On Friday, 9th September 2022, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning held a pre- 28th Nigerian Economic Summit (#NES28) event with the theme "Roadmap to Nigeria's COP: A Pragmatic Path to Net Zero Using the Green Economy, Blue Economy & Forestry."
In her welcome remarks, a Board member of the NESG, Ms Ndidi Nwuneli, said that following the Kyoto Protocol, Nigeria developed a policy document for climate activities in 2012 titled the National Climate Change Policy Response and Strategy, which was later revised to define a new framework to guide the country's response to the developmental challenges of climate change.
"Africa accounts for 6 percent of global energy consumption, and climate change significantly affects the environment and economy, especially in Africa. However, Africa emits less than 4 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, but the continent seems to be receiving the brunt of the effect of climate change through flooding, severe storms, drought, and others," she stated.
Furthermore, Ms Nwuneli noted the importance of securing a pragmatic path to NET zero and addressing the energy transition path to Net zero. She reiterated the importance of tracking Nigeria's commitment e country meets up to her end of the bargain, considering the current food crises and the link between climate and food production.
In her goodwill message, Dr Magdalene Ajani, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, stated that it was essential to mitigate the impact of climate change and Nigeria has not determined a sectoral action plan, and it is imperative to utilise resources, time and opportunity. Construction and energy infrastructure. Achieving net zero will require prioritised funding. She said that the vision behind Nigeria's transport policy is to provide fast, efficient services that will reduce greenhouse emissions through developing policies and provide links between different modes to promote intermodalism for transportation.
Dr Ajani revealed that the ministry of transportation is encouraging states to exhibit green innovations, enforcement of compliance and road transport sanitisation through an actionable roadmap to achieve net zero using the green economy, blue economy and forestry.
Dr Anthony Nyong, Director of Climate Change and Green Growth Department African Development Bank (Climate Change), said that Nigeria can address its NetZero mission by utilising Climate change & Green Economy, Blue Economy and Forestry to achieve its objective. He noted that this can be accomplished by transitioning to more efficient energy sources that focus on industrialisation via scaling up the use of gas and blue hydrogen in the short to medium term and ultimately transitioning to green hydrogen as the primary industrial fuel by 2060.
On his part, founder and CEO of AO Blue Economy & Energy Consulting, Mr Adekola Oyenuga, said that domestic and international climate change policies and deliberate steps towards energy transition have grown in leaps since the establishment of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992. He stated that there is a need for Nigeria to take complementary actions needed to tackle ocean plastics that threaten all life; therefore, plastics manufacturers, civil society organisations, coastal dwellers and the need for government regulatory agencies to collaborate to minimise and control plastics use.
The director Centre for Climate Change & Development, Professor Chukwumerije Okereke, said that there is a need to understand the seriousness of climate change as it severely impacts the Nigerian economy. He reiterated the need for Nigeria to leverage existing models to develop a system of energy use and storage needed to boost the trajectory of the transition to NetZero.
Director-general and CEO of National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Professor Aliyu Jauro, stated that NESREA issues permits and guidelines for emissions to ensure they don't exceed limits, including environmental auditing to ensure they are environmentally friendly. He noted that another way to achieve NetZero is via the blue economy, which is expanding in terms of viability, needs and opportunities. He reiterated the need for Nigeria to reach NetZero by targeting natural capital development in mangroves and building projects to deliver sustainable livelihoods in communities while utilising the available energy transition plan - based on the abundance of gas or bioenergy- to support energy needs for industries.
Mr Bankole Oloruntoba, CEO of Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre (NCIC), said that Nigeria has only extracted a fraction of her tourist space, saying that there is a need for considerable advocacy through incorporating indigenous knowledge and awareness creation to reduce water pollution. Furthermore, he stated that using renewable energy to transition to NetZero and the Energy transition plan seeks to deliver 100% power in some sectors like EVs, and eventually, LPG cooking will be scaled to 80% by 2060. Therefore, it is crucial to focus on energy for industrialisation by 2030 whilst also preparing for blue hydrogen and, ultimately Green hydrogen and EV in the medium to long term.