The adoption of the Paris Agreement and it’s ratification has made it binding on Nigeria to work towards achieving the country’s set NDC targets by 2030. In this analysis Extractive360 writes on the strategic approach recommended by experts which Nigeria can adopt to scale up progress
In 2015, Nigeria signed the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under the Paris Agreement and ratified same in 2016, as part of efforts to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and contain the impending humanitarian crisis.
Further to this development, Nigeria in 2018, received the backing of the UNDP’s NDC Support Programme to advance the implementation of its NDC. The NDC and its targets are aimed to ensure sufficient climate resilient is built across critical sectors while the country continues to pursue its economic growth at a low carbon pathway.
Nigeria’s NDC target specifically targets 45% conditional/20% unconditional emission reduction by 2030; improve electricity grid and achieving 30% energy efficiency, end gas flaring by 2030, increase off-grid solar by 13GW, car to bus, reforestation and climate smart agriculture. But the journey to achieving these targets remains a long one.
Speaking recently at a virtual meeting of NDC Media Women Working Group, with the theme ‘Role of Women in Media in NDC implementation’, Ag Director, Department of Climate Change, in the Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Halima Bawa – Bwari, noted that impacts of climate change are being felt everywhere and are having very real consequences on people’s lives. “Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing the world dearly today and even more tomorrow,” she said.
She observed that Nigeria is presently having its share of the associated consequences of climate change, resulting in poverty, unemployment and inequality, resource conflict and food insecurity. With the growth rate of about 2.5 percent and an estimated 200 million people, population explosion has put significant pressure on the natural resource base available, with resultant decrease in fallow land, intensified land use, declining land productivity, rapid soil losses and disruption of water resources, Bawa – Bwari said.
The adoption of the Paris Agreement and it’s ratification has made it binding on Nigeria to work towards meeting its set NDC target of 20% unconditional commitment by 2030 and 45% conditional with international support below business-as-usual.
Bawa – Bwari who reassured of Nigeria’s committed to the agreement and domestication of the elements of the global climate change goals and the NDCs’ targets, however, noted that government alone cannot do it without the active support of all sectors and stakeholders.
According to analysts, the implementation of the Paris Agreement and its NDCs component would be heavily dependent on cross sectoral participation, and the media, (especially women in the media).
Women as agents of change, mothers of the earth and custodians of nature can play their part in helping the nation achieve its NDC target and reverse the negative impact of climate change on Nigeria, said Nkechi Isaac, Coordinator, Women in Media Initiative (WIMI).
Speaking on the role of women journalists towards the achievement of Nigeria’s NDC, she said, climate change is one of Nigeria’s major challenges which have the potential to significantly slow down development with negative effects on economy, hence the need for journalists to prioritize educating the public on the seriousness of the issue.
“Climate change reporting should be on the front burner as much as Covid-19 reports because climate change effects could be more worsening than coronavirus”, Isaac said, while referencing the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) estimates that 3 out of 4 new infectious diseases come from human-animal contact.
With empirical evidence that the outbreaks of Ebola and other coronaviruses such as MERS, for instance, were triggered by a jump from animal to human in disturbed natural habitats, many of the root causes of climate change also increase the risk of pandemics, including COVID19, Isaac pointed out.
She explained further that climate change is happening as a result of human activity – harvesting the natural resources of the planet – fossil fuels, timber, land, etc – and plugging them into an industrial cycle which puts out various consumables (cars, clothes, furniture, phones, etc) and a lot of waste. This process, she said, depletes the natural ability of the environment to balance itself and disrupts ecological cycles (for example deforestation leads to lower CO2 absorption by forests), this, in turn, is leading to changes in the climate of our planet.
In his presentation, Dr. Eugene Itua, CEO, Natural Eco Capital, who spoke on ‘Private Sector Engagement in Achieving the NDCs’, acknowledged the commitment shown so far by government and enthusiasm in the roll out of her NDC implementation. However, he noted that government cannot do it alone, adding that a holistic approach to climate and development requires the engagement of a much broader set of players.
While emphasizing the engagement of private entities in implementing the NDCs, he said projections indicate that about 75% of the required investment will come from the private sector.
According to Eugene by leveraging the resources, relationships, talent and embedded role of the private sector, interventions can be more sustainable and greater scale achieved. The challenge nonetheless, is that “awareness about the Paris Agreement, climate change, and NDCs is low, which provides a significant barrier to move forward with concrete action,” he said.
He highlighted that the capacity to transform NDC implementation plans into investment-ready projects is low; capacities to develop appropriate financial proposals or requests for funding assistance from different sources and for the specific sectors identified in the NDC is low, and the support to create pilot projects that demonstrate new investment schemes to accelerate adaptation and mitigation actions is equally low.
To turn the tide, Dr Eugene said government must work with the private sector to create markets and scale up private sector climate investment while maximizing development impact through engagement. This can be done by de-risking investments, bundling small projects into portfolios, support capacity building, help develop public-private partnerships for infrastructure resilience projects, encourage innovation, as well as embark on critical fiscal policy and regulatory reforms.
Huzi Mshelia, Coordinator-UNDP-NDC Support Programme, explained that the programme which was launched at COP 23 in November 2017, works directly with 25 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America to advance the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. “Working in contribution to the NDC Partnership, the Programme helps countries enhance their capacities for NDC implementation, integrated governance, financing, public-private collaboration and data and information tracking,” Mshelia said.
Mshelia further emphasized that climate change and Covid-19 are risk multipliers and vulnerabilities which must be thoroughly understood, adding that women and girls often face greater burden, especially from the understanding that climate change can exacerbate existing gender inequality.
While noting that stimulus package is good, Mshelia stressed that we must be focused on transiting to efficient ways, urging countries to re-think national economic growth strategies by ensuring resource shift to strengthen health system; promote recovery and restore ways of lives of all.