Policy Alert, Partners Launch Youth Campaign On Energy Transition

By Stephanie Odiase

A group of civil society and youth-driven organisations led by Policy Alert, have launched a national campaign to mainstream young people and their priorities in Nigeria’s energy transition plans.

Presenting the platform tagged #YouthVoices2060 during a virtual launch event yesterday, Edidiong Dickson, Policy Alert’s Programme Officer for Energy, Extractives, and Climate Justice, described it as “a loose network of young people and youth-focused organizations contributing skills, energy, and innovations towards Nigeria’s fossil fuel phase out and the transition to a clean energy future”, adding that “Youth Voices 2060 is launched as an organic marketplace of ideas for and by young people.”

A statement issued at the end of the launch, noted that “With over 70 percent of its population below the age of 30, Nigeria has the world’s biggest youth cohort relative to its population size. The country also has one of the largest energy deficits globally.

“In the context of the global energy transition, this contradiction offers a demographic opportunity to transform the country’s energy system in clean and sustainable ways that can benefit both young people and society in general,” the statement added.

The statement noted that some domestic policy frameworks on de-carbonisation, including the Energy Transition Plan (ETP), neither involved youths in their formulation nor did they contain any explicit references to youth priorities. The youths further urged the Nigerian government to review the ETP and mainstream youth perspectives in its implementation  as the country approaches 2060, its target year to attain carbon neutrality.

Speakers at the launch which was organised in partnership with the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) and BudgIT Foundation, include Olumide Olaniyan, Executive Director of International Climate Change Development Initiative (ICCDI), Chizoba Nzeakor, a climate and clean energy professional with Zoba Advisory, and Emmanuel Anene, a doctoral researcher in clean energy.

Others included Mrs. Obiageli Onuorah of the Nigeria Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), David Arinze, Programme Officer at Diamond Development Initiatives, Lauritta Boniface, Co-founder of Ecocycle, and Richard Umar, Founder of Youth Voyage of Nigeria.

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