Limiting greenhouse gas emissions in Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari has taken a bold step by pledging that Nigeria is ready to align with other industrialized countries to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030.

However, this commitment rises to 45% subject to international support.

With Buhari’s pledge, Nigeria became the first major developing country to commit to annual carbon budgets to chart its course towards net-zero emissions.

After announcing a net zero goal for 2060 at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, in 2021 Buhari signed into law a climate bill, committing his administration to produce a sweeping plan to cut emissions, s adapt to climate change and set annual and five-year carbon emissions. budgets.

A professor of environment and development at the University of Reading who helped revise the climate bill, Chukwumerije Okereke, told Climate Home News: ‘This is the greatest thing that has happened in Nigeria with regard to climate governance”.

The bill’s sponsor, Sam Onuigbo, told Climate Home that he had been trying to get a climate bill passed for more than a decade. Okereke said the support of Environment Minister Sharon Ikeazor and momentum from the Cop26 conference helped push the text over the line.

With nearly half of its citizens without power, Nigerian experts are split between those calling for the country’s unused coal reserves to be tapped for electricity and those advocating for the rapid deployment of renewable energy sources.

With the support of the British Embassy in Abuja, the bill is based on the UK Climate Change Act 2008, which established regular carbon budgets and set up one of the first climate change committees in the world, which advises successive governments on the emissions targets to be set and how to meet them.

While UK carbon budgets are set by the Independent Committee on Climate Change, Nigeria’s will be set by the Department of Environment and subject to cabinet approval. The first of these budgets is due to be announced by November 2022 and will set one-year and five-year emission reduction targets.

Only a handful of developed countries such as France, Sweden and Ireland set regular short-term emission reduction targets. The United States, Japan and Germany are other major emitters without such budgets.

“Nigeria is to be commended for this,” said Eugene Itua, a sustainable development consultant who helped revise the bill. “We encourage other climates to follow suit.”

The bill establishes a National Council on Climate Change that will oversee Nigeria’s climate plans.

The body will be headed by President Buhari and will include relevant ministers, the national security adviser and the central bank governor. Civil societies will also be represented, with spaces reserved for women, young people, people with disabilities and the private sector.

While oil provides the vast majority of Nigeria’s export revenue, the sector is also responsible for a large portion of the country’s emissions.

The government has pledged to stop oil companies from burning gas as a by-product and to force them to capture it and sell it as a source of energy.

Carbon Limits Nigeria launches new initiative

Concerned with the challenges of realizing this noble initiative spearheaded by the current administration, Carbon Limits Nigeria is embarking on a process of engagement and trying to help improve gas treatment and reduce emissions in industry infrastructure oil and gas in Nigeria.

The oil and gas industry is a very important part of the economy and will continue to be for a long time to come.

Nigeria has become the first major developing country to commit to annual carbon budgets to chart its course towards reducing emissions to net zero.

members of the Carbon Limits Team; James Ogunleye, Managing Director; Gbite Adeniji, director and partner; Torleif Haugland, co-founder and partner, explains how the company plays a strategic role in Nigeria’s long march towards energy transition.

According to Gbiter Adeniji, the firm is not necessarily concerned by the global transition because it is first and foremost a reality. Global energy policy, he said, is in transition to a net zero goal and most companies and players in the energy sector are committed to net zero.

“It’s the reality, so we have no problem with it. In fact, they will say that when we established our business in Nigeria some 12 years ago, we anticipated the transition – helping our “climate sensitive” customers address issues related to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions ). Basically, that’s our core vision, Adeniji said.

Climate change concerns are diverting critical dollar investments away from the energy sector. Some of the world’s biggest financiers, pension funds and philanthropists have declared that they will no longer finance fossil fuel projects and this trend is expected to continue in 2022.

However, plans are underway for the creation of an energy bank to facilitate the financing of major oil and gas projects on the continent.

The proposed energy bank is a move being considered after Western countries threatened to stop funding fossil fuels overseas.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) are exploring the idea of ​​establishing a so-called “African Energy Bank”.

The move has been applauded by industry lobby group the African Energy Chamber, which says the value of such a bank “cannot be overstated”.

Torleif Haugland, co-founder and partner of the firm, said: “I think we need to be clear that there will be challenges. Generally, there is a development where some financial institutions stay away from fossil fuel projects and investments, making them more expensive. What is more important is whether the oil and gas industry can demonstrate that it is making progress in reducing emissions.

Carbon Limits Nigeria Managing Director James Ogunleye said everyone needs to realize that there is a global expectation.

He said, from the United Nations Conference of the Parties, held in Glasgow last year (COP26), he was obviously clear on the global commitment to clean energy especially renewable energy.

With the decade of gas, Nigeria is now switching to gas as the predominant fuel, which is a good step in the right direction, however, the global expectation is that all nations should reduce emissions, and the company is going along with it. holds to its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) by establishing an implementation plan on how GHG mitigation actions will be implemented.

“Actually, that’s where the role of Carbon Limits comes in, because what we do in general terms is to help nations, national oil companies and industries see how this can be achieved,” said Ogunleye.

“It goes back to our starting point: the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the Kyoto Protocol. The CDM mainly focuses on mitigation actions in developing countries, but with the NDC, every country, regardless of its economic status, now has an obligation to reduce its emissions.

“The global expectation is that we reduce emissions and all countries have declared the GHG emissions they plan to reduce. As a company, that’s one of the areas we’re trying to help with – the strategic implementation of mitigation measures,” he added.

LEADERSHIP reports that the company was established in 2010, but before that two projects were registered by Carbon Limits AS, Oslo. One of the two registered projects is the largest project registered at the time in Africa.

The project was set up to reduce approximately 2.2 million tonnes of emissions on an annual basis by removing approximately 60-70 mmscfpd of flared gas.

Such a project has also revealed the magnitude of emissions that can be reduced in the oil and gas industry by eliminating gas flaring and reducing methane emissions.

Adeniji said the phase out date set by the government is achievable if the regulatory framework especially on the power sector side is addressed then Nigeria is likely to have more investments than we currently have. in renewable energy projects.

Critical challenges on gas emissions

What poses a serious challenge to achieving this goal is trying to get people to understand the language of climate change. Trying to get as many people as possible to understand how climate change issues work internationally is seen as a bigger setback.

Experts say there is an urgent need to go where, first, awareness is broadened and the capacity of people within the regulatory space is also deepened.

“It is important that we attract and secure available funding opportunities for renewable energy projects and other projects that reduce GHG emissions in the country.

“The World Bank is able to support private sector projects that reduce emissions through the Transformative Carbon Asset Facility (TCAF), a trust fund that supports countries’ efforts to implement market-based carbon pricing and create enabling conditions for private sector investment in carbon technologies.

“It’s the same for some other countries, especially in Europe, that offer carbon finance opportunities for renewable energy-based projects, especially solar projects that reduce GHG emissions by replacing the use of diesel,” Ogunleye said.

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