By Oladimeji Ganiyu
As the global campaign over cleaner energy gains momentum, there are strong indications that Nigeria and other developing countries may miss the target over funding constraints.
Secretary General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mr. Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, gave the hint at the Ministerial Roundtable on Energy, Climate and Sustainable Development in Vienna, Austria.
According to BloombergnNEF, about $15 trillion is the amount of money to be invested in new power capacity globally over the next three decades.
The BloombergnNEF analysis also said that between 2020and 2050, another $14 trillion will be invested in the grid, likely to adapt it for a surge in solar and renewable power deployments, which, according to the analysis, will constitute 56 per cent of total global generation capacity by 2050.
Barkindo said financing is critical to reach any climate targets set in developing countries’ nationally determined contributions (NDCs).
‘‘There has been a lot of talk about finance issues from developed countries, but so far a disappointing amount of pledges have been realized. Developing countries have indicated the need for enhanced support, including financial resources, technology development and transfer and capacity building to aid adaptation and back increased ambitions for climate action.
He argued that the capacities and national circumstances of developing countries must be taken into account in all actions in order to not render countries already struggling even more besieged.
He added that it is necessary to carefully consider the adverse socio-economic impacts on these countries due to mitigation activities, in order to identify remediation measures and share best practices.
Barkindo maintained that it should also be noted that COVID-19 has made circumstances more difficult for oil-producing developing countries, which already face devastating losses that could accompany mitigation and adaptation action.
The OPEC scribe disclosed that he has witnessed energy poverty first-hand in his home continent of Africa, where more than 600 million people have little or no access to electricity and 900 million lack safe and clean cooking fuels.
He told his audience that global leaders need to be reminded that for billions, the day does not start by switching on a light, opening a refrigerator or turning the ignition on a car, adding that ccess to affordable and reliable modern energy is a must for everyone.
‘‘There are some who believe the oil and gas industries should not be part of the energy future, that they should be consigned to the past, and that the future is one that can be dominated by renewables and electric vehicles.
We need to counter this evolving narrative. It is important to state clearly that the science does not tell us this, and the statistics related to the blight of energy poverty do not tell us this either. What the science and statistics tell us is that we need to reduce emissions and use energy more efficiently.
We need to show how the oil and gas industry can foster its resources and expertise and help unlock our carbon-free future, through its role as a powerful innovator in developing cleaner and more efficient technological solutions to help reduce emissions’’