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Ekwueme Varsity Releases Landmark Nigeria Deep Decarbonisation Report

In a landmark move for environmental and economic sustainability, the Centre for Climate Change and Development (CCCD) at Alex Ekwueme Federal University has unveiled the Nigeria Deep Decarbonization Pathways (DDP-Nigeria) project report. This comprehensive document, the culmination of rigorous national and international collaboration, marks a significant milestone in Nigeria’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions and spearheading sustainable development across Africa.

The DDP-Nigeria project is a national research and capacity-building project for the implementation of a Deep Decarbonisation Pathway (DDP) in Nigeria under the framework of the 2050 Facility funded by the French Development Agency (AFD) with the  Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) as the Programme Coordinator with contributions from the International Research Center on Environment and Development (CIRED) France. The project was done in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nigeria, through the Department of Climate Change (DCC) and the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC).

The DDP-Nigeria project was driven by a core team of research experts, advisory board members, a national management committee and a national technical/steering committee, all in an effort to align with the country’s environmental and economic development aspiration. The DDP-Nigeria was anchored on three central pillars – mobilisation and capacity building of local teams of experts and researchers, production of Nigeria context-sensitive low-emission development strategies, and structuration of a community of practice among Nigerian and African research institutions to facilitate climate change knowledge sharing.

The project was conceived to appropriately respond to the low-emission development commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria in many local and international forums. In developed nations, low-emission development policies are crafted based on rigorous studies of the economic sectors, which are heavily based on long-term modelling of development scenarios. Therefore, the analytical framework used in the DDP-Nigeria project hybridised energy-macroeconomic modelling approach, with key assumptions derived from the economic sectors (power, transport, building and residential, oil and gas, industry and AFOLU – Agriculture, forestry and other land use) based on the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), the Energy Transition Plan (ETP), FGN’s pronouncement at COP 26 in Glasgow, and the vast natural resources (natural gas and renewable energy, for example). The hybrid framework provides comprehensive information to support decision-making regarding socioeconomic development paths and the evolution of sustainable (environmentally friendly) energy systems away from fossil-based ones.

The Deep Decarbonization Pathways report is enriched with detailed analyses across key energy sectors, offering a variety of trajectories Nigeria could follow to meet its net-zero commitments. These pathways are informed by rich datasets, groundbreaking economic analyses, and insights that consider both the immediate and long-term implications of decarbonization efforts.

The DDP-Nigeria report provides information on the quantifications of four imagined future development pathways (that is, scenarios): Business as Usual (BAU), Currently Policy Scenario (CPS), Gas Economy Scenario (GES), and Renewable Energy Scenario (RES), all of which provide alternative pathways on how Nigeria could navigate the complex energy transition terrain to achieve net zero economy up to 2060 as well as the macroeconomic implications of the imagined future development pathways.

The key findings suggest that the energy sector contributes about 54% of the current year’s (2018) national emissions (424.30 MtCO2eq), which was followed by Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use (AFOLU) at about 30%. More than 50% of the emissions from the energy sector were from the oil and gas subsector, which are related to commercial production and transformation of oil and gas. Under a BAU scenario, Nigeria’s cumulative emissions will be about 1053 MtCO2eq by 2060. The drivers of the emissions are attributed to the continuous use of fossil fuels, firewood and charcoal, which have far-reaching consequences on health, biological diversity, and climate change. The results indicate that the CPS, GES, and RES, respectively, could reduce the current year emissions by 24.4%, 30.1%, and 61.5% in 2050, whereas the reduction would be 36.7%, 78.3%, and 96.8% in 2060, respectively. It shows that only the RES has the potential to achieve the government’s net zero emissions pledge at COP26.

From a purely macroeconomic point of view, over 39 years, the cumulated international financial aid (IFA) would amount to 880 billion USD to drive the Renewable Energy Scenario. The  IFA is roughly half of the overall cost of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan, estimated at 1.9 trillion USD. In addition, the analysis shows that, with the IFA, Nigeria’s economy can be improved under the low-emission development pathways because of the positive impact on the employment rate.

