Cooking Gas Stakeholders Task FG on $4.5bn Paris Climate Deal

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Ejiofor Alike

Stakeholders in the cooking gas sector under the aegis of the Nigerian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA) have hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for the ratification of the Paris agreement on climate change but warned that poor implementation could deny Nigeria the $4.5 billion benefits that are expected to accrue to the country from implementing the agreement.

The Paris agreement is expected to deliver $100 billion per year by 2020 in support of developing countries to take climate actions.

The group, which stated that the country’s ratification of the Paris agreement is a step in the right direction, urged the government to ensure full and speedy implementation of the agreement.

The Paris agreement (French: Accord de Paris) is within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that deals with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020.

Buhari had recently signed the instrument of ratification of the Paris agreement on climate change.

He had initially signed the first draft of the agreement at a special event in New York hosted by the former United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, in September 2016.

With the ratification, Nigeria has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions unconditionally by 20 per cent and conditionally by 45 per cent.

Under the agreement, each country submitted an emissions reduction proposal known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, and Nigeria is considering 30 per cent energy efficiency in industries, homes, businesses and vehicles, and increased use of natural gas in generators and renewable energy.

Other measures being considered includes stopping gas flaring, capture of gas, setting standard for appliances, generators, buildings and climate smart agriculture. All of these are expected to lead to $4.5 billion benefits for the country.

The NLPGA President, Mr. Dayo Adeshina, told journalists yesterday that the use of LPG should play a major role in achieving the objectives of the agreement, which he said were geared towards avoiding the most devastating effects of climate change by cutting carbon emissions.

 “If Nigeria must reduce greenhouse gas emissions unconditionally by 20 per cent and conditionally by 45 per cent, then it is important for the government to promote domestic use of LPG,” he said.

Adeshina said about 30 million households and more than 100 million Nigerians depend on firewood as a source of energy for cooking with it attendant collateral damage to human health and the environment.

 “LPG still contributes less than 10 per cent of cooking fuel in Nigeria and such a scenario cannot be allowed to persist if we must achieve the objectives of the Paris agreement on climate change.  Apart from providing a cleaner environment, LPG could be used as autogas and power generation services that will help boost Nigeria’s emissions reduction agenda. However, we need government’s support to deepen LPG usage in the country,” he explained.

 “In 2016, Nigerians consumed about 500,000 tonnes of cooking gas and this showed that the potential will continue to increase. If the government intervenes, we can shift from 500,000 tonnes per annum to two million tonnes per annum. What we want from the government is support in areas like reduction of tariffs and duties reduction on imported LPG equipment, a concession for foreign exchange. We expect better engagement from the government in areas of tariff and intervention fund,” he said.

Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, NLPGA, Mr. Joseph Eromosele, identified inadequate infrastructure, insufficient enforcement of regulations, and an insufficient number of players in the market, financial disincentives, and unofficial and undeclared production and diversion of supplies, as some of the challenges hindering the use of LPG.