Women Must Be at Forefront of Energy Transition, Says Deputy Secretary-General, in Remarks to Petroleum Engineers’ Nigeria Annual International Conference
Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s video message to the Women Leadership Program at the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition, in Lagos, Nigeria, today:
Ladies and gentlemen, I am excited to join you as you discuss the important and complex topic of the net zero energy transition in Africa.
The Secretary-General and I have made it abundantly clear that we are facing a climate emergency that must be addressed. This means accelerating global efforts to achieve net zero by mid-century. But, we also have to recognize that there isn’t just one pathway to net zero.
Africa is the world’s fastest growing continent and has huge potential. We can and must balance net zero with development, with achieving energy access, with industrialization, with creating good jobs and economic growth, with enabling a prosperous future for our young people.
Each country’s energy transition will be unique and must reflect their own aspirations, priorities and resources. For fast growing African nations to reach their potential the energy transition must be just and equitable. And it must be inclusive.
Women must be at the forefront at the energy transition, providing not only their perspectives but their leadership. They must not only be included in the discussions on Africa’s energy transition; they must be at the table as decision makers and continue to lead the advocacy efforts for an energy transition that supports economic development across the continent.
The good news is that we are seeing exemplary vision and leadership across the continent. For example, a number of countries developed and signed on to the Kigali Communiqué that came out of the Sustainable Energy for All Forum in June, outlining the principles of a just and equitable energy transition for Africa.
I’m proud to see Nigeria in this leadership cohort, announcing a commitment to net zero by 2060 at COP26 [twenty-sixth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] and developing a data-driven energy transition plan to achieve that goal.
Nigeria’s pathway includes increasing solar capacity at an unprecedented scale while recognizing the need for fuels, such as gas, as part of the long-term transition to clean and reliable energy to meet the net zero goal. It also highlights the potential to create significant new jobs as a result of the transition.
And I have to point out that Nigeria’s energy transition plan came together through the leadership of some very influential Nigerian women.
Nigeria offers one example of the unique pathway towards a sustainable and climate resilient future. As a continent we can come together to define our collective priorities, utilize our own resources and tap into leadership of women and men across the continent to develop African solutions.
Through inclusiveness, partnership and leadership, we can ensure a just and equitable energy transition that delivers on the promise of a more sustainable and prosperous future for all. Thank you all for being part of this important effort.