that the use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a transition fuel is the viable option for Nigeria to address climate change and energy poverty.
The VP had said that it was “worrying that a growing number of wealthy nations have banned or restricted public investment in fossil fuels, including natural gas”.
He had also amplified the need to finance gas projects in developing countries.
In May 2021, Osinbajo said placing a ban on gas investments in developing nations raised questions around equity, justice and inclusion.
The African Energy Chamber (AEC), an African energy policy think tank based in South Africa, said that this proposal would facilitate novel investments by Europe in Africa’s natural gas.
AEC said this would therefore help Europe unlock billions of euros in finance and sustainable energy funds to support gas as a transitional fuel.
NJ Ayuk, executive chairman, AEC, said that the demonisation of Africa’s gas industry needs to stop, and investments need to come into the sector.
“While we continue this engagement, it is important that the oil and gas industry focuses its investment on further reducing carbon emissions within the gas value chain,” he said.
Ayuk said that sustainable development and making energy poverty history would require Africa to increase gas within its energy mix.
He said this would activate possibilities for the continent to reduce its carbon footprint, even though Africa is under 4% of global emissions.