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Analyzing Nigeria’s commitment to net zero

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By Usman Oladimeji

Nigeria has been experiencing some noticeable climate changes.

Global warming, spurred primarily by activities such as burning fossil fuels, Deforestation, and Livestock farming, is widely considered the most pressing global concern of our time. This phenomenon is jeopardizing the well-being of humans and wreaking havoc on wildlife and biodiversity. The excessive emission of Greenhouse gasses from these activities exacerbates the natural greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, intensifying the impact of Climate Change on a global scale. According to a report from the United Nations Climate Action, fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas play a significant role in global climate change. They are responsible for more than three-quarters of global greenhouse gas Emissions and almost 90% of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.

In the case of Nigeria, climate change is causing widespread effects in the country, including rising temperatures, food Insecurity, health issues, lower agricultural output, increased conflicts, reduced Power Supply, damage to Infrastructure like shelters and roads, and more. It’s worth remembering that in 2012, 363 lives were lost due to flooding in Nigeria. The 2022 flood disaster, however, resulted in the death of 662 individuals and left 3,174 others injured. Additionally, 2.3 million people were displaced and 597,476 homes were destroyed. The total number of people displaced by the 2022 flood disaster was 2,430,445.

FG vowed to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions by 2060.

A devastating flood wreaked havoc on 30 out of the 36 states in the country in the year 2012, resulting in the National Emergency Management Agency reporting a loss of more than ₦2.6 trillion. The agency also estimated that over seven million individuals were impacted by the disaster. The World Bank’s Climate Change Knowledge Portal describes Nigeria as having three diverse climate zones: a tropical monsoon climate in the South, tropical savanna climate in the central regions, and an extreme hot and semi-arid climate in the Northern part of the country.

According to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Nigeria has been experiencing noticeable changes in its climate, such as higher temperatures, erratic rainfall patterns, elevated sea levels leading to flooding, prolonged periods of drought and desert expansion, degradation of land, more frequent occurrence of severe weather conditions, decreased availability of freshwater resources, and reduction in biodiversity. In order to avoid a temperature increase of 1.5°C or more above pre-industrial levels, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has stated that the global community must eliminate carbon dioxide emissions entirely by the year 2050.

Climate Change Bill demonstrating the govt’s commitment.

This was why the Nigerian government vowed to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions by 2060 at the COP26 conference in Glasgow, United Kingdom, on November 2, 2021. Just sixteen days later, the Climate Change Bill was officially signed into law, demonstrating the government’s commitment to fulfilling its promise made at the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Doubts have been raised regarding Nigeria’s commitment to fulfilling this promise. This has aroused questions like what concrete steps has the country taken since 2021 following the pledge and enactment of the law?

Critics also asked “is it possible for Nigeria, a nation in development, to secure funding in order to meet its climate goals by 2060? The challenge lies in the scarcity of financial resources, a major obstacle in advancing climate action and transitioning towards a sustainable future. Can Nigeria successfully halt deforestation by 2030, in line with its commitment to combating climate change? President Bola Tinubu declared in September 2023 that Nigeria must allocate $17 billion for this cause. To successfully achieve its climate goals and energy transition strategy, the country needs a total of $7 billion annually.

Related Article: Climate solutions needs $2.4T investment 

The cost of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan (ETP), which spans until 2060, is estimated to be $1.9 trillion, with an additional $410 billion needed beyond regular spending, according to the speaker. The country’s commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2060 at COP26 is rooted in this ETP adopted in January 2022. In a report from October of the previous year, the African Development Bank emphasized the necessity of substantial Private Sector funding for Nigeria to meet its climate change and sustainable growth objectives. According to the bank’s report titled “Nigeria Country Focus Report 2023”, it is essential to generate private sector Finance/" target="_blank">Climate Finance to achieve Nigeria’s 2030 nationally determined contribution goals.


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