In conclusion, the decarbonisation of the Nigerian economy will strongly depend on the use of natural gas as a transition fuel and the utilisation of renewable energy sources (solar, wind, hydropower, and bioenergy) and other clean energy sources (e.g., nuclear) coupled with climate-smart sectorial measures (e.g., energy efficiency and energy management measures) and greening technologies (e.g., carbon capture and sequestration).

“Today, we stand on the precipice of a transformative era,” said Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, the Director of CCCD and the report’s coordinating lead author. “This document is not merely a plan but a blueprint for sustainable development, integrating economic growth with environmental stewardship.”


Ogheneruona Diemuodeke and Chukwuemeka Emenekwe Research Fellows in the DDP-Nigeria project


Download Report Here >>>

Ekwueme Varsity, Institute present report on Nigeria’s energy transition

The Centre for Climate Change and Development (CCCD) at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, in collaboration with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) London, is holding an online event to present the key findings from the recent national research on Nigeria’s subsidy reform and its energy transition agenda.

The CCCD and ODI conducted a  research aimed at understanding  the impacts of fuel subsidy reform and its potential near-term consequences.

 The research, which is based on an extensive literature review, economic modelling techniques, and interviews with several leading thinkers in Nigeria, explored the opportunities and challenges associated with subsidy reform in relation to Nigeria’s energy transition agenda.

 It also offers a suite of guides for a politically smart, socially inclusive reform and reallocation of public funds, which in the long term could be the first step to planning towards a just and equitable transition away from fossil fuels.

It would be recalled that in May 2023, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu announced the immediate removal of Nigeria’s petroleum subsidy, leading to dramatic increases in end-user fuel prices.

While there are compelling justifications for subsidy reform, considerable problems exist about the method, consequences, and sustainability of the  reform.

The failure to mitigate the short-term socio-economic effects of subsidy reform would have multi-level consequences across Nigeria’s economy and populations.

It could harm the most vulnerable segments of Nigeria’s population and introduce political risks to the sustainability of reform, as experienced by similar attempts by former governments.

A real or perceived lack of transparency in the sector could also make it difficult to determine the various other ways in which state revenues are being lost, which can further hinder sector reform and cause a range of environmental, social, and economic harms.

The workshop will be held on the 14th of March 2024, 12:00–13:30 WAT, and will be hosted by Dr. Nwajiku-Dahou, Director of the Politics and Governance Programme at Overseas Development Institute, and Professor Chukwumerije Okereke, Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Development at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Nigeria (CCCD-AEFUNAI).

Hon. Sam Onuigbo, a member of the governing board and Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change of the North East Development Commission, and Hon. (Eng). Solomon Bulus Maren, National Coordinator of the African Parliamentary Network on Climate Action, are the guests of honour for the event.

Speaking ahead of the event, the Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Development, Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, said that the research is intandem with the mission of the Centre to collaborate with top-level international partners to undertake high-quality research to generate knowledge that will contribute to climate- resilient and sustainable development of Nigeria and Africa.

Okereke expressed the hope that the Federal government will utilise the findings of the research to reform the fuel subsidy in ways that will be fairer, more progressive and better advance the energy transition objectives of the country.

Enugu appoints Prof. Okereke as Senior Adviser on Climate Change and Sustainable Development

Professor Chukwumerije Okereke, an internationally recognised professor, has been appointed as the Special Adviser (SA) on Climate Policy and Sustainable Development to the Governor of Enugu State, Barr. Peter N. Mbah.

Prof. Okereke has been appointed to assist the state in designing and executing science-based climate policy, with the goal of contributing to the state’s long-term growth.

The Professor, who was born in Enugu, is an expert in climate governance, environmental policy, and international development. He is regarded as one of Africa’s leading researchers in the fields of climate justice, low-carbon development, and green economic transition.

