Spotlight Activity: Can Nigeria Climate Change Policy Influence Adaptation Strategy?
Climate change is the latest challenge to sustainable human development. The scientific evidence is clear: climate change is likely to have negative impacts on efforts to achieve Nigeria’s development objectives, including the targets set out in Nigeria Vision 20:2020 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In particular, climate change will impede efforts to reduce the poverty experienced by the majority of Nigerians. It will retard the drive to ensure equity in the distribution of development benefits, particularly among women and men; and it will check the effort to promote sustainable livelihoods. In addition, climate change will likely lead to other changes such as ecosystem degradation and reduced availability of water and food. It is therefore likely to become a major driver of increased human conflict.
The Nigerian Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently approved the adoption of National Policy on Climate Change and Response Strategy (NPCC-RS), as a National Document for implementing climate activities in the country.
According to the FEC, the nation’s highest decision-making body, the approval is to provide the government with a framework for tackling environmental challenges occasioned by global changes in the climate, the effect of which, according to the body, has manifested in increased flooding and rise in sea level.
“Being a signatory to Kyoto Protocol, Nigeria’s adoption of the policy will enhance her obligation towards reduction of emission of obnoxious substances in the environment even as it emerged that gas flaring in the country has been reduced to 8% and will improve further as more gas is sent to generate electricity in upcoming power stations, she the director of Climate Change Department.”
Given Nigeria’s status as a fossil-fuel dependent economy with a large climate sensitive agricultural sector, the development of a climate change policy and response strategy is critical; as climate change portends a serious threat to poverty eradication and sustainable development in general. One of the key pillars of the Vision 20:2020 is investment in low carbon fuels and renewable energy. Achieving the goal of low carbon, high growth and resilient socio-economic system for equitable and sustainable socio-economic and environmental development faces some challenges which include stability and sustainability of enabling environment, adequate institutional and human resources capacity and availability of adequate resources to address mitigation and adaptation initiatives to address climate change. Thus, Government needs to ensure that economic growth, resource management and climate change mitigation and adaptation can all happen simultaneously if this will be done effectively.
Nigeria also needs to undertake numerous activities in the areas of adaptation and awareness creation to ensure the implementation of the UNFCCC policies. This obligation requires a coherent policy on climate change that will holistically view climate change from its multi-sectorial perspective. The policy explicitly itemizes the comprehensive national goals, objective and strategies towards mitigating the consequences of climate change.
Status: Right Direction
The Activity, as reported, has the potential to move the country forward in fulfilling its Paris Agreement pledge, but other steps need to be taken in order for the potential to be fully realized.
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Dr. Peter Tarfa
Depart of Climate Change
Federal Ministry of Environment,