The group of G7 countries currently meeting in the United Kingdom are set to agree on a plan to end reliance on fuel and diesel-powered cars by 2030.
This is part of a comprehensive Green Belt and Road Initiative aimed at providing developing countries with billions of dollars in aids and investments required to curb carbon emissions. It is also seen as an alternative to China’s belt and road initiative which China has promoted in Africa and developing economies globally.
According to a report published by the British Government, the G7 nations want to consent to a “nature Compact” that will “halt and reverse: biodiversity loss by 2030. The plan includes conserving or protecting 30% of more of land and ocean respectively globally by the end of 2030.
“The G7 will endorse a Nature Compact at this afternoon’s meeting to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 – including supporting the global target to conserve or protect at least 30 percent of land and 30 percent of ocean globally by the end of the decade.”
The group also agreed to lay down action plans required to slash carbon emissions which include ending government support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas and phasing out petrol and diesel cars.
“Leaders will set out the action they will take to slash carbon emissions, including measures like ending all unabated coal as soon as possible, ending almost all direct government support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas and phasing out petrol and diesel cars.” – UK Government
UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, set the tone stating the commitments of the leaders of the G7 to reduce emissions.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Protecting our planet is the most important thing we as leaders can do for our people. There is a direct relationship between reducing emissions, restoring nature, creating jobs and ensuring long-term economic growth.
As democratic nations we have a responsibility to help developing countries reap the benefits of clean growth through a fair and transparent system. The G7 has an unprecedented opportunity to drive a global Green Industrial Revolution, with the potential to transform the way we live.”
The G7 are also expected to commit to almost halve their emissions by 2030 relative to 2010. The UK is already going even further, pledging to cut emissions by at least 68% by 2030 on 1990 levels (58% reduction on 2010 levels).
The United States Government also confirmed comments by the UK stating an end in direct support for thermal coal power generation.
“Accelerating Decarbonization and Transition from Unabated Coal: Confronting the climate crisis presents a historic opportunity to drive our economic recovery, create millions of good-paying union jobs, and build back better as we invest in a more resilient, prosperous, equitable, and secure future.
Recognizing that unabated coal power generation is the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions globally, and consistent with President Biden’s domestic leadership, G7 Leaders will commit to an end to new direct government support for unabated international thermal coal power generation by the end of this year.”
What this means for Nigeria
The plan to curb support for investing in fuel and diesel-driven cars is a direct threat to Nigeria’s economic future.
- The Nigerian Government relies on crude oil export for over 50% of its revenues.
- In addition, Nigeria spends trillions of dollars importing refined petroleum products to meet the demand for powering industries, its travel industry and more importantly, energy independence.
- About $15 billion has been sunk into Dangote Refinery, a private sector-led effort to stop the importation of refined products.
- The Nigerian Government is also pouring hundreds of billions through the CBN’s Power Sector Intervention Facility. Most of the funds are channelled towards expanding the grid, metering and curbing distribution losses. However, a significant portion is also used to fund power generation from plants that rely on fossil fuel.
- Efforts at generating power via renewables are mostly private sector-led and have increased in the last couple of years. However, they are far behind fossil fuel power generation in scale and price.
- The commitments by the G7 countries to provide funding for green-related projects should interest businesses in Nigeria in the oil and gas sectors as well as the government. However, doubts remain whether the G7 countries can put the money where their mouth is.