Prof. Okereke holds a Chair in Global Governance and Public Policy at the prestigious School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol University, UK, and is also the Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Development, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Nigeria. He is also a visiting Professor at the London School of Economics, and a Senior Academic Visitor at the University of Oxford.

Over the last 20 years, Professor Okereke has maintained an extensive high-impact engagement with national governments, businesses, and NGOs in Africa and led several high-profile international projects on climate change policy, mainstreaming, and green economy transition in Africa.  He led the team that analysed the adaptation components of African NDCs for the African Development Bank (AfDB) under the direction of the bank’s Climate and Green Growth Division. He was the founding Project Manager of the Rwandan Green Growth and Climate Resilience Project, which was the first ever national low-carbon plan in Africa.

Prof. Okereke was the technical leader of the Climate Change Bill Review Committee convened by the former Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamiala, and was responsible for developing several innovative aspects of the Climate Change Act, including the carbon budget and the DG position of the National Council on Climate Change.

Prof. Okereke has led several major national climate change research and policy initiatives, including the Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy, Nigeria’s Long-Term Vision, and Which Way Nigeria: Citizens Scenario 2060.

Prof. Okereke’s academic merit and international research leadership status are affirmed through his leadership roles in multiple high-profile global Scientist Assessment Projects and networks including as Coordinating Lead Author, of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III Sixth Assessment Report.

Prof. Okereke is an Awardee of the prestigious International Visitor Leadership Programme of the United States Department of States, and he was recently elected Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in Developing Countries (UNESCO-TWAS) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to science and its promotion in the developing world.

Prof. Okereke’s academic merit and international research leadership status are demonstrated by his leadership roles in a number of high-profile global Scientist Assessment Projects and networks, including his role as Coordinating Lead Author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III Sixth Assessment Report. Prof. Okereke has received the prestigious International Visitor Leadership Programme Award from the United States Department of State, and he was recently elected Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences for the Advancement of Science in Developing Countries (UNESCO-TWAS) in recognition of his outstanding contributions to science and its promotion in the developing world.

Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, Secretary to the Governor of Enugu State, who conveyed the appointment letter, stated that “the expectation is that Enugu State will significantly benefit from Prof. Okereke’s expertise and dedication during the tenure of his appointment.”

Onyia adds: “The anticipation is that Enugu State will significantly gain from Professor Okereke’s expertise and dedication during the tenure of his appointment.”

Commenting on the appointment, Prof. Okereke said: “I am very delighted to be contacted by His Excellency to be part of his transformation agenda in Enugu State to raise the climate consciousness of the state and help develop a science-based plan to reduce climate impacts in the state.

“In the spirit of tomorrow is here agenda of the state we have already started the campaign, I just trained 31 young climate leaders in Enugu State in urban greening and air quality measurements and carried out climate education exercises involving over 7,000 children from three public secondary schools in Enugu State and planting of over 100 economic and ornamental trees in strategic locations throughout the city under the International Visitors’ leadership programme (IVLP) impact award given to me by the U.S Department of State Bureau for Education and Cultural Affairs.

“This recognition will spur me to do more for my dear state in the area of climate awareness in keeping with the city’s reputation as a clean, ambient, and family-friendly metropolis.”

The position operates on a pro-bono basis and no salary or benefits are associated with it.

Policy Recommendations On Harnessing Sub-National Government Leadership In Driving Climate Action

i.  Climate Education is a climate solution. Climate education and communication hold a key solution in increasing the awareness campaign on climate action, especially mainstreaming Climate education into the school curricula and grassroots community programs. It is only through education that students can develop climate solutions. By incorporating climate change and environmental sustainability into the curriculum, we can equip future generations with the tools they need to address the challenges of climate change. The populace needs to be educated on climate impacts, policies and action plans, through consistent awareness, enlightenment, trainings and engagements to drum local support and contextual action for climate solution.

