Climate Change: Why Africa Should Define Its Energy Transition Vision – Osinbajo


Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria, has urged African leaders to define the continent’s energy transition agenda as soon as possible. This agenda must address the continent’s inherent peculiarities while also addressing issues such as climate change and its effects on economic development.

This was expressed by Osinbajo at the Africa Finance Corporation’s Infrastructure Solutions Summit on Thursday in Abuja (AFC).

“We are in an unusual position,” the Vice President remarked of Africa’s stance on the transition from gas to renewable energy. “This is why Africa needs to come in very firmly to design a different path.” We are not only confronted with global warming, but also with the existential task of simply surviving.”

“There are other voices throughout the world and in Africa who are saying the same thing,” Prof. Osinbajo says. I believe there has been a shift. The EU has classified nuclear and gas as green investments, and they have stated that more gas expenditures would be required over the next ten years in order to fulfill their 2050 targets.

“They’re giving us permission to say that in order to reach our ambitions, we’re going to require gas investments in the next 30 years in Africa.”

“Africa first needs to join together to put out a vision that is ours for climate change or carbon neutrality by 2050, 2070, or whenever it is convenient,” the vice president continued.

“I don’t believe Africa has expressed its vision yet, but attempts are being made in that direction.” We believe that at COP27 (the upcoming climate change conference in Egypt), we will begin to establish an African vision and initiative, because all of the decisions were begun and taken by wealthier countries, who essentially defined how we respond to climate change. However, we each have our own quirks and obstacles.

“Just to be able to exist and generate industry for millions of people, we need access to energy, access to power.” As a result, Africa faces an existential threat to our economies,” he continued.

“No country in the world has been able to industrialize using renewable energy, and we (Africa) have been asked to industrialize using renewable energy when everyone else in the world knows that we need gas-powered industries for business,” the Vice President said, justifying the case for a wholly African plan and vision on Climate Change.

“We need to put money into fossil fuels.” For development, we require energy access. I am confident that the power of argument will push African leaders to understand that this is, in fact, the way to go.

“We need to make space for investments, not just in natural gas for export, but also in cooking and industry.” As a result, I believe that investing in fossil fuels will become unavoidable due to the sheer weight of the logic of using gas to help our communities.”

Meanwhile, with hopes for a successful COP27 UN Climate Change Conference in Egypt, a new report from the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), Africa’s leading infrastructure solutions provider, lays out the continent’s position by balancing the need for emissions reduction with critical development imperatives.

The research, entitled Roadmap to Africa’s COP: A Pragmatic Path to Net Zero, is placed in a setting where Africa has borne the brunt of climate change’s most destructive effects while contributing little to global emissions. Africa’s catastrophic energy deficit has hindered industrialization and economic development. As a result, Africa requires a realistic climate change agenda that permits the continent to continue expanding its industrial base.

“When it comes to global net zero, Africa is unlike any other continent, and we need a framework for an unified bargaining approach that reflects this,” said AFC President and CEO Samaila Zubairu. “We are arguing that Africa’s energy deficit, as well as the need for quantum leaps in industrialisation for job creation and poverty reduction, as well as climate-proofing physical infrastructure and conserving our powerful carbon sinks, should be taken into account.”

While reducing emissions is critical for the more industrialized and most polluting wealthier nations, the paper contends that reducing the significantly lower emissions of Sub-Saharan Africa has a more limited global impact. The analysis indicates that focusing on three major areas of change will have a considerably higher impact in preventing global warming for African countries.

Other speakers during the summit’s opening session were the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kingsley Obiora; President of the African Development Bank, Mr Samaila Zubairu; and President of the Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Orama, among others.