By Luka Binniyat
ABUJAâ€”The Chairman,House of Representatives Committee on Climate Change, Hon. Eziuche Ubani (PDP/Abia) over the weekend said the passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) by the United States House of Representatives last week, potent grave danger to Nigerian economy, though a welcome development on mitigating the negative effectÂ global climate change.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, Ubani said, â€œthe passage of ACES Act 2009 by the US House of Reps should be of huge concern to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
â€œEven though it is a welcome development as far as global warming is concernâ€, he observed, â€œbut if the US cuts 25% of its oil import in the next five years, what measure are we taking on this?, since the US buys about 45% of our current daily production of about 1.3 million barrels per day. â€œOne of the implications is that oil prices will significantly go down. And we are dependant on oil for our survivalâ€, he said
â€œIt is good that the ACES Act also stipulates that the US carbon dioxide emission into air will be cut by 20% by 2020, my committee is worried that Nigeria is not working towards the impending economic crisis this Act would inflict on usâ€, he said.
According to him, that fact that President Barack Obama has made in his campaign promise that the US will greatly reduce dependence on foreign oil as a source of energy, by investing heavily on research on renewable energy, Nigeria must also start to urgently diversify her economy.
â€œVery soon, other consumers of our oil will start cutting oil imports, after discovering veritable alternatives to fossil fuelâ€, he warned. “The world is clamouring for less emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by encouraging less usage of hydrocarbon, but that will be at a great cost to Nigerian if we are not ready to diversify our economy nowâ€, he said.
â€œMy committee is going to point this problem out to Speaker Dimeji Bankole, and we will make him to write to President Unaru Yarâ€™Adua reminding him of the danger aheadâ€, he said.
On the stand of Africa to Climate Change, Ubani, who attended the last meeting of the Pan-Africa Parliamentary Conference on Climate Change, told the Press that Africa is pressing for $200 billion from the industrialised nations of the world to help the continent adapt to the negative impact of climate change caused by industrialisation.
â€œAfrica demands that all industrialised countries of the world contribute $200 billion annually as financial flows for adaptation to climate change in Africa and other poor countries.
â€œThese commitments are vital to unblocking the current negotiating deadlock between the West and Africa on climate changeâ€, he said, adding that, â€œwithout flows on this scale, a deal will be unable to insure against catastrophic climate change or protect the most vulnerable from unavoidable climate change.
â€œRich countries must make a commitment on finance well before the next world meeting on climate change in Copenhagen, Denmark next Septemberâ€, he said.
According to him, the meeting called upon, â€œall African Heads of States to promote the common African position on the comprehensive international climate change regime beyond 2012 and participate actively in the continuing international negotiations, bearing in mind that failure to reach a fair and equitable outcome will have dire consequences for Africaâ€.