ii.  Climate resilience of agroecosystems and socioeconomic livelihood is strengthened by community initiatives for collective action to improve the surrounding natural resources and ecosystems for a sustainable future. Local communities approach climate adaptation response in a way that uses several traditional knowledge and indigenous solutions. Local adaptation capabilities and resilience against climate change can be increased using methods specific to their environment. Therefore, there is a need to boost subnational efforts to enhance local communities in developing indigenous adaptation solutions and implementing actions to respond to current and future climate change impacts.

iii.  Funding and support need to be directed to areas that are most vulnerable and require urgent action; because by understanding the varying impacts and risks at the subnational level, resources can be allocated more effectively.

iv.  Climate policies should be designed with the local context in mind, involving local communities in the decision-making process foster to a sense of ownership and responsibility towards climate action, to ensure that climate action is practical, achievable, and resonates with the local population. This will increase the likelihood of successful climate policy implementation and sustainability of climate action initiatives.

v.  There is a need to develop and promote climate change vulnerability assessments and adaptation strategies for addressing climate change, mainly as regards local to regional-scale vulnerability assessments and adaptation plans; especially considering the surge in the number and frequency of adaptation practices and initiatives in all of Nigeria’s agroecological zones due to the increasing impacts of climate change.

vi.  There is a need to enhance the ability of decision-makers to understand and plan for environmental change by putting people-centred and gender-sensitive analysis at the centre of climate adaptation. By integrating population data in climate adaptation planning, policymakers can provide a more comprehensive understanding of vulnerability and develop means for resilience.

vii.  There is also the need to develop and implement relevant international and regional frameworks to ensure that all climate adaptation measures to address climate vulnerabilities take into account the specific needs of the locals: farmers, women, children, youth, persons with disabilities and other marginalized groups following relevant human rights and other instruments.

viii.  Addressing climate risks at the subnational level requires better planning and implementation of adaptation measures, including building resilient infrastructure, implementing early warning systems, and developing climate-resilient agriculture and water management practices. There is to need to support community resilience built through climate-smart investments that allow local farmers, women and young people to take a greater role in decision-making over their futures.

ix.  There is a need for coordination and collaboration among various stakeholders at the subnational level. Government bodies, communities, NGOs, and businesses can work together to address climate challenges more effectively. Support and stakeholders engagement programs is key to ensure inclusive participations and shared responsibility of climate action.

x.  State governments should explore local solutions that promote equity and community engagement through inclusive decision-making to reflect communities’ diverse needs, concerns, and aspirations in the face of climate challenges. Subnationals should be seen supporting local communities to identify priority needs and collaboratively plan for climate adaptation, with access to decentralized climate funding.

xi.  State government should establish an Indigenous knowledge research hub and local advisory committee to guide on a system change to accommodate climate vulnerabilities and, in the process, thrive and recover from any eventuality. National action plans must imbibe adaptation actions that are based on and guided by the best available science (funded research) and, as appropriate, traditional knowledge, knowledge of indigenous peoples and local knowledge systems, to integrate adaptation into socioeconomic and environmental policies and actions.

xii.  Bringing up the discourse on subnational involvements will also give credence and voice to the much talked about Locally led adaptation (LLA), which unlocks, supports and leverages the high potential and innovative capabilities of communities to develop and implement solutions. Thus, there is a need for coordinated practices and principles for climate resilience that integrate multiple locally-led adaptation responses, including Indigenous solutions and local knowledge, to ensure climate-proofing and sustainability of agricultural ecosystems.

Timothy Emenike Ogenyi,
Senior Climate Policy Analyst,
Society for Planet and Prosperity (SPP)

Channeling Subsidy Savings Towards Green Growth And Sustainable Development, By Chukwumerije Okereke

In a daring move, Nigeria’s President, His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR, declared the immediate abolition of fuel subsidies during his Inaugural Address on May 29, 2023, stating quite simply that “subsidy is gone”. In the coming months, President Tinubu would go on to announce that the money from subsidy payments will be transferred to fund public infrastructure, education, health care, and jobs, among other critical developmental requirements for the country.

