President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has expressed his administration’s commitment to end gas-flaring in Nigeria in line with the global push to halt methane emission.
The president spoke on Saturday during 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 that Nigeria had already imposed heavy penalty on defaulters.
The president, while saluting the leadership of the host country in the drive to reduce greenhouse gases, said he was aware of the need for participants to make commitments to the goal of limiting the earth’s temperature increase to 1.5C by the end of the century.
He said: “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.”
President Tinubu 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 needed urgent healing.
The president, while expressing delight that both countries were represented at the summit, said: “What I know of Africa is the fact that de-risking in additional investment and technological knowhow is very necessary 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 said the efforts being made had proven that success was possible in the objective to limit the earth’s temperature.
He observed that the elimination of all CO2 gases can be done with the necessary cooperation and hard work on the part of the countries.
In his remark, John Kerry announced that over $1 billion in new grant funding had been mobilised since COP27 in Sharm el-Shiekh, Egypt.
He expressed happiness that more countries had made methane pledge endorsements.
He said: “Earlier today the United States finalised 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.”
On his part, the Chinese Envoy said his country was willing to cut down on greenhouse gases but lack the capacity to do so.
He therefore called support from the international community.