Nigeria is glad that the United States President, Joe Biden’s administration is fully back on board the climate change global agenda, in a commendable restoration of the US government’s support for the Paris Agreement, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
Osinbajo stated this on Monday when he received at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, a US government delegation led by the White House Deputy National Security Advisor, Mr. Jonathan Finer, who is currently visiting Nigeria.
According to Osinbajo, “We’re happy that the US is fully on board with climate change and back to the table on this issue. I think one has to commend the drive that this US administration has put behind climate change.”
Four years ago, the Trump administration had announced the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation issues. But on assumption to power earlier this year, the Biden administration announced the restoration of America’s commitment to the agreement.
Reiterating Nigeria’s position regarding a just transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, ahead of the Net-zero Emissions 2050 target, the VP made the point that “we are concerned, amongst other things, first about some of what has been going on, especially around gas as an effective transition fuel, and how many of the Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and some countries are insisting that gas projects should be defunded.
“This is a principal concern to us; it is one that we have made central to our advocacy and it is one of the issues that we intend to promote at the COP26.”
He then informed the US delegation of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan, which is the first in Africa.
“We have done the costing for it and all of what is required to be able to hit net-zero by 2050. Also, what the implications would be, given the constraints there, and how realistic it would be to get to net-zero by 2050 or not,” the VP added.
Regarding the Democracy Summit President Joe Biden would be hosting later in the year, the VP stated that Nigeria looked forward to participating at the summit.
The Vice President also noted that “one of the things we have always spoken about is how to ensure that illicit financial flows are discouraged,” while adding that the international monetary and financial systems have a role in stopping it.
“Looking at what happened in the last few years, we have received quite a bit of support from the US government, especially in terms of the repatriation of several of the looted funds, and we hope to continue to get the cooperation of the US.”