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Climate change: Situating Nigeria in the net zero agenda

Climate change: Situating Nigeria in the net zero agenda
September 27
17:36 2023


The history of “climate change” in Nigeria can be traced back to the pre-colonial era when human activities such as agriculture, lumbering, and hunting began to impact the environment and the climate. However, it was not until the 1970s that the issue of climate change began to gain significant attention in Nigeria.

In 1972, Nigeria participated in the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm, Sweden. It was the first international conference to discuss environmental issues, including climate change.

In the late 1980s, Nigeria established the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) to address environmental concerns, including climate change. In 2004, Nigeria ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and has since participated in international climate negotiations, including the Conference of Parties (COP) meetings.


Nigeria’s economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas production, which has resulted in significant greenhouse gas emissions, making the country one of the major contributors to global climate change. Nigeria has also been impacted by climate change, with a rise in temperatures, sea-level rise, droughts, and flooding incidents, which have had adverse socio-economic effects.

In response to these challenges, Nigeria has developed a National Climate Change Policy and Response Strategy, and has initiated several actions such as afforestation and reforestation programmes, renewable energy promotion, and “disaster risk reduction”. However, more needs to be done to address the challenges of climate change in Nigeria and achieve the country’s net-zero emissions goals.

To achieve the net-zero agenda, Nigeria must prioritise the following:


Renewable Energy: Investing in renewable energy such as solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal energy can accelerate Nigeria’s transition to a low-carbon economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy efficiency: Encouraging energy efficiency measures in buildings, industries, and transportation can reduce energy usage and reduce the carbon footprint in Nigeria.

Sustainable Agriculture: Promoting sustainable agricultural practices such as agroforestry, crop rotation, and conservation agriculture can reduce food waste and improve soil health, leading to lower greenhouse gas emissions and a healthier ecosystem.

Forest Conservation: Preserving forests and minimizing deforestation is critical in reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by land-use change and land-use practices.


Circular Economy: Shifting to a circular economy by promoting recycling and sustainable product designs can promote sustainable production and consumption practices.

Climate Finance: Nigeria can leverage international climate finance and investment to support its transition to a low-carbon economy.

Climate Governance: Implementing strong climate governance frameworks, and mechanisms can help Nigeria achieve its net-zero goals by facilitating policy implementation, monitoring, and accountability.

By prioritizing these actions and investing in climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies, Nigeria can transition to a sustainable and equitable low-carbon economy and move towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.


Owojaiye Oladapo Olushola writes from Ilorin. He can be reached via [email protected].


Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of TheCable.

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