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Is Nig.’s population too big to go green?

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By Abraham Adekunle

Achieving sustainability despite population growth and climate change.

Often referred to as the “Giant of Africa,” Nigeria finds itself at a critical juncture where rapid population growth intersects with escalating climate change impacts. With a current population of 219 million, which is projected to surge to 377 million by 2050, Nigeria’s demographic trajectory intertwines with its vulnerability to environmental crises. The intricate connection between population dynamics, climate change, and the imperative for sustainable development must be considered, illuminating the challenges, opportunities, and imperatives facing Nigeria in its quest for a resilient and equitable future.

Nigeria’s demographic is marked by a youthful population, with nearly half of its inhabitants under the age of 19. This demographic dividend holds promise for economic vitality, innovation, and social dynamism. However, stark wealth disparities persist, with two-thirds of the population languishing below the poverty line. Unemployment rates remain high, particularly among youth, increasing social tensions and economic inequalities. The rapid influx of young people into the workforce strains infrastructure, public services, and social cohesion, underscoring the urgent need for inclusive growth and equitable development strategies.

Navigating environmental risks of climate change and fossil use.

Climate change poses multifaceted threats to Nigeria’s socioeconomic fabric, ecological resilience, and human well-being. Coastal megacities like Lagos face the specter of rising sea levels, storm surges, and inundation, exacerbated by unchecked urbanization, inadequate infrastructure, and ecosystem degradation. The oil-rich Niger Delta region confronts coastal erosion, land subsidence, and oil pollution, displacing communities, undermining livelihoods, and exacerbating social vulnerabilities. Moreover, escalating temperatures and changing precipitation patterns exacerbate heatwaves, droughts, floods, and crop failures, posing grave risks to food security, public health, and agricultural productivity.

The country’s economy hinges on fossil fuel extraction, particularly oil and gas, which contribute a staggering 93% of export revenue. While hydrocarbon wealth has fuelled economic growth, industrial development, and infrastructure expansion, it has also exacted a heavy toll on the environment and public health. Practices like gas flaring, venting, and oil spills not only squander valuable resources but also emit potent greenhouse gases, exacerbating global warming, and air pollution. Nigeria’s energy poverty perpetuates reliance on polluting fuels like kerosene, diesel, and firewood, further exacerbating emissions, indoor air pollution, and health disparities.

Preserving nature amidst deforestation dilemma and ecosystem degradation.

Further, Nigeria has committed to addressing climate change through international agreements like the Paris Agreement, pledging to slash greenhouse gas emissions, enhance climate resilience, and transition to a low-carbon economy. However, translating climate commitments into concrete action requires overcoming entrenched barriers, including institutional inertia, vested interests in the fossil fuel industry, and limited access to clean energy alternatives. Nigeria’s vulnerability to climate impacts necessitates adaptive measures to enhance resilience, safeguard vulnerable communities, and promote sustainable development pathways.

Its rich biodiversity, vital ecosystems, and forest resources face unprecedented threats from rampant deforestation, habitat degradation, and unsustainable land-use practices. The country experiences one of the highest deforestation rates globally, losing 3.7% of its forest cover annually. Deforestation is driven by a complex interplay of factors, including agricultural expansion, logging, urbanization, infrastructure development, and poverty-driven subsistence activities. Illegal logging, weak law enforcement, and corruption exacerbate forest loss, undermining biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services, and sustainable development goals.

Related Article: FG counters climate change with NCCC- CAA

Addressing Nigeria’s climate and environmental challenges requires a holistic approach that integrates mitigation, adaptation, and sustainable development principles. Investments in renewable energy infrastructure, such as solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal power, can help reduce reliance on fossil fuels, expand access to clean energy services, and promote energy security. Enhancing climate resilience through nature-based solutions, such as afforestation, reforestation, ecosystem restoration, and sustainable land management, can bolster ecosystem services, enhance adaptive capacity, and mitigate climate risks.


Related Link

National Council on Climate Change: Website


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Ask Nigeria
Member
20 days ago

Is Nig.’s population too big to go green?Achieving sustainability despite population growth and climate change.Express your point of view.

SarahDiv
Member
20 days ago

The interplay between population growth, climate change, and sustainability is a pressing concern. Our youthful demographic brings promise but also demands inclusive growth strategies. Climate threats, especially in coastal areas, and heavy reliance on fossil fuels necessitate urgent action for a sustainable future. It’s a complex challenge that requires a balanced approach, incorporating renewable energy, climate resilience, and sustainable land management for a resilient and equitable Nigeria.

Taiwo
Member
19 days ago

Is the population of Nigeria too large to adopt a green lifestyle? – Despite population increase and climate change, achieving sustainabilityOne urgent worry is how population increase, climate change, and sustainability interact. While our younger population holds great potential, inclusive growth measures are equally necessary. dangers posed by climate

Kazeem1
Member
19 days ago

Nigeria, known as “the Giant of Africa,” is at a turning point in its history as the effects of climate change intensify and its population keeps growing. Nigeria’s socioeconomic fabric, natural endurance, and social stability are all at risk from climate change. With a present population of 219 million and projections to reach 377 million by 2050, climate change is a serious issue that needs to be addressed for the sake of the country’s citizens.

Adeoye Adegoke
Member
19 days ago

No, I don’t think Nigeria’s population is too big to go green. Achieving sustainability is possible regardless of population size or climate change. It’s all about adopting sustainable practices, promoting renewable energy, and implementing environmentally friendly policies. By raising awareness, investing in green technologies, and encouraging responsible consumption, we can make significant progress towards a greener future. It’s a collective effort that requires the participation of individuals, communities, and the government. Together, we can create a more sustainable Nigeria for generations to come.