Nigeria Has Not Yet Committed to Becoming Carbon Neutral

Nigeria Has Not Yet Committed to Becoming Carbon Neutral

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Nigeria Country Manager Peter Hansen


GHG Emissions in Nigeria Continue to Rise

Nigeria has seen a drastic increase in its total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, especially in the past 10 years. In 1990, the country’s GHG emissions were at 249.87Mt of CO2E. By 2009, it had only risen just under 10Mt to 258.87. However, since then, the GHG emissions have skyrocketed up to 357.52Mt (see Figure 1). The data has been submitted by the Nigerian government to the United Nations Environment Program through a pledge pipeline that requests honest data.

Figure 1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Nigeria

 Source: Climate Watch Data

In figure 1, you can also see the 2030 emission targets by the Nigerian government. The navy-blue marker indicates the “business as usual” emission target of 900.00Mt, which is a number that Nigeria can hopefully steer clear of. Below that marker, is the unconditional marker of 720.00Mt, which is 20% below business as usual. Unconditional refers to minimum target the country will try to obtain without the influence and financing by other countries. The third marker indicates the conditional target of 495.00Mt with international support. As a developing country, it can be quite difficult to reduce GHG emissions drastically since the economy does not have the necessary resources to do so. As other countries seek to invest in Nigeria, they need to do it in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.

In its initial climate pledge in 2017, the “Nigerian government said it would reduce its emissions by ramping up the rollout of solar energy production, improving energy efficiency and ending gas flaring” (Carbon Brief). As noted in previous posts, the Nigerian government, in their Covid-19 economic recovery plan, has committed to providing 5 million households with access to the grid through solar panels. This part of the plan has not started yet, but if it is followed through with then it will be extremely helpful in reducing emissions. However, it only solves one part of the problem and Nigeria is still a long way away from reaching the conditional target of 495.00Mt.

Nigeria Has Not Yet Committed to Becoming Carbon Neutral

As of April 23, 2021, Nigeria confirmed their commitment to the Paris Agreement when President Muhammadu Buhari spoke at the U.S.-led Climate Summit. The President even stated that Nigeria has undertaken “major environmentally sound and climate friendly programs” (AfricaNews). However, it is not so clear what these plans are completely. As of right now, Nigeria has not made any commitments to be carbon neutral by 2050, which is not surprising because it is a developing country, and it cannot afford to make such a commitment.



Department of Climate Change in Nigeria can be reached using this link:

Image Source: Carbon Brief



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