For businesses in Nigeria to reduce their carbon footprint, the Federal Government needs to create new legislation that encourages sustainable operations and incentives that will enable companies going net zero to monetise their carbon credit, experts have said.
Speaking during a panel session themed, ‘Pathway to Implementation for a Successful Energy Transition- Views by Participating Firms,’ at the launch of the American Business Council (ABC) Sustainability Law Review held in partnership with the Lagos Business School, Oludare Senbore of Aluko and Oyebode law firm, said there is a need to create a carbon trading market in Nigeria.
He said the government can create an incentive through the creation of an enabling environment for companies that go net zero in their operations to monetise their carbon and make more money.
“We need to set up a carbon trading structure and establish a body through which the market will trade like the Nigeria Exchange. We need to set up another Exchange or a body that is accredited to give companies carbon credit to trade,” Senbore said.
According to him, the government needs to enact other legislations such as laws on single-use plastic and sustainable waste management to mitigate the effects of global warming.
“It is not enough to create a Climate Change Act. We need to set up other legislations that go hand in hand with it. State Governments need to start thinking of how to manage waste in their states. We need to set up recycling plants to take recycling opportunities in Nigeria,” he said.
On his part, Bankole Sodipo of G.O Sodipo and Co. called on the government to create incentives in the form of tax rebates for players to transition to the use of cleaner energy.
He said the government must ensure that companies take back their spending on carbon capturing by giving them real incentives.
Damilola Alada of Broomfield LP said Nigeria needs to develop an action plan and delivery timelines to be able to transition into using cleaner energy.
Pointing out that Nigeria’s power sector relies heavily on fossil fuels as close to 80 percent of the power generated in Nigeria is from thermal sources, she called for diversification of the energy mix in Nigeria as reliance on fossil fuels goes against mitigation of climate change.
“We need to improve investment in technology, ensure local capacity development and more people need to get involved in the process of reducing carbon emission because climate change affects everybody,” Alada said.
According to her, Nigeria must focus on renewable, reducing dependence on fossil fuels and putting climate change objectives in phases to achieve net zero.
Also, Lovelyn Anikwe of Punuka Attorneys, said Nigeria can reduce its carbon footprint by creating an enabling environment to drive investment that encourages a shift from highly carbon emission operations to investing in clean technology.
“We also need to invest in agriculture and reduce deforestation. The government needs to put mechanisms in place to start implementing the Climate Change Act and the Petroleum Industry Act that are in place. We need to get the judiciary involved and recognise human rights in terms of guaranteeing every citizen the right to a clean and safe environment,” she said.