The United Nations secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, suggested that oil-producing nations, including Nigeria, should cease further developments of new oil and gas projects. He also called for the expansion of existing oil and gas reserves to cease.
President Muhammadu Buhari recently launched an oil drilling campaign in north-east Nigeria, specifically the Kolmani River field covering Bauchi and Gombe states.
The project is estimated to add one billion barrels of oil and 500 billion cubic feet of gas to national reserves.
Guterres made the call in response to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC is the world’s most authoritative climate science body.
The latest report states that human activities have unequivocally caused global warming and fossil fuel use is overwhelmingly driving global warming.
In his reaction, the UN secretary-general said, “I have proposed to the G20 a Climate Solidarity Pact – in which all big emitters make extra efforts to cut emissions, and wealthier countries mobilise financial and technical resources to support emerging economies in a common effort to keep 1.5 degrees alive.
Today, I am presenting a plan to super-charge efforts to achieve this Climate Solidarity Pact through an all-hands-on-deck Acceleration Agenda.
Every country must be part of the solution. The Acceleration Agenda calls for a number of other actions.
According to him, those actions include: “Ceasing all licensing or funding of new oil and gas – consistent with the findings of the International Energy Agency; stopping any expansion of existing oil and gas reserves. Shifting subsidies from fossil fuels to a just energy transition; establishing a global phase down of existing oil and gas production compatible with the 2050 global net zero target.”
He added, “Humans are responsible for virtually all global heating over the last 200 years. The rate of temperature rise in the last half century is the highest in 2,000 years. Concentrations of carbon dioxide are at their highest in at least two million years. The climate time-bomb is ticking.”
He said the IPCC report is a how-to guide to defuse the climate time-bomb. “It is a survival guide for humanity. As it shows, the 1.5-degree limit is achievable. But it will take a quantum leap in climate action.
“This report is a clarion call to massively fast-track climate efforts by every country and every sector and on every timeframe.”
“I urge all governments to prepare energy transition plans consistent with these actions and ready for investors. I am also calling on CEOs of all oil and gas companies to be part of the solution.”
In his reaction to the IPCC report, the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Achim Steiner, said: “The science is clear that we can keep 1.5C alive with sound, evidence-based policy-making. I echo the call of the UN Secretary-General for the Acceleration Agenda and for immediate, strong, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to reach global net zero by 2050. Indeed, the adverse impacts of climate change will increase with every fraction of a degree.”
He added that, “Crucially, high-income countries must extend the promised means including finance, debt relief, and partnerships to developing countries to address climate change and development as co-investments, based on the recognition that only collective action by our global community will be sufficient. That includes developed countries finally delivering on the long overdue promise of extending at least $100 billion per year in climate finance to developing countries.”