“The world should not have to choose between energy poverty and climate change as this can be addressed with both natural gas and Liquified Petroleum Gas as transition fuels alongside other renewable sources.”

This was the kernel of the lead keynote address delivered by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where the World Liquified Petroleum Gas Association (WLPGA) is holding its week-long forum.

The association’s 2021 LPG Week brings together over 2,000 delegates from 72 countries, including major LPG companies, senior public sector officials, industry experts and other relevant stakeholders.

Speaking on the theme “Energizing Tomorrow” at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Prof. Osinbajo noted that it was “worrying that a growing number of wealthy nations have banned or restricted public investment in fossil fuels, including natural gas.”

“Such policies often do not distinguish between different kinds of fossil fuels, nor do they consider the vital role some of these fuels play in powering the growth of developing economies, especially in sub-Saharan Africa,” he stated.

“As development finance institutions try to balance climate concerns against the need to spur equitable development and increase energy security, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union have all taken aggressive steps to limit fossil fuel investments in developing and emerging economies.

“The World Bank and other multilateral development banks are being urged by some shareholders to do the same. The African Development Bank, for instance, is increasingly unable to support large natural gas projects in the face of European shareholder pressure.”

While he acknowledged that all countries have a part to play in the fight against climate change, Prof. Osinbajo emphasized that “a global transition away from carbon- based fuels must account for the economic differences between countries and allow for multiple pathways to net-zero emissions.”

The VP, who was accompanied to the event by Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, the Nigerian Ambassador to the UAE, Mohammed Rimi, among others, submitted that it should not be necessary to have to choose between energy-poverty nexus and climate change since both can be properly addressed simultaneously.

Noting that there were still close to 600 million Africans without access to electricity, Prof. Osinbajo observed that, “for developing countries, unlike the rest of the world, the transition to net zero emissions poses two… existential problems.”