Mele Kyari, NNPC Ltd.’s group chief executive officer (GCEO), has highlighted the importance of a fair and differentiated transition for Africa towards a decarbonized future, noting that it is crucial to harness the continent’s resources for its current needs, while safeguarding the interests of future generations.
The GCEO of NNPC Ltd. made this point while speaking at a CEO panel hosted by McKinsey & Company on the sidelines of the United Nations climate change conference (COP28) in Dubai, UAE.
Kyari, who joined other global energy leaders from the United States, the Netherlands, and Oman to share their perspectives on the evolving energy market and how best to address the effects of climate change on the energy sector, stressed on the unique challenges facing Africa in this area and pushed for a tailored approach to the region’s energy transition.
“I have always advocated for a differentiated and just energy transition. In Africa, we have different circumstances compared to other places in the world.
In Africa today, 75 per cent of our population doesn’t have access to electricity, leaving us with biomass as a key energy source. The world needs to recognize that the most practicable thing today is to substitute what we have in the short term to close the energy gap for our rising population,” he stated.
As Nigeria is projected to be among the top 10 economies globally by 2035 and the third most populous country by the same year, the GCEO noted that energy poverty must be discussed alongside the global goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
According to Kyari, Nigeria, with its vast natural gas reserves of over 206 trillion cubic feet (tcf) that could potentially increase to 600tcf, is committed to using natural gas as a key driver in its energy transition. He explained that NNPC Ltd. is developing a regional gas pipeline network to supply natural gas across the African continent and increase the country’s supply of LNG to global markets. He stated that the infrastructure development is progressing rapidly and that several projects are already underway, including the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline and the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline.
Kyari explained that NNPC Ltd. is committed to eliminating gas flaring in its gas projects and using the gas to develop power plants that will boost electricity supply across Nigeria. He highlighted the benefits of such projects in terms of job creation and economic development. He also said that NNPC Ltd. is leading by example in the energy transition, noting that the company has signed up as a participant in the United Nations Global Compact in New York, the first state-owned oil company to do so.