- Government needs to implement its climate promises
- Deliver solar panels to 5 million households
- Curtail the use and production of coal
- Make gas flaring illegal
For the rest of the climate scorecard countries, reaching the goal of reducing emissions by 50% by the year 2030 is feasible. However, in the case of Nigeria, reaching this is unrealistic as it is much less developed than the other countries. Due to this, Nigeria has announced the goal of reducing emissions by 20% by the year 2030, and even if it wants to accomplish that, it has a long way to go. The most important step Nigeria could take is actual government action.
For far too long, the Nigerian government has made climate promise after climate promise with little action done. It is imperative that the government follow through with these promises in a transparent way. Nigeria’s economic growth and emission reduction is severely hampered by the country’s corruption. Nigeria is ranked 149th on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception index, which ranks all of the countries in the world based off of their levels of corruption. This shows the inadequacy of Nigeria’s government as not only are they not following through on their promises, they are also stealing money and not investing it into the green economy.
One promise they have yet to follow through with is implementing solar panels to 5 million households. This would be a great step towards helping reduce emissions 20% by 2030. The project would decrease emissions tremendously as rural households will no longer need to use excessive amounts of biogas for fuel. The goal for the Nigerian government is to reach the 5 million households by 2023, but they have yet to even build one. On top of bringing a significant number of households on the grid with green energy, the project is estimated to create over 250,000 green jobs. In my eyes, this would be such a good step in the right direction, but the government needs to follow through on the promise.
As mentioned earlier, the implementation of solar panels will decrease the amount of biomass burning happening in rural areas. Biomass burning is a major source of emissions for the country of Nigeria, and it must decrease its prevalence if the country wants to decrease emissions. It is mainly used for household cooking, and as a result, biomass and waste burning accounts for the majority of Nigeria’s primary energy supply. “In 2018, Nigeria was responsible for a third of Africa’s total fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions – largely as a result of household biomass burning” (The Carbon Brief). Additionally, the indoor pollution from burning biomass has led to an estimated 500,000 premature deaths in 2018. It is clear that Nigeria must decrease the prevalence of biogas in the country in order to reduce emissions. To do so, Nigeria must offer rural inhabitants alternate cooking fuels, which could be solved by building the previously mentioned solar panels.
Another factor that is important to reducing emissions in Nigeria is making sure not to increase coal production. Nigeria has an estimated 2 billion metric tons of coal reserves. Due to these such large reserves and the Nigeria’s short energy supply, it is expected that 30% of Nigeria’s energy supply will come from coal by 2030. This directly contradicts Nigeria’s goal of reducing emissions by 2030. In fact, Nigeria just handed out 36 coal mining licenses in 2019. If Nigeria wants to reduce its emissions, it must not turn to coal. If it does so, it is imperative that the profits made from it are not invested back into coal production, but invested into the green energy economy.
Lastly, Nigeria is one of the leading countries in the world for gas flaring. “An estimated 7.4bn cubic feet of gas was flared in Nigeria in 2018 – making it the world’s seventh largest gas flarer” (Carbon Brief). The government promised that gas flaring would end by 2020, and it is still continuing. Gas flaring did fall by 70% between 2000 and 2019, but they still have a long way to go. The Nigerian government must follow through with its promises in climate mitigation if they want to reduce their emissions by 20%. They must make it illegal.
Moving forward, it is clear that the Nigerian government is in complete control of whether or not they can reduce emissions 20% by 2030. They just need to follow through with their promises. The Yar’Adua Foundation is doing great work in Nigeria as a climate change advocate and working to keep the Nigerian government accountable for their climate promises. Please feel free to reach out to them at email@example.com and check out their website https://yaraduafoundation.org/ppi/climate-advocacy.html.
This Brief was submitted by Climate Scorecard Nigeria Country Manager Peter Hansen