BusinessDay

Nigeria, others benefit as Bloomberg invests $242 million in clean energy

Nigeria and nine other developing countries are set to benefit from a $242 million fund to expand Bloomberg Philanthropies’ efforts to accelerate the clean energy transition

This was revealed at the ongoing Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll) Forum in Rwanda, a landmark international gathering on sustainable energy.

According to Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions, the investment is for developing countries where power demand is projected to rapidly grow and there is abundant potential for solar, wind, and other renewable energy capacities.

He said: “This support will help ten countries with enormous clean energy potential seize the opportunity and avoid building new coal plants. Those steps will also help clean their air, create new jobs, grow their economies, and protect communities from harm – and set an example for countries around the world.”

The European Union (EU) and Bloomberg Philanthropies are developing programs and partnerships in Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey, and Vietnam, as part of their current energy transition efforts in seven countries.

Goddy Jedy Agba, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Power, said: “The Federal Government of Nigeria welcomes and applauds the announcement by Mike Bloomberg to help economies seize the clean-energy opportunity.

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“The effects of climate change are devastating in Nigeria and throughout Africa. In Nigeria, we are building the roadmap for net-zero carbon emissions by 2060 and this new commitment by Bloomberg Philanthropies underscores the crucial role of climate financing, including for mitigation and adaptation, and technology transfers, to help Nigeria and other African economies grow with a just, inclusive, and affordable clean-energy transition.”

The ten countries of focus, according to SEforAll, are critical stepping stones to 1.5 degrees – countries with thriving economies where renewable energy development is critical to halt the rush to coal and other fossil fuels.

Climate scope data shows that the countries have nearly 100 gigawatts (GW) of coal power plant capacity and over 75 GW of coal capacity under construction or planned.

Wind or solar, on the other hand, is the cheapest source of new clean energy generation in almost all of these markets. According to the statement, shifting to a green economy will not only reduce emissions and save money, but will also create jobs, improve infrastructure, and provide accessible, renewable, and affordable power.

Bloomberg’s announcement also marks the first phase of his commitment at the Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow to help close or cancel a quarter of the world’s coal plant capacity.

The announcement responds to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ urgent call to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy, phase out coal-fired power, and eliminate fossil fuel subsidies.

Bloomberg said that “We have seen that it is possible to increase access to affordable power, improve public health, and fight climate change all at the same time – and to make progress quickly in each area.

“We have already helped close more than two-thirds of U.S. coal plants, and more than half of Europe’s, faster than almost anyone thought was possible, while also reaping economic benefits.

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