Home Health Expert reveals how Nigeria can leverage COP28 to tackle energy crisis

Expert reveals how Nigeria can leverage COP28 to tackle energy crisis

How Nigeria can leverage COP28 to tackle energy crisis - Expert

A Professor of Environmental Law, Olanrewaju Fagbohun, says Nigeria needs to develop capacity for renewable energy investment.

While lamenting that the country is still grappling with a critical energy crisis, the environmental expert noted that Nigeria’s participation in the forthcoming 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference would assist in finding lasting solutions to the energy crisis.

The 2023 UN Climate Change Conference will convene from 30 November to 12 December 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Fagbohun, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and consultant for RouQ and Company Legal Advisory Services and Environmental Law Research Institute, said the country needs to prepare itself to amortize the benefits of opportunities that COP28 presents.

In a statement made available to PUNCH Healthwise titled; “Expectations to Set for Nigeria Ahead of COP28: What Should Be Nigeria’s Priorities”, the Professor of Environmental Law said the country needs to build up strategies on how to tackle the energy crises with renewable energy.
According to him, the upcoming COP28 will not on a platter of gold place solutions to our energy crisis at our feet. The responsibility is on us to analyze where we are, and what we need to do to develop our capacity for renewable energy because that’s the energy investment the world is extensively adopting. So,
He added, “Nigeria should have strategies that will facilitate taking advantage of opportunities arising from the decisions and resolutions taken at COP28.
“We know our priorities in terms of the impact of climate change facing us as a country. We must be very alert to the windows of opportunities that COP28 will present.
“Undoubtedly, COP28 comes at a decisive moment for international climate action. Temperature records are repeatedly being broken by significantly wide margins and climate impacts manifested in unprecedented wildfires, floods, storms and droughts worldwide. Scientists have noted that the earth has been warmer in 2023 than in any other year on record. Clearly, much more has to be done to fast-track the energy transition and reduction of emissions before 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5° C (2.7° F) above pre-industrial levels.
“This priority aligns with one of COP28’s goals of fast-tracking the energy transition and slashing emissions before 2030 and climate finance. For example, Nigeria’s Renewable Energy Master Plan seeks to increase the supply of renewable electricity from 13 per cent of total electricity generation in 2015 to 23 per cent in 2025 and 36 per cent by 2030.
“Renewable electricity would then account for 10 per cent of Nigerian total energy consumption by 2025. What structures are on the ground to actualize this lofty aspiration? What is the government doing with the private sector to ensure that this aspiration becomes a reality? For me, we still have a long way to go.
“Although the appeal for renewable energy sources has grown exponentially in the pursuit of climate change mitigation, the appeal will not by itself translate to reality. We must make REMP a functional mechanism if we hope to amortize the benefit of relevant climate financing opportunities that may result from COP28.”
Fagbohun also stressed that Nigeria’s participation in COP28 must unlock the operationalization of $100 billion Loss and damage funding while advocating for increased climate action and equitable climate finance distribution.
He further said, “Generally, developing countries need financial resources, as well as technology transfer and capacity-building, to help them reduce emissions, adapt to climate change, and address loss and damage.
“Nigeria as a developing country has faced disasters that fall within the purview of loss and damage. How well Nigeria will fare in being able to benefit from the fund when it is up and running, will depend on the quality of its data in respect of loss and damage suffered.
“In the absence of data that can meet the rigour of transparency, accountability, and inclusiveness, we may be met with serious obstacles.
“We must ensure that we do not put ourselves in such hopeless and helpless situations.”
He, however, said the ministries and other relevant agencies of government must coordinate and properly harmonize their activities in ways that will enable them to tackle climate change head-on.
He noted, “The government needs to understand that the Loss and Damage Fund will never be enough and it will be accessible to only countries that are well-equipped and positioned.
“By and large, when we look at COP28, it should not be looked at in isolation, but as a country with an African climate position.
“We should adequately prepare to utilize those windows of opportunity with the resolutions of COP28 and align our priorities with such expectations. The homework we need to put in place lies in setting our priorities well.
“Priorities such as having relevant data, capacity building, unified framework for easy access for Loss and Damage Fund, national cohesive partnerships with industries, the private sector, and consistent climate change policies.
“COP28 are critical for meeting the impacts of climate change and advancing a sustainable future for decades to come. Globally, expectations are high and of course, the sense of urgency. Nigeria must emerge from this conference with an invigorated sense of purpose, stronger and strategic partnerships, and a lucid roadmap to a sustainable future.”
Culled from PUNCH

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