US and Nigeria team up to tackle climate change and emissions

From left to right: US Ambassador to Nigeria Mary Leonard, US Special Envoy on Climate Change, Senator John Kerry, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva and Group Chief Executive, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mallam Mele Kyari, after a meeting between Sylva and Kerry, at NNPC Tower, Abuja on Tuesday

By Emmanuella Anokam

The federal government has sought funding and technology support from the United States and the global community to combat climate change and achieve the energy transition.

Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, made this known in Abuja on Tuesday during a meeting with the US President’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, Senator John Kerry.

Kerry visited US technical experts and the embassy team to partner with Nigeria to tackle the climate crisis and reduce global carbon emissions.

The meeting also discussed the possibility of developing financing modalities to combat climate change.

Sylva said Nigeria basically needs finance and technology to keep up with the global community, adding that Nigeria has set its goal of net zero at 2060 and by working together we will get there before 2060.

“We do a lot, we try to break our flares. Our gas flare commercialization program is at an advanced stage, which will remove 13 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere,” the minister said.

He said that since the global community was moving towards cleaner fuel, Nigeria believed that the lesser evil was actually to provide power and clean cooking fuel to people using gas.

“48 countries in Africa contribute 0.5% of carbon emissions. The easiest way for us is to provide energy using gas.

“We don’t deny that climate change is real, we accept it and would also like to be on the energy transition train, but we have certain realities that the world must take into account.

“Our reality is that a large number of people don’t have access to electricity and we don’t have the funds and the technology to make the transition. We need synergy to create funding to move forward at the same pace,” he said.

Kerry said 80% of all broadcasts in the world come from 20 countries, and if those top 20 countries can’t get it right, it’s going to be hard for the rest of the world to get it right.

He added that 48 states in sub-Saharan Africa were responsible for 0.55% of all emissions.

“Mother Nature, whose life has been greatly disrupted by the action of human beings, does not measure whether the emissions are coming from China, the United States or Europe,” he said.

He explained that the challenge of the climate crisis stems from the emissions resulting from the choices we have made, about powering vehicles and homes, lighting our homes, and energy to cook and power machinery.

Describing Nigeria as one of the countries in Africa that would suffer the most from the consequences of the climate crisis, he indicated that Nigeria’s decision on the future should have a profound impact on the choices of all African countries.

Kerry, while praising Nigeria for stepping up efforts to reduce gas flaring and venting, urged the government to explore the possibility of selling to Europe, which now badly needs it.

He said he had put in place an emergency program called the President’s Emergency Program for Adaptation and Resilience, which put $12 billion on the table to help countries.

“Fifteen million people die each year because of air pollution, that is to say greenhouse gases. Five million people die every year from extreme heat and it’s only getting worse. We look forward to bringing people together to solve this problem,” he said. (NAN)(

Edited by Ifeyinwa Omowole

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