President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja restated Nigeria’s commitment for a safer and healthier global climate, listing the country’s updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to include elimination of kerosene lighting by 2030, increase in use of buses for public transport and reduction in burning of crop residues.
In a virtual meeting, hosted by President Joe Biden of the United States, on Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate Change (MEF), President Buhari in a statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said that an updated Nationally Determined Contribution to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change had been submitted to replace the interim contribution of May 27, 2021.
“Our updated NDC includes the waste sector which is expected to contribute to the reduction of Nigeria’s Greenhouse Gas emissions. This development raised an additional two per cent to the Nationally Determined Contribution from 45 per cent to 47 per cent conditionally and 20 per cent unconditionally below business-as-usual.
“Other action plans that are inherent in our NDC include; elimination of kerosene lighting by 2030, increase in the use of bus rapid transit as a means of transportation for the general public, 50 per cent reduction in the fraction of crop residues burnt by 2030 and implementation of forest programmes.
“Initiatives to deliver 20 per cent Green House Gas emission reductions and enhanced removals equivalent to approximately 74.2 Metric tons of Carbon Dioxide by 2030, and Ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase out Hydro-fluoro-carbon emissions,’’ the President said.
President Buhari also noted that Nigeria was developing National Frameworks for Article 6 and for carbon pricing, adding, “we have finalized the Sectoral Action Plan for the implementation of the revised NDC in the key priority sectors, namely Energy, Oil & Gas, Agriculture & Land use, Power, Transport and Water and Waste.’’
On the Global Methane Pledge, the President told the world leaders that Nigeria joined the Global Methane Alliance in 2019 with commitment to methane reduction targets of at least 45 per cent by 2025 and a 60-75 per cent reduction by 2030.
“Nigeria’s 2019 National Plan to Reduce has started through the required voluntary actions, with an initial focus on elimination of Short-Lived Pollutants methane in the Oil and Gas sector.
“Our plan aims to improve air quality and reduce Nigeria’s contribution to climate change through 22 specific mitigation measures in 8 source sectors (transportation, cooking and lighting in households, industry, waste, oil and gas, agriculture, power and Hydro-Fluoro-Carbon), as well as adoption and ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol aimed at phasing out Hydro- fluoro-carbon emissions.
“The full implementation of these measures would be effective in reducing Short-Lived Pollutants, with an 83 per cent reduction in black carbon emissions by 2030 compared to a business-as-usual scenario, and 61 per cent reduction in methane emissions.
“These measures are also effective in reducing other air pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, and also reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions,’’ he added.
The President said implementation of the measures could reduce exposure to air pollution across Nigeria by 22 per cent in 2030, while reducing Nigeria’s contribution to climate change.
Furthermore, President Buhari said: “My administration approved Nigeria’s Sustainable Energy for All Action Agenda in 2016, which has a target of almost tripling generation capacity in the next decade, to reach a total of 30 Gigawatt by 2030.
“Of this, 30 per cent will be generated from renewable resources, with almost half of this provided by medium and large hydro. The Clean Energy Transport Scheme in major Nigerian cities involves the introduction of compressed natural gas for buses in public transport.
“Nigeria is aware that its heavy dependence on fossil fuel makes the country especially vulnerable in a world that has a target to reduce or even eliminate fossil fuel as a key driver of the global economy.’’
The President noted that a number of countries were already setting bans on the sale of oil consuming Internal Combustion Engine vehicles:
“However, Nigeria is also aware that short term response to transition from fossil fuel to clean energy may jeopardize our economic growth. As a result, we intend to use the Long-Term Low-Emissions Development Strategy as our transition process.’’
President Buhari explained that the Long-Term Low-Emissions Development Strategy provides Nigeria the pathway to carefully assess the opportunities that might arise in terms of a cleaner, more dynamic, and more sustainable growth model.
“It will also provide the options for the country to implement a less carbon-intensive model of economic development in the face of decreasing global reliance on fossil fuel energy,’’ he said.
According to President Buhari, achieving a climate-neutral economy by 2050 will require progressively phasing out or profoundly changing the country’s carbon-intensive industries, which will be particularly challenging and will require a well-managed transition through effective visioning and full financial support from partners.
“Nigeria is ready to partner with countries and relevant stakeholders to achieve the goals of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and objectives of the Paris Agreement, while combining both local and international solutions in its quest to mitigate the challenges of climate change and adapting to the realities of the catastrophic environmental destruction facing our world,’’ he assured.
The President thanked President Biden for convening the important event which remains crucial to the wellbeing of national economies as well as continued existence of all people on the planet.
President Buhari also appreciated other members of the Major Economies Forum for Energy and Climate Change for their commitment to climate action, particularly the consensus on the deployment of clean energy technologies at the lowest possible cost and establishment of the Global Partnership to drive transformational progress across the globe.
“It is our fervent hope and expectation that the partnership will be vigorously pursued in order to mitigate the consequential adversities of climate change on our environment.
“Your Excellencies, the bad effects of climate change are disastrous to humanity, considering the magnitude of environmental destruction and its negative impacts on our respective countries.
“In Nigeria, we have witnessed several environmental challenges including creeping land degradation, desertification and drought in the northern part, wanton deforestation, land encroachment, invasion of coastal lines, biodiversity loss, flooding and coastal erosion in the Southern region of our country.
“These developments reinforce Nigeria’s commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change geared towards the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic consequences and to the rules of the 2015 Paris Agreement,’’ the President added.
President Buhari said he had already signed the Nigerian Climate Change Bill on November 18, 2021, in fulfillment of Nigeria’s commitment to the Glasgow Climate Pact.
According to the President, “The Climate Change Act provides a legal framework for achieving low Greenhouse Gas emissions while ensuring green and sustainable economic growth.
“The Act will support and enable the implementation of national climate actions, including accessing climate finance and carbon trading that will enable reduction in greenhouse gases that are contributory factors to climate change and its attendant effects.’’
The virtual summit was addressed by about 20 Presidents and Prime Ministers or their representatives, and those who personally did so included the host, President Biden, President Buhari, the German Chancellor, the President of Turkey, Prime Ministers of Japan and Canada as well as the Secretary General of the United Nations and the President of the European Commission.