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Tinubu At COP28: Nigeria Will End Gas Flaring To Halt Methane Emissions

He unfolded a bold mission for a greener Nigeria with the roll out of 100 electric buses, while challenging the US and China to do more for the planet.

Nigeria President Bola Tinubu has expressed his government’s commitment to end gas-flaring in the country in line with the global push to halt methane emmission.

He also unfolded bold mission for a greener Nigeria with the roll out of 100 electric buses aimed at sustainable and eco-friendly future for the country.

The President made the declaration on Saturday at the ongoing United Nations Climate Conference (COP28) summit on methane and other non-greenhouse gases in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

President Tinubu, who shared the platform with the President of COP28, Dr. Sultan Ahmed al-Jabar; the United States Special Envoy on Climate, John Kerry, and the Chinese Envoy on Climate, Xie Zhenhue, told the world the Nigeria has already imposed heavy penalty for defaulters.

Praising the leadership of UAE in the drive to reduce greenhouse gases, the President said he was aware of the need for participants to make committments to the goal of limiting the earth’s temparature increase to 1.5C by the end of the century.

His words: “Sitting here in this room, I know that we have to commit ourselves. We have been doing so before today. We are committed to critical steps to reduce methane emissions by ensuring gas flaring is eliminated. There is a huge penalty for that. There is equally a huge incentive to do so.

“The measures that are taken here are a welcome development, no doubt about that. 

I am with the leadership of the UAE for the commitment shown so far.

“We are consolidating on gas export, usage domestically and export to other countries. I can assure you that we will be partners in progress to achieve renewable energy.

“We are committed to energy mix, we are providing cooking gas for our large population. We will continue to do that.

“We have signed off on reduction of methane. We will leverage on new technology and we hope that the two giant nations and the Emirates will be able to help us.”

He pointed out that the world’s biggest economies, the US and China, are the biggest culprits in greenhouse emmissions as he pointed out the earth’s need urgent healing.

While expressing delight that both countries were represented at the summit, he said: “What I know of Africa is the fact that de-risking in additional investment and technological knowhow is very necesary and the largest economies that have benefitted immensely should do more real fast because the earth needs healing and needs more attention.”

Speaking earlier, Sultan al-Jabar stressed that the efforts being made prove that success is possible in the objective to limit the earth’s temparature.

He observed that the elimination of all CO2 gases can be done with thenecessary cooperation and hard work on the part of the countrrues.

Also speaking, John Kerry announced that over $1 billion in new grant funding has been mobilized since COP27 in Sharm el-Shiekh, Egypt.

He expressed happiness that more countries have made methane pledge endorsements. 

According to him: “Earlier today the United States finalized standards to sharply reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations. And those efforts will achieve a nearly 80% reduction and is planning a rulemaking review. 

“We, United States, are planning a rulemaking review on methane emission standards for landfills. The United States and the European Union launched a global methane pledge two years ago in Glasgow, with 100 countries joining. 

“At COP 27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, we were able to grow the list of endorsements to 150 countries. And I’m pleased today to announce a new global methane pledge endorsements from Angola, Kenya and Romania. And I’m particularly excited that Turkmenistan Kazakhstan joined yesterday and Kosovo President Costco is here to join today.. We’re working to turn the pledge itself into action. 

“Over 86 countries covering well over half of emissions have national methane action plans in place and we are engaging with our partners to develop them. And we are launching exciting new initiatives and partnerships including lowering organic waste or low methane to support some national waste reduction efforts around the world. 

“And to help support this country efforts my friends, President Biden launched the methane finance sprint at the April 2023 major economies forum he hosted at the White House. 

That had the aim of raising $200 million in order to help us go forward. 

“Well, I’m very pleased to announce today that the United States, the European Union, other governments, philanthropies and the private sector significantly exceeded that target. And together, we have mobilized over $1 billion in new grant funding since COP27 for methane that has more than tripled previous annual methane grant funding. 

