Did you know?
Between 2000 and 2019, Puerto Rico, Myanmar and Haiti were the countries most affected by the impacts of extreme weather events.
During this time, over 475,000 people lost their lives as a direct result of more than 11,000 weather events globally and these losses amounted to around $2.56 trillion (in purchasing power parities).
Why it matters
8 out of the 10 countries most affected by the quantified impacts of extreme weather events in 2019 belong to the low and lower-middle income category and half of them are Least Developed Countries. To this end, studies have shown that developing countries have been the most affected by climate change.
A report by the German Watch explains that these countries are hit hardest because they are more vulnerable to the damaging effects of a hazard and have lower coping capacity.
Factors that contribute to climate change
Human activities have been identified as the major causes of climate change worldwide. From fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) used to generate electricity and enable transportation and manufacturing, to deforestation, food production, excessive consumption of resources and space as well as poor waste disposal.
Studies have shown that the richest 1% of the global population combined, account for more greenhouse gas emissions than the poorest 50%. In summary, a large chunk of global greenhouse gas emissions is linked to private households.
Nigeria and climate disasters
Over the years, Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, has suffered a lot of disaster owing to climate change. From rising sea levels to increased cases of flooding and waterborne diseases, food and water scarcity, damage and loss of lives and infrastructure which in effect leads to high-end economic instability.
About 70% of the country’s primary energy supply is derived from biomass resources. Yet, the total electricity access rate in Nigeria as of 2020, stood at 55%, while her total share of the clean cooking access rate was 56%. The Nation’s total share of energy consumption as of 2019, stood at 5615.9PJ with only 81.4% renewable energy consumption nationwide.
This poor on-grid power supply has forced the country of over 200 million citizens to rely on more than 14 gigawatts of inefficient petrol and diesel backup generators, contributing to 30% of the fine particulate matter emissions from the continent.
This makes her the fourth largest polluter in Africa, emitting 125 thousand metric tons of CO2, in 2020 alone.
Addressing the challenge
At the 2021 COP26, Nigeria took on three major pledges: the net-zero pledge, the global methane pledge, and the Glasgow leaders’ declaration on forests and land use.
- The Energy Transmission Plan:
Following these pledges, the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the office of Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo, announced the launch of the country’s Energy Transition Plan, back in August 2022.
The target of this plan is to tackle the dual crises of energy poverty and climate change and deliver SDG7 by 2030 and net zero by 2060. Its core focus is centered on providing energy for development, industrialization, and economic growth.
Other key objectives of the plan include: lifting 100 million people out of poverty in the next 10 years; driving economic growth; bringing modern energy services to the full population and managing the expected long-term job loss in the oil sector due to global decarbonization.
- The Nigerian Climate Change Act and Council:
Upon completion of the Glasgow Climate Pact, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari signed the Nigerian Climate Change Bill, thus, promoting it into an Act. The Act, now, sees to the realization of low greenhouse gas emissions, inclusive of green growth and sustainable economic growth.
The Act also ensures the formulation of programmes to achieve its long-term goals on climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as mainstream climate change actions in line with national development priorities.
It also empowers the creation of the National Council on Climate Change (the Council) which was institutionalized in July 2022. This council is constitutionally empowered to make policies and decisions on all climate change matters in Nigeria, as well as mobilize financial resources to support climate change plans, etc.
Combating climate change with technology
Across Nigeria, there are many entrepreneurs and companies making innovations to support the country’s transition to a resilient and low carbon economy. Few of them are:
• Sosai Renewable Energies Company: The Sosai Renewable Energies Company has been on a mission to reduce the use of kerosene lamps and stoves in rural communities in Northern Nigeria. The company has expanded to include more than 150 women and reached an estimated 650,000 people; installing lamps, cookstoves, solar home kits and dryers and small grid infrastructure in the communities that require them the most.
• Roshan Renewables: Roshan Renewables is a renewable energy company that provides access to the safest, healthiest and most environmentally friendly clean cooking water, sanitation and hygiene products and services that improve families’ lives and preserve the environment.
It has trained more than 350 women, including refugees on the negative effects of cooking with fuels such as wood, charcoal and animal dung. The company has sold more than 20,000 “Happy Stove” cooktops – an eco-friendly biomass cooking solution.
• Scrapays Technologies Limited: This Lagos based company has been changing the narrative of recyclable waste recovery and reuse. Over the years, Scrapays has been creating awareness among Nigerians on the importance of recycling, as well as monetizing waste by connecting waste producers with collectors using USSD, a mobile and web application, and Internet of Things (IoT) technology.