Mohammad Abubakar, Nigeria’s minister of environment will lead the country’s delegation to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26 holding in Glasgow, Scotland from October 31 to November 12.
Ahead of this global event, the Nigerian government, like other countries have made commitments towards reducing Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and has also increased its conditional contribution.
In June, the Nigerian government submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (referred to as the UNFCCC or the Convention), its updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs) which are national commitments. The UNFCCC provides the foundation for multilateral action to combat climate change and its impacts on humanity and ecosystems.
Under Nigeria’s updated NDC, it committed to an unconditional contribution of 20 percent below business-as-usual by 2030 and a 47 percent contribution conditional on international support. A 47 percent conditional contribution of around 100 million tonnes CO2-equivalent (MtCO2e) below current (2018) levels – is consistent with a global 1.5oC pathway.
The government said that committing to this level of climate ambition in the face of lower-than-expected economic growth represents a significant enhancement, as it will result in substantially lower absolute GHG emissions than stated in the 2015 NDC.
The country has updated the base year for the GHG assessment from 2010 to 2018. The total emissions of greenhouse gases estimated between 2010 and 2018 range between 247 million tonnes CO2-equivalent (MtCO2e) emissions in 2010 and 347 MtCO2e in 2018.
Economic sectors emission index
The energy sector was the largest source of GHG emissions with 209 MtCO2e emitted in 2018 (60 percent of total emissions). Fugitive emissions from oil and gas are the largest contributor to overall energy sector emissions (36 percent of total energy sector emissions in 2018), followed by transport, electricity generation (grid and off-grid), and residential and industrial energy consumption.
Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) is the second-largest contributor to total GHG emissions, contributing approximately 25 percent of national GHG emissions in 2018, followed by waste (9 percent), and Industrial Processes and Other Product Use (IPPU) (5 percent).
How 2015 NDCs compare with updated version
The 2015 NDC covered emissions for three greenhouse gases: CO2, CH4 and N2O. The NDC greenhouse gas mitigation target now covers four greenhouse gases including Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous oxide (N2O) and Refrigerant Gases (HFCs)
The GHG mitigation assessment has been expanded to cover 11 pollutants in total, including short-lived climate pollutants (black carbon) and air pollutants, to evaluate the co-benefits of mitigation measures in reducing these substances, alongside GHGs.
In Nigeria’s 2015 NDC, historical GHG emissions were estimated for 2010-2014 and then projected into the future based on a 5 percent per year GDP growth rate. As a result, in the 2015 NDC baseline projection, total GHG emissions were estimated to increase to 898 MtCO2e in 2030.
These projections have now been refined and recalculated, using updated and improved estimates of key parameters such as GDP growth, taking into account the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and Nigeria’s expected recovery. For example, GDP growth from 2015 – 2021 was less than previously projected and adjusted growth projections for the period 2021- 2030 are now available.
In the updated baseline projection, GHG emissions for Nigeria in 2030 are now estimated to be 453 million tonnes CO2-eq emissions, around half of those predicted in 2015. This represents a 31 percent increase in total GHG emissions between 2018 and 2030, or a 2.6 percent per year increase in total GHG emissions, which is consistent with historic trends, the government says.
Energy and Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use continue to be the largest single sources of GHG emissions, contributing 51 percent and 33 percent to total GHG emissions in 2030 respectively. As well as the increase in GHG emissions, SLCP’s and air pollutants, such as black carbon and PM2.5, are also projected to increase to 2030 in the baseline scenario, by 33 percent and 41 percent respectively.
In addition, the GHG emissions associated with waste and HFC sectors have been included in the updated NDC, after not being included in the 2015 submission. Therefore, the relative emission reduction targets now apply across a more complete range of GHG emission sources compared to 2015.
Nigeria recommits to its unconditional contribution of 20 percent below business-as-usual by 2030 and increases its conditional contribution from 45 percent to 47 percent below business-as-usual by 2030, provided that sufficient international support is forthcoming.
Nigeria has also expanded the scope of the updated NDC. As announced by President Mohammadu Buhari, the updated NDC includes an enhanced contribution by the waste sector, for which the 2015 NDC lacked abatement figures due to a lack of reliable data. The 2021 NDC update also covers the water resources sector and articulates other nature-based solutions not included in the 2015 NDC.
Nigeria has also announced some specific policy commitments to implement the unconditional contribution announced in the 2015 NDC. These include elimination of kerosene lighting by 2030, a greater uptake of bus rapid transit, a 50% reduction in the fraction of crop residues burnt by 2030, implementation of forest programmes and initiatives to deliver 20 percent GHG emission reductions and enhanced removals equivalent to approximately 74.2 MtCO2e by 2030, and ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase out HFCs.
Africa’s biggest economy also commits to mainstreaming gender across all sectors and last year approved the National Action Plan on Gender and Climate.
With support from UNDP, GIZ, IRENA, the Islamic Development Bank and other development partners, Nigeria is implementing enhancement programmes as part of the NDC update.
Some of the programmes updated analysis of mitigation in the electricity sector, assessment of the scope for increasing access to off-grid clean electricity, revised data and emissions projections for the forestry sector and an analysis of emissions reductions from refrigerant gases (HFCs) and alignment with Nigeria’s obligations under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
Others are analysis of nature-based solutions for those sectors with significant adaptation and mitigation co-benefits, assessment of green jobs in Nigeria, a review of circular economy and waste management and a review of clean cooking solutions in Nigeria.