President Muhammadu Buhari has warned that the global rush for electric cars risks replacing the last century’s scramble for fossil fuels with a new global race for lithium found in Africa, endangering geopolitical stability.
The president revealed it in a statement on Sunday before flying to the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
He added that without additional and stable energy, we cannot build the factories that will transform Africa from a low-employment, extractive-driven economy into a middle-income, high-employment continent.
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What President Buhari says
President Buhari said humanity has a duty to act to address climate change issues, saying access to reliable and low-cost energy is the highest concern of all concerns, as the Nigeria is expected to have the second highest population in the world by 2100.
He said, “The terrible warnings of the end of the world are as old as civilization itself. But every year, as the countdown to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP) begins, they increase in volume and intensity.
“Recently, senior United Nations officials sounded the alarm about ‘global conflict and chaos’, massive migration and institutional collapse if greenhouse gas emissions were to go unchecked for much longer.”
He insisted that humanity has a duty to act in the face of these dangers, but nevertheless warned that the nature of gravity means that we must not do it recklessly as it is an inconvenient truth. , but energy solutions proposed by those most eager to tackle the climate crisis are the fuel for the instability they warn.
“For today’s 1.3 billion Africans, access to reliable, low-cost energy is the top concern of all. Estimated at 2.5 billion by 2050 – by 2100 Nigeria alone is expected to have the second largest population on the planet – this “big doubling” (for Nigeria, quadruple) is entitled to more electricity. reliable than their ancestors.
“Without additional and stable energy, we cannot build the factories that will transform Africa from a low-employment, extractive-driven economy to a middle-income, high-employment continent. Children cannot learn any longer and better by battery light than by candlelight. No more than the Africa of today, the Africa of tomorrow cannot move forward with energy production that delivers intermittently.
“The most fashionable modern energy technologies are flawed by their dependence on generators or back-up diesel batteries when there is no wind for the turbines or sun for the panels” he stated.
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He also warned that the global rush for electric cars risked replacing the fossil fuel race of the last century with a new global lithium race for batteries.
“Where there are significant deposits, such as in Africa, this could endanger geopolitical stability. This makes the economic migrations that the UN has warned against more likely. We need to think carefully whether our drive to end the use of fossil fuels so quickly is as wise as it sounds.
“There is not a single ‘green ball’ that can be deployed in Africa or the world that solves the concerns of environmentalists while simultaneously offering the power to fuel hope for greater wealth and progress. for the billion additional citizens of our African future. “
Advise on some things that can be done, said the president;
- Transition to cleaner, but coherent energy production. Power generation from fossil fuels that can provide electricity around the clock under all conditions can be revamped greener through carbon capture and the conversion of power plants to coal and fuel oil heavy in biomass.
- We can come up with new technologies such as mini hydropower plants that can run and generate electricity day and night along shallow waterways without damaging the aquatic life on which local communities live.
- We can also invest in nuclear power. While not renewable, it is carbon neutral and capable of producing base load, constant power generation upon which sustained economic progress can be built. Nigeria is one of a handful of African countries exploring nuclear power, with a research reactor already operational.
we can also learn from our friends in Europe and America who do not always practice what they preach. We call on them to lift the moratorium they have imposed on fossil fuel investments in Africa. Nigeria has pledged to eliminate illegal gas flaring by 2030 – a byproduct of our oil industry – and harness it for power generation. Our intention to end Nigeria’s biggest contribution to greenhouse gas emissions could stagnate without it. Yet there are no such limits to investing in natural gas electricity in the West, where it is seen as a transitional energy source.
“There is an agreement to be made at COP26, but none without the agreement of African nations. We hear climate warnings. We live them. But no one has the right to deny the advancement of our continent. Yet, unless the developed world wakes up, we run the risk of trying to solve the climate crisis through an energy crisis ”, he said.
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What you should know
Nairametrics reported earlier that Muhammadu Buhari traveled to Glasgow, Scotland to attend the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). an investment conference and performed a lesser hajj in Medina and Mecca.
The president said President Buhari’s speech is expected to highlight Nigeria’s priorities and key actions to tackle climate change as well as progress in the country’s transition to a low-carbon economy, in line with the achievement of the Paris Climate Agreement. ”