Why Africa’s goal of net-zero energy remain elusive – Timipre Sylva

Ken Ibenne

Ken Ibenne

Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, warned in Abuja yesterday that unless African countries pool their financial resources to enhance vital energy infrastructure, clean energy targets and predicted climate change actions may remain illusive.

Sylva said the continent has to start looking within to establish ways for generating investments in order to achieve a greener Africa without jeopardizing the continent’s energy sufficiency, speaking at the Nigeria-Africa Natural Resource and Energy Summit.

Disturbed by the continent’s energy poverty, the minister said it was still critical that each nation and region develop a green program to encourage a coordinated response to the planet’s constant threat posed by CO2 emissions.

“However, such programs must take into account the facts and conditions that exist in these regions, notably in terms of socioeconomic development and energy needs.”

“Energy security should be the primary issue in every country’s energy policy.” This is a top priority goal for governments all across the world. The reason is not implausible: Economic growth is fueled by energy. As a result, energy security is synonymous with optimal and long-term economic growth. Energy is a necessary component of human progress and socioeconomic prosperity. It’s crucial for job creation, security, health, and other human concerns,” Sylva explained.

According to UN figures, around 760 million people worldwide do not have access to electricity, with three out of every four of them living in Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to him, only 48% of Sub-Saharan Africans have access to electricity, and only 18% have access to clean cooking fuels, compared to a global average of 90% and 70%, respectively.

According to him, the message was that climate change and sustainable development are not mutually exclusive, and that approaches to addressing these challenges should not be separated.

“Climate change is clearly a big problem for Africa,” Sylva remarked. But the worrying extent of energy poverty is also cause for concern. Both must be dealt with in a long-term manner. It has to be a win-win arrangement for both parties.

“The goal of the energy transition is to provide clean energy rather than to differentiate between different energy sources. Faced with the current high level of energy poverty around the world, particularly in Africa, all energy sources will be required to meet the sustainable development objective of providing everyone with inexpensive, reliable, sustainable, and contemporary energy.

“It is clear that renewable energy sources alone will not be sufficient to attain this goal.” All accessible energy sources should be explored, and available technologies such as carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) should be used to clean them up.”

He insisted that oil and gas would continue to be important components of the global energy mix for decades to come, emphasizing that they would be needed and essential for driving global socio-economic development, particularly in energy-poor countries, primarily in Africa, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Nigeria has already made a substantial commitment to energy transformation, vowing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions significantly under the Paris Climate Agreement. This is in addition to Nigeria’s pledge to achieve carbon net-zero status by 2060, made by His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari at COP 26 in 2021.

“Nigeria is on a path to transition from its current energy system to a low-carbon energy system, with natural gas playing a key role,” he said.

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