Nigeria commits to cutting GHG emissions by 20% by 2030 instead of 50%

As the world faces the urgent challenge of mitigating climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has set a goal of achieving a  reduction of 50% over pre-industrial levels in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Nigeria, a country that is both rich in natural resources and heavily reliant on fossil fuels, stands at a crossroads in its efforts to contribute to this crucial mission. Will Nigeria be able to reach the IPCC 2030 emissions reduction goal? In this article, we take a closer look at Nigeria’s current situation and explore the steps that can be taken to move towards a more sustainable future.

In line with the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) submitted to the UNFCCC, Nigeria has committed to cutting emissions by 20% by 2030, comparable to current levels, with the potential to cut emissions by up to 45% with assistance from international sources. Nigeria pledges to transition to a low-carbon economy to support sustainable development and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with global goals. The government has identified potential options for reducing emissions, such as increasing the use of carbon sinks or decreasing emissions in energy, oil and gas, agriculture, transportation, and manufacturing sectors.

The Nigerian government has set a target to generate at least 30% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. To achieve this, the government has taken several steps to encourage investment in renewable energy, such as creating a feed-in tariff system for renewable energy projects and establishing the Nigerian Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy (NREEEP). NREEEP aims to increase the contribution of renewable energy to the country’s energy mix by providing incentives for developing renewable energy projects, promoting energy efficiency measures, and enhancing the regulatory framework for renewable energy investments.

Despite these policies, however, fossil fuels are still expected to remain a significant part of Nigeria’s energy mix for the foreseeable future. This is because the country has significant oil and natural gas reserves, traditionally the country’s primary energy source. In addition, the cost of renewable energy is still relatively high in Nigeria, making it less competitive compared to fossil fuels.

That being said, there have been recent investments in renewable energy projects in Nigeria, such as the 10MW Katsina Wind Farm and the 1.5MW solar power plant in Lagos.

The Nigerian government has also implemented policies and initiatives to support the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. One such policy is the National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy (NREEEP), adopted in 2015. This policy aims to promote the use of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, biomass, and hydropower. It also seeks to improve energy efficiency in the country. The policy sets a target of achieving 16% renewable energy consumption by 2030.

In addition to the NREEEP, the Nigerian government has also launched the Renewable Energy Master Plan (REMP), which seeks to increase the use of renewable energy to 30% by 2030. The plan also aims to increase energy efficiency by 20%. The REMP provides a framework for developing renewable energy in Nigeria and outlines the necessary strategies for achieving the targets.

Furthermore, the government has established the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), which aims to increase access to electricity in rural areas through renewable energy sources. The agency is responsible for implementing the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), which seeks to provide electricity to unserved and underserved communities across the country using renewable energy sources.

The Nigerian government has also provided incentives such as tax breaks and import duty waivers for renewable energy equipment to encourage investment in the sector. Additionally, the government has set up a fund, the Nigerian Electrification Project (NEP) fund, to provide financing for renewable energy projects in the country.

Despite these policies and initiatives, some challenges are still facing Nigeria’s renewable energy sector. One major challenge is the lack of adequate infrastructure, particularly transmission infrastructure, which makes it difficult to transmit renewable energy from the point of generation to the end-users. There is also a lack of adequate financing for renewable energy projects, which has limited the sector’s growth.

The private sector will be critical in determining Nigeria’s future emissions. As the country’s economy grows, so will its energy demands. The private sector has the power to invest in clean energy technologies and reduce emissions from the energy sector. The Nigerian government has recognized the importance of the private sector in achieving its emissions reduction targets and has implemented policies to encourage private sector investment in renewable energy.

One example is the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (NERC) feed-in tariff program. This program provides a guaranteed price for renewable energy generated by independent power producers, making it easier for private sector investors to finance and build renewable energy projects. The program has led to several successful renewable energy projects, including the 75MW Katsina Wind Farm and the 10MW Kano Solar Farm.

The private sector is also playing a significant role in the development of renewable energy in Nigeria, with companies such as Azuri Technologies, which provides off-grid solar power solutions, and Lumos Global, which specializes in solar-powered home systems.

To achieve the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% over pre-industrial temperatures by 2030, Nigeria needs to take significant steps towards mitigating the impacts of climate change. Here are some steps that Nigeria can take:

  • Invest in Renewable Energy: Nigeria needs to invest heavily in renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. This will reduce the reliance on fossil fuels for energy generation and lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Improve Energy Efficiency: Nigeria must improve energy efficiency by encouraging energy-efficient appliances and buildings. This will reduce energy demand and hence reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Encourage Sustainable Transportation: Nigeria needs to encourage the use of sustainable transportation, such as electric vehicles and mass transit systems. This will reduce emissions from the transport sector.
  • Adopt Sustainable Agricultural Practices: Nigeria needs to adopt sustainable agricultural practices that reduce emissions from the agriculture sector. This includes practices such as conservation agriculture and agroforestry.
  • Reduce Deforestation: Nigeria must reduce deforestation by implementing policies promoting sustainable land use and forest management. This will reduce emissions from the land-use sector.
  • Encourage Waste Management: Nigeria needs to encourage waste management practices that reduce emissions from the waste sector. This includes waste reduction, reuse, and recycling.
  • Collaborate with the International Community: Nigeria needs to collaborate with the international community to access financial, technological, and capacity-building support. This will help Nigeria implement climate change mitigation measures more effectively.

Meeting Nigeria’s 2030 greenhouse gas reduction goal will require a coordinated effort from the government, the private sector, and the general public. Nigeria can achieve its goal by implementing policies, taking steps to sustainable transition across all sectors, and contributing to global efforts to mitigate climate change.


This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Nigeria Country Manager Juwonlo Michael.


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