Nigeria’s Most Significant Climate Policies of 2023

Implementing Methane Guidelines of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission

In 2023, Nigeria experienced a profound shift in climate policy by implementing the Methane Guidelines through the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC). These guidelines draw on global best practices and involve collaboration among various organizations. The Nigerian government, NUPRC, the Clean Air Task Force (CATF), and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition are vital contributors. The involvement of these entities reflects a multi-stakeholder approach, amalgamating efforts from government bodies, NGOs, and international agencies.

These guidelines target critical aspects like leak detection, repair, and emissions monitoring within the oil and gas sector. Companies must promptly adopt measures encompassing high-efficiency flares and implementing controls on venting devices. This comprehensive strategy notably mitigates methane emissions’ environmental, social, and health impacts.

This impact extends globally, contributing to the Global Methane Pledge’s objective of slashing anthropogenic methane emissions by a minimum of 30% by 2030. The guidelines can potentially prevent over 0.2˚C of warming by 2050, a significant stride toward global climate objectives. Achieving these regulations’ maximum aspirations would eliminate methane emissions from flaring by 2030 and substantially reduce fugitive methane leaks by 95% by 2050. These reductions are pivotal in meeting Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets, aiming for a 60% reduction in methane emissions by 2030.

Nigeria’s proactive approach to challenges ensures the sustainability of its Methane Guidelines. The country’s capacity-building efforts include workshops and sessions, with over 70% compliance from oil and gas operators. These guidelines now see substantial compliance, demonstrated by operators submitting comprehensive greenhouse gas management plans within six months of the regulations’ initiation. These plans outline emission sources, reduction strategies, and a timeline for technology upgrades by 2030.

While challenges persist, such as a lack of expertise in leak detection and repair, Nigeria is actively strategizing to overcome these hurdles. Ongoing support, particularly in training, positions Nigeria as a committed participant in international efforts to reduce methane emissions. Establishing the Methane Mitigation Technical Working Group by the National Council on Climate Change reinforces a whole-of-government approach, enhancing the likelihood of sustained impact.

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



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