Nigeria: 1) Fully implement country’s existing pledge; (2) End gas flaring by 2030; (3) Improve the national electricity grid by increasing power generation and the efficiency of distribution
Nigeria has demonstrated the country’s intentions as captured in its INDC, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while growing the economy sustainably. The submitted INDC is reasonable as it sets realistic targets and identifies key measures to achieve them (UNFCCC, 2015). It is important that Nigeria takes the identified steps to honor the reduction pledge.
A key measure for achieving the set targets as identified in Nigeria’s INDC is ending gas flaring by 2030. Gas flaring has been theoretically prohibited since 1984; however, deadlines have been extended several times and Nigeria remains a top gas flaring nation. The fine for gas flaring is not substantial to motivate oil companies to significantly reduce flares and invest in gas capture and sale. It thus makes good business sense to flare (Milieudefensie, 2010; Resilience, 2013). The government needs to implement the policies and plans that it has developed to deal with the issue, including the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, and Gas Master Plan (ThisDay, 2017). There is also a need to further develop gas infrastructure and markets, and strengthen the legal, regulatory, investment, and operating environments (Sustainable Energy for All Forum, 2014).
Another key measure identified in Nigeria’s INDC for reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions is improvement of the national electricity grid. Increasing power generation and improving the efficiency of its distribution would reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the estimated 9 million electricity generators operated by individuals and businesses due to erratic power supply from the national grid. The Center for Global Development (2014) estimates that replacing these generators with electricity from large-scale natural gas plants could cut carbon dioxide emissions in Nigeria by 18 million metric tons per year (which is a 63% decrease from the level in 2014).
Nigeria’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions is available here: http://www4.unfccc.int/ndcregistry/PublishedDocuments/Nigeria%20First/Approved%20Nigeria%27s%20INDC_271115.pdf
A factsheet on flaring in Nigeria is available at: https://milieudefensie.nl/publicaties/factsheets/factsheet-broken-promises
A few reasons why Nigeria continues to flare natural gas can be found at: http://www.resilience.org/stories/2013-09-03/gas-flaring-the-burning-issue/
A report on Nigeria’s plans and legal instruments to reduce gas flaring can be found here: https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2017/05/21/ending-nigerias-wasteful-habit-of-gas-flaring/
The necessary measures to stop gas flaring in Nigeria and selected countries is available at: http://se4all.org/sites/default/files/l/2014/06/f1-presentation-hamso.pdf
A discussion on how improving electricity generated and supplied by Nigeria’s national grid can be found at: https://www.cgdev.org/blog/how-can-nigeria-cut-co2-emissions-63-build-more-power-plants