Nigeria: Nigeria Climate Change Policy Response Strategy
Nigeria is yet to have any climate change specific law enacted by the National Assembly (the legislative arm of government) and assented to by the President (London School of Economics and Political Science, 2013). The country has however adopted several environmental and sectoral policies, strategies, and plans where climate change adaptation could apply; though at present their use in enabling and supporting climate change adaptation is limited (BNRCC, 2011). In 2012, the Federal Executive Council adopted a comprehensive strategy policy on climate change: the Nigeria Climate Change Policy Response and Strategy (New Climate Institute, 2015). The overarching objective of the policy is to promote low-carbon, high-growth economic development and build a climate-resilient society through the achievement of the following targets (London School of Economics and Political Science, 2013; UNFCCC, 2015):
- Implement mitigation measures that will promote low carbon as well as sustainable and high economic growth;
- Enhance national capacity to adapt to climate change;
- Raise climate change related science, technology and R&D to a new level that will enable the country to better participate in international scientific and technological cooperation on climate change;
- Significantly increase public awareness and involve private sector participation in addressing the challenges of climate change; and
- Strengthen national institutions and mechanisms (policy, legislative and economic) to establish a suitable and functional framework for climate change governance.
Success of the Policy
Through the policy, Nigeria intends to foster sustainable development by means of national initiatives that strengthen the country’s strategies on climate change preparedness, adaptation and mitigation across all sectors of society including vulnerable groups (London School of Economics and Political Science, 2013). The success or failure of the policy is still too early to determine given that it has only been recently adopted.
Advocates and Supporters for the Policy
A number of studies on climate change vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies have been conducted by civil society groups, academia, faith-based organizations, the private sector, government agencies and international donor organizations. These efforts led to the publication of the National Adaptation Strategy and Plan of Action for Climate Change Nigeria in 2011; the document describes strategies, programs and measures for 13 important economic and social sectors (UNFCCC, 2015; AAP Nigeria, 2016). Though this policy document did not find official support (London School of Economics and Political Science, 2013), the efforts of the aforementioned groups contributed to the adoption of a National Climate Change Policy and Response Strategy by the Federal Executive Council.
Increasing Policy Capacity
There have been calls to establish a national climate change commission that would coordinate climate issues nationwide (Ekpoh, 2014). A bill on setting up the commission however is yet to be approved. In the meantime, there is the Department of Climate Change, within the Federal Ministry of Environment, that is responsible for the handling of climate change issues. The Federal Government of Nigeria has also established the National Climate Change Trust Fund and the Environmental Sustainability Group to design and attract financing mechanisms for adaptation initiatives (AAP Nigeria, 2016).
Given its recent adoption, it is yet to be seen if there is need to increase the capacity of the policy to improve reduction of greenhouse gases and what lessons, if any, there are for possible adoption/adaptation by other countries.
Africa Adaptation Programme (2016). “Nigeria”, AAP Nigeria. Available at: <https://www.undp-aap.org/countries/nigeria> [Accessed 26 September 2016]
Building Nigeria’s Response to Climate Change Project (2011). National Adaptation Strategy and Plan of Action on Climate Change for Nigeria (NASPA-CCN), BNRCC. Available at: <http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download;jsessionid=27C7F6A7FD5FCAAD495C69457F2C5F7D?doi=10.1.1.367.6707&rep=rep1&type=pdf>
Ekpoh, I. J. (2014). “Slow Response to Climate Change in Nigeria: Need for Urgent and Comprehensive Action”, Studies in Social Sciences and Humanities, Vol. 1, No. 1, 19-29. Available at: <http://eprints.covenantuniversity.edu.ng/3787/1/corporate%20machiavellism-ijm.pdf>
London School of Economics and Political Science (2013). “National Policy on Climate Change: Executive, Mitigation and Adaptation Framework”, Available at: <http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/law/national-policy-on-climate-change-2/>
NewClimate Institute (2015). “National Policy on Climate Change Nigeria 2013”, Available at: <http://www.climatepolicydatabase.org/index.php?title=National_Policy_on_Climate_Change_Nigeria_2013>
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (2015). “Nigeria’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution”, UNFCC. Available at: <http://www4.unfccc.int/submissions/INDC/Published%20Documents/Nigeria/1/Approved%20Nigeria’s%20INDC_271115.pdf>