Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says Africa can become the world’s first green civilisation through the use of renewable energy.
Osinbajo spoke in Abuja on Tuesday during the signing of the definitive agreement of carbon vista between the Nigeria sovereign investment authority (NSIA) and Vitol, a multinational energy firm.
He said the agreement – which entails investing in projects like water purification, reforestation, and clean cooking – is the type of multi-level collaboration needed for Nigeria and Africa to achieve climate change objectives.
The Vice-President said Africa needed a fair transition away from fossil fuels that would serve as climate justice for the continent.
“I think one of the things that this tells us is that we are set for the sort of collaborations that are required among the public, private, and of course the third sector, the civil society,” he said.
“The truth of the matter is that we are left with no choice today in the world and for many who are taking the developments in the whole climate change story, it is evident that everyday reminds us that we get closer and closer to the point of no return.
“And that if we are not careful, we may find ourselves with a tragedy of immense proportions. Some have said that the death of the planet will come with neglect of the climate and neglect of what we are being told already.
“While we talk about climate justice and saying that the transition must be a fair one; and saying that we still need fossil fuel for several purposes, we must also agree that there is a new way by which Africa and indeed, Nigeria, can benefit immensely from what is coming to us.
“In other words, Africa can become the first truly green civilisation; the first civilisation on earth to use renewable fuels for the purposes of a transformative economic journey.
“And how can we do that? Of course, we can do that because first of all, we are the lowest emitters today; and if we are going to develop our industry for the rest of the world, we can start from where we are today, we do not have to start where the rest of the world is at the moment.
“If we are the least emitters, and we are able to use green energy effectively, we are able to use the young population that we have; we are able to effectively deploy green manufacturing on the scale that is required to become the global green factory of the world and global green power of the world, we can indeed, do something that is revolutionary and different.”