Osinbajo in New York for African Carbon Market Meeting

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Photo: Tolani Alli

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday departed Hanoi, Vietnam and travelled to New York for a meeting. In a major push for funding and technical support for the Nigerian Energy Transition Plan, Osinbajo will be delivering the keynote address at a high-level meeting hosted by The Rockefeller Foundation in New York, with global agencies and potential financial partners in attendance to facilitate the activation of the Voluntary Carbon Market in Nigeria and on the African continent.

Participants at the meeting include the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, GEAPP; UN-Sustainable Energy for All, SEforALL; the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa and the U.N. Climate Change High-Level Champions, all of whom have been advocating and actively planning for the African Carbon Market Initiative.

The high-level meeting which holds on Friday will also be attended by officials from the US government and will explore potential opportunities which carbon markets offer to generate resources for clean energy transitions while accelerating economic growth in Nigeria and other African countries.

Ahead of the high-level meeting on Friday, Prof. Osinbajo will interact today with some of the agencies with whom the Federal Government has been engaging on the Energy Transition Plan and the activation of the Voluntary Carbon Market including GEAPP and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

An International Steering Committee is driving the activation of African Carbon Markets in Africa, under the auspices of the African Carbon Market Initiative. Members of the Committee include the Nigerian Vice President, former President of Colombia, Ivan Duque Marquez, officials of the United Nations, United States Agency for International Development, USAID; Gates Foundation among others.

President Muhammadu Buhari announced “Nigeria’s commitment to net-zero by 2060 based on a detailed Energy Transition Plan (ETP),” in his COP26 statement. At COP27 in a speech delivered on the President’s behalf by Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, Mohammed Hassan Abdullahi, he indicated that “the public finance urgently needed to fund energy transitions and climate action is lacking – a situation compounded by debt distress affecting many low and middle-income countries. We are therefore taking bold steps to pioneer innovative climate finance instruments such as debt for climate swaps, and championing the development of the African carbon market initiative.”

According to the ACMI, launched last month at COP27 in Egypt, there are clear indications “that Nigeria could mobilize $600 – 800 million per annum in the capital by 2030 (assuming the current average price of $20 per ton of carbon) from Voluntary Carbon Markets and potentially support 3-5 million jobs over the energy transition period.

Vice President Osinbajo is the Chair of the FG’s Energy Transition Plan Working Group, a multi-ministerial team set up by President Buhari to implement the ETP.

In its statement on the high-level meeting in New York, The Rockefeller Foundation noted “Nigeria’s leadership on the African continent and the global stage,” and praised the Vice President’s “bold voice advocating for carbon market as a solution to simultaneously accelerate economic development and address the effects of Climate Change in Africa.”