ICESE 2020: Professor Atayero seeks Reforms to Energy Sector Globally
The Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University, Professor AAA. Atayero has called for immediate reforms in the energy sector in Africa and globally, to address the prevailing scenario of scarcity; inefficient and unaffordable new energy services; and regulatory and institutional framework as well as low private sector participation and investment in the sector.
Professor Atayero made this call at the 2nd International Conference on Energy and Sustainable Environment (ICESE 2020) of Covenant University, held virtually from July 28-30, 2020, with the theme 'Green and Innovative Energy Solutions for Sustainable Development'.
While making his remarks at the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor stated that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) goals sought to tackle global challenges relating to poverty, climate change, environmental degradation, and inequality, among others. He noted that at the core of factors required to attain these goals was sustainable energy essential for heating, cooling, lighting, cooking, mobility, information and communications technology (ICT), operation of appliances and machines in every sector of the economy.
According to the Professor of Communication Engineering, Goal 7 of the SDGs highlighted the need for access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy services if the world was to develop sustainably. However, he noted that apart from threatening human health and quality of life, unsustainable forms of energy production and consumption had severely affected ecosystems and contributed to climate change.
He stated that Covenant University was actively involved in research efforts aimed at evolving innovative solutions in facilitating the achievement of the African Union (AU) agenda 2063 and the SDGs. The recent ranking of the University in the Top 301+ in SDG7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) of the 2020 Impact Ranking of Times Higher Education (THE), attested to the institution's contributions in that direction, he added.
Covenant University and Africa, said Professor Atayero, were blessed with clean energy resources and the required intellectual capacity and human resources, respectively. "It is for this reason; we expect that at the end of the conference, viable strategies on how to harness the green resources of the Continent for sustainable energy and environment, would be put forward," he said.
The Keynote Speaker, Professor Adeola Adenikinju, in his presentation, asserted that energy management was an essential strategy for all energy users including energy producers, who sought to minimise exposure to energy price volatility and reduce their carbon footprint and resource use.
Professor Adenikinju, who is the Director, Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law, University of Ibadan, argued that to enjoy the benefits of green and innovative energy solutions stakeholders must consider the environment where they all live, and how to improve their lot within that abode or environment.
He stated that issues to be considered included: how to align the vision for a more sustainable future with those of current generation of designers and planners in a way to motivate them to buy in and drive the change we need; how to integrate the "triple-bottom-line": economic, social, and environmental components into energy and environmental performance; and how to reverse the downward spiral of poverty and environmental degradation, which constituted a waste of opportunities and resources.
"We need to promote a new era of green and energy solutions that are sustainable - impactful growth - at the same time socially and environmentally sustainable. This period of global pandemic provides an opportunity to invest deliberately in a transition towards efficient and green energy solutions. Such an investment will help nations to rebuild their economies in a manner that conforms to the global climate plan, and at the same time produce enormous economic, employment and innovation potentials for a green recovery," Professor Adenikinju submitted.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee of ICESE 2020, Dr Isidore Ezema, highlighted that the world energy and environment outlook had continued to elicit interest among researchers and policymakers, with energy access still low, especially in African countries.
While affirming that energy was central to the achievement of most of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, the LOC Chairman lamented that the environment got exposed to avoidable pressure and climate change manifestations were becoming more apparent to all.
Dr Ezema said that ICESE 2020 had attracted quality presentations from researchers, practitioners and policymakers in the areas of the environment and climate change, energy and energy management, and the built environment, with the potential to bring about innovative solutions to the energy and environmental challenges that confront all.
Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor AAA. Atayero
Director, Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law, University of Ibadan, Professor Adeola Adenikinju