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Climate change: Africa needs more energy sources beyond renewable energy – Buhari

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Climate change: Africa needs more energy sources beyond renewable energy – Buhari

President Buhari has called for a focus on more energy sources beyond renewable energy if Africa seeks to effectively tackle climate change.

According to a statement by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, President Muhammadu Buhari made the call on Wednesday in Abuja at a meeting of the African Union (AU) on the New Partnership for African Development(NEPAD).

The meeting was under the auspices of the 39th Session of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC), at the margins of the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Union.

Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Buhari said African leaders must continue to build sustainable power systems to accelerate development and create economic opportunities for the people.

He also called for greater collaboration among Africans in order to effectively confront challenges like those in climate change as well as public health such as local vaccine production among others.

Buhari said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has severely weakened our economies but it has also left important lessons. One is that Africa needs to prepare itself more for Intra African collaboration to fight public health challenges, especially those of pandemic scale. We must work together to promote vaccine production in Africa. The second issue I would like to raise is Africa’s response to climate change and the zero-emissions targets set in Paris and at subsequent climate change meetings. We must of course contribute our quota in protecting the environment and preventing climate change. But we must also continue to build sustainable power systems to accelerate development and create economic opportunities for our people.”

“We need far more energy than the renewable sources can immediately provide. Therefore, we cannot but adopt gas as a transition fuel. We must together make clear to the developed world that the current trend of withholding funds for investment in gas development is the wrong thing to do at this time,” he further said.

Speaking on the success made by Nigeria in domesticating the NEPAD framework on sustainable development, Buhari said that the Nigerian ICT sector had witnessed exceptional growth, saying that the sector recorded the highest growth of all the sectors of the country’s economy in 2020.

“By intensifying Agricultural development, NEPAD inspired Home Grown School Feeding and other Social Intervention Programmes, we are feeding over nine million children in public schools daily and significantly improving a lot of our people. It is worthy of note that through regional partnership, Nigeria is currently implementing the innovative strengthening of smallholder farmers’ capabilities towards productive land restoration amid COVID-19 in Nigeria. This is not only to cushion the effect of COVID-19 in the country but also to accelerate the implementation of Africa’s regional initiative to restore degraded lands.”

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