4 pressing steps to start out with

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Local weather change is not only a buzzword or a subject for political debates. It’s a actual and urgent subject that impacts each facet of our lives. The results of local weather change are already being felt worldwide, from rising sea ranges to heatwaves, droughts, floods, lack of biodiversity, meals insecurity and extra.

In Nigeria, local weather change has contributed to the nation’s mounting financial and social challenges. The nation has acknowledged the necessity to transfer to a low-carbon future. But local weather change was largely absent from the 2022 presidential marketing campaign manifestos.

The newly elected authorities, led by Bola Ahmed Tinubu, faces quite a few speedy challenges. Amongst them are widespread violence and insecurity; excessive inflation and foreign money depreciation; and a mounting debt burden.

However local weather change can’t be ignored. It has immediately contributed to Nigeria’s crises. For instance, excessive flooding in 2022 displaced 1.4 million folks and fuelled meals inflation.

Learn extra:
Nigeria floods: 4 methods they have an effect on meals safety

Excessive warmth and erratic rainfall, each penalties of local weather change, have intensified useful resource competitors between farmers and herders, resulting in communal clashes.

Learn extra:
Herder-farmer battle within the Sahel wants a brand new description: why ‘eco-violence’ matches

As a catastrophe danger discount and local weather change adaptation knowledgeable, I argue that local weather change must be central to authorities’s planning. That is to forestall future infrastructure injury, create financial alternatives, and supply numerous social and environmental advantages.

Nigeria’s new authorities ought to take motion on local weather change, even amid all the opposite urgent points. A lot of this motion issues the transfer from reliance on fossil fuels to cleaner power sources, also known as the power transition.

Nigeria is a significant hydrocarbon producer and holds the largest pure gasoline reserves on the continent. It due to this fact has the potential to play a major position in shaping how international locations handle a transition away from hydrocarbon fuels to cleaner power sources reminiscent of photo voltaic, wind and hydro energy.

Though Nigeria’s dire public funds restrict its skill to spend money on renewable power, the federal government can nonetheless take steps. It has made a begin with eradicating fossil gasoline subsidies. Different steps, which analysis has proven to be working in Morocco and Rwanda, may very well be:

  • efficient flood danger administration

  • tax and obligation exemptions for parts utilized in photo voltaic options

  • adapting present initiatives within the energy, agriculture and transport sectors to advertise clear power

  • prioritising infrastructure tasks that can entice non-public funding within the power transition.


Earlier than 2018, renewable power era gear was eligible for tax exemptions. However the tax breaks ended, leading to larger retail costs for photo voltaic options. A examine by the African Clear Power Technical Help Facility calculated that the advantages of cheaper photo voltaic merchandise (power entry and job creation) would have outweighed the tax revenues forgone.

The brand new president might reinstate the incentives for photo voltaic merchandise.

The federal government also needs to act urgently to handle flood dangers. It might spend money on consciousness campaigns to teach residents on the risks of flooding and methods to put together and reply to flood occasions.

Learn extra:
What Nigerian cities can do to manage higher with flood danger

Sustainable city planning and land-use administration could make city areas much less susceptible to flooding. This includes imposing constructing codes and zoning laws, safeguarding pure buffers reminiscent of wetlands, and utilizing inexperienced infrastructure to handle stormwater runoff.

Learn extra:
Wetlands do the job of pricy expertise, if we allow them to

Thirdly, the federal government can assessment present initiatives within the energy, agriculture and transport sectors to advance local weather motion at a modest price. For instance, the Presidential Energy Initiative is a partnership between the Nigerian authorities and Siemens Power AG to improve power infrastructure. It’s a possibility to allow the combination of renewable power. The brand new administration ought to honour the agreements signed and proceed to fund them.

The federal government also can upskill smallholder farmers on climate-smart agriculture strategies. These embody adopting flood- and drought-tolerant seed varieties, putting in early warning programs for climate, and coaching farmers to enhance land productiveness.

Learn extra:
Local weather pioneers: how small farmers may very well be main the best way in the direction of sustainable agriculture

A fourth space the place authorities might act on local weather is infrastructure for the power transition. For instance, investing in fashionable grids that encourage non-public funding in photo voltaic and wind energy.

The federal government also can accomplice with multilateral establishments and growth banks to mobilise the finance for local weather motion.

Learn extra:
COP27 in assessment: local weather talks delivered massive good points for Africa, but in addition a number of challenges

The African Improvement Financial institution’s Desert to Energy initiative, which goals to construct a 10GW photo voltaic park throughout the Sahel area of Africa, together with Nigeria, presents a possibility for the federal government to draw funding within the nation’s renewable power sector.

Lastly, the federal government should recognise the importance of the local weather disaster and the challenges it poses to Nigeria’s growth. Local weather motion have to be coordinated throughout sectors and built-in into all authorities insurance policies.

Local weather technique

The federal government also can interact with civil society organisations, academia and the non-public sector on local weather technique.

Learn extra:
Why Nigeria’s spiritual leaders ought to be taught extra about local weather change

Such a method might information the nation’s transition to a low-carbon financial system and the allocation of assets to local weather motion.

The power transition is a chance for Nigeria to diversify its financial system, cut back its reliance on fossil fuels, and create new job alternatives. Local weather motion may also help to handle a few of Nigeria’s most urgent challenges, reminiscent of frequent flooding, meals insecurity, poverty and inequality.



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