While the elimination of subsidies was praised as a key step in advancing Nigeria’s divestment from fossil fuels in the global climate change community, it remained unclear, indeed doubtful, whether this was the motivation for Nigeria’s decision. There is no denying that the decision to establish the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative (PCNGI)-an initiative aimed at promoting the widespread adoption of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-powered vehicles in Nigeria’s transportation system-will have an impact on the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and, as a result, will aid Nigeria’s net zero and decarbonisation efforts. However, much more is required to make the fuel subsidy programme serve Nigeria’s climate goals.

In thinking more holistically and systematically about how the elimination of petroleum import subsidies might assist in driving Nigeria’s climate action and ultimately position the country for long-term growth in line with global trends, one start in the right path is to set aside a specific percentage of subsidy savings for a special ring-finance fund that can be used to fund investments and projects in climate adaption, renewables, and climate-smart innovation. This is the path to toe.

It is therefore our recommendation that a minimum of 20% of the savings from the subsidy removal regime be dedicated especially to climate-related infrastructure and investments. The fund can be deposited in the Climate Change Fund, which was established by the Climate Change Act, and administered as grants, subventions, allocations for infrastructure projects, subsidies for renewable energy and climate-smart agriculture, and so on. Some of the money can also be used as catalytic funding to leverage bigger investments in renewable energy investment from international public and private sector sources. Going by projected savings, this will free up about N16bn annually for climate finance that can be used to drive sustainable development of Nigeria.

Parties to the international climate agreement at COP28 in Dubai, which the president and numerous ministers attended, committed to collaborate to triple the world’s installed renewable energy generation capacity to at least 11,000 GW by 2030. Despite Nigeria’s significant solar potential, with daily irradiation equivalent to more than a million tonnes of oil, far exceeding its oil and gas outputs, solar accounts for only 0.2% of installed capacity, making its contribution to the country’s energy mix almost insignificant.

According to a study conducted by Boston Consulting Group and All On (a Shell-funded impact investment company), the off-grid solar market in Nigeria had a compound annual growth rate of 22% between 2018 and 2022, making it one of the fastest growing in Africa during the same period. However, uptake is still hampered by high upfront costs, with only 1.25% of Nigerian households installing the system. According to the same study, installing solar in 30% of Nigerian households by 2030 would save 5 million metric tonnes of CO2, cutting household emissions by 30%. A dedicated fund created from fossil fuel savings can be utilised to invest in the expansion of on-grid and off-grid solar in Nigeria, thereby helping to bridge the energy poverty gap.

This becomes even urgent considering that Nigeria continues to have the world’s biggest unelectrified population, with over 90 million of the country’s 200 million people living off the grid.

A recent Agora policy report finds that climate change is causing increased hunger, poverty, disease burden, migration, conflict, and insecurity in Nigeria. It is damaging infrastructure, altering Nigeria’s coastlines, fuelling desertification, causing water scarcity, facilitating erosion, and resulting in revenue losses for states and the national government, with the cumulative total economic cost of climate change to Nigeria estimated to be up to USD100 billion by 2050. Climate change might reduce agricultural productivity by 10 to 25 percent by 2080. For some places in the country’s north, rainfed agriculture yields could fall by up to 50%. Increased warming trends will also make root crop and vegetable storage difficult for farmers who do not have access to refrigerators, exacerbating the already high degree of postharvest loss. Climate change is therefore arguably the biggest economic development challenge facing Nigeria.

President Tinubu will make a bold announcement by allocating 20% of the country’s subsidy savings to the Climate Change Fund, which can then be used to compel higher commitments from the international community. Such promises may take the shape of a strong demand for the debt-for-climate programme, additional money for adaptation, loss and damage, renewables, and a reform of the global finance infrastructure to reduce the risk of investment for potential green firms.