“And then we will leverage the score in project investment. And these funds are going to support cutting methane emissions across all sectors with a focus on low and middle income countries.

“As part of this effort, my friends, we have a group of oil and gas companies that have stepped up and and decided to take a leadership role in helping to deal with this job on a local basis.”

Also on Saturday, President Tinubu declared that Nigeria is taking a significant step towards a sustainable and eco-friendly future by introducing a pioneering initiative to deploy a fleet of 100 electric buses. 

The President spoke at a high-level meeting with stakeholders and investors on the Nigeria Carbon Market and Electric Buses Rollout Programme on in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on the margins of the COP28 climate summit. 

President Tinubu explained that the strategic initiative is aimed at significantly reducing Nigeria’s carbon footprint and modernizing the country’s transportation systems as part of a larger effort to position Nigeria and Africa as the pioneering frontier of green manufacturing and industrialization with a focus on natural gas as a transition fuel alongside other renewable energy sources.

To spearhead this transformative plan, the President announced the appointment of the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Zacch Adedeji, and the Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC), Mr. Dahiru Salisu, to co-chair the Nigeria Carbon Market Activation Plan.

According to him: ”This initiative stands as a testament to our dedication to environmental stewardship as clearly exemplified through our collaboration with the Africa Carbon Market Initiative. Our visionary plan is a strategic guidepost, directing Nigeria towards becoming an investment-friendly destination for carbon market investments. 

”We recognize the imperative of fostering an environment that not only attracts investment but also upholds standardized and sustainable industrial practices. As a manifestation of our forward-thinking approach, we are actively looking to implement robust, enabling policies and frameworks that will serve as the catalyst for the burgeoning growth of the carbon market within our national borders. 

”In further driving my commitment, I have recently approved an Inter-governmental Committee on Carbon Markets to be chaired by the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change to drive this visionary plan”.

He assured prospective investors that the initiative transcends being a mere pilot project. 

”It is a concrete manifestation of our unwavering dedication to a carbon-neutral future. I assure you; this is only the commencement of our ambitious plans, with many more impactful initiatives on the horizon”.

President Tinubu, while acknowledging the pressing need for a comprehensive global collaboration on climate-related challenges, called on global partners to join hands in accelerating collective efforts towards a net-zero future. 

”As we unveil our initiatives, I challenge other nations to emulate our strides in mapping out their sustainable futures with a clear understanding that Africa is a beacon of innovative solutions to climate-related challenges. 

”In this pursuit, we acknowledge the pressing need for comprehensive global collaboration, and we reiterate our commitment to being an active participant in international efforts. 

”Nigeria’s plans for a greener and cleaner economy can serve as an inspirational narrative for nations worldwide. Our comprehensive approach, rooted in visionary leadership and pragmatic action supported by our technical partners, is poised to become a blueprint for countries aspiring to also develop and catalyze their markets for sustainable growth,” the President further said.

Earlier in his remarks, FIRS Chairman, Mr. Zacch Adedeji acknowledged the visionary leadership of President Tinubu as the guiding force behind Nigeria’s commitment to harnessing its vast carbon potential.

Adedeji pledged the full commitment of the Committee to drive the implementation of efficient policies and frameworks to achieve sustainable carbon market growth.

Reiterating Nigeria’s readiness to lead the global effort to combat climate change, he described the initial phase of the rollout of the electric buses as a tangible symbol of Nigeria’s commitment to modernizing its transportation systems while reducing Africa’s modest carbon footprint.

”In the immediate term, Nigeria will proudly unveil a series of innovative, clean, modern, and sustainable initiatives across diverse sectors. These initiatives are strategically designed to not only address climate change-related challenges but also to position Nigeria as an attractive destination for global investments. 

”The business-friendly environment and policy frameworks we are developing underscore our readiness to welcome and facilitate investments that align with our collective commitment to a greener future for Nigeria and the African continent”.

Deji Elumoye in Abuja