Inauguration of a Government-Sponsored National Clean Cooking Committee in Nigeria

The most significant climate change-related event in Nigeria in the first half of the year 2022 is the federal government’s inauguration of a committee to develop a national policy on clean cooking. This development is important because of the country’s pledge to increase access to clean cooking by 2030 as part of its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The inauguration of the National Clean Cooking Committee was announced on 27th May 2022. This policy will help the federal government achieve its goal of universal access to clean cooking. Currently, more than three-quarters of the population of Nigeria use solid fuel for domestic cooking and heating requirements. One out of ten homes utilizes sustainable methods and technologies when cooking. According to the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Environment, the absence of a relevant policy is a significant impediment to achieving clean cooking in the country.

The impacts of cooking with solid fuels are harmful to the environment. For instance, wood burning results in the annual production of about one gigaton of carbon dioxide, or 1.9% – 2.3% of all emissions globally. Domestic burning of fuel accounts for over half of all black carbon emissions produced by humans. Black carbon also plays a significant role in rising temperatures as its warming effect is 460–1,500 times greater than CO2.

Clean cooking involves using clean and energy-saving fuels and technologies for cooking. Additionally, the processes of obtaining, preparing, and using the fuel for cooking jointly determine the energy efficiency of a cooking system. According to the WHO, some fuels and technologies for clean cooking include biogas, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), alcohol fuels like ethanol, as well as the use of solar and electric appliances for cooking. Biomass like wood, crop waste, charcoal and dung for cooking is generally considered as having negative environmental impacts. However, household cooking with fuels like biomass may be regarded as clean if the cooking system falls within the threshold for emissions set by WHO’s 2014 guidelines on household fuel combustion.

The IEA reports that between 1990 and 2019, Nigeria’s carbon emissions increased from 28 million tonnes to 92 million tonnes. This situation can be prevented from deteriorating more rapidly, and different mechanisms like clean cooking should be used to stagger the increase in CO2 emissions. In 2021, the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (NACC) stated that clean cooking-related legal provisions currently in existence are inconsistently and incoherently dispersed throughout policies of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) within the country.  In addition to this, many of those policies have varied national goals without thorough strategies for implementation. These are comments that the recently inaugurated National Clean Cooking Committee should note in its development of a national policy on clean cooking. Having a national policy on clean cooking and moving from the existing solid fuel consumption promises to substantially reduce CO2 emissions associated with household energy use.

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Nigeria Country Manager Oluwatoyin Oladapo

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