SPP, DCC and NGF Set To Launch Report On Mapping Of Climate Impact, Policy And Action At The Sub-national Level In Nigeria.

The Society for Planet and Prosperity (SPP) in collaboration with the Department of Climate Change, the Federal Ministry of Environment, and the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) is organizing a high-level meeting to launch and discuss the results and findings of a survey on climate change impact, policy, and actions in the thirty-six States of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The meeting will converge key stakeholders and selected survey participants to discuss the recommendations that will support subnational climate action and facilitate climate-related transitions for sustainable development.

The objective of the report Entitled “Mapping Climate Change Impact, Policy and Action in Nigeria’s 36 States and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) “ is to map the impact of climate change in the 36 States of the Federation and FCT, analyze the existing climate policies and actions in the States, conduct an assessment of online visibilities and identify the specific support needs of each of these States to effectively domesticate climate change policies to attract climate funds and investments.

The project was conceived as a first step to galvanize awareness for climate action at sub-national levels in Nigeria, showcase the status of Climate Change policies, highlight the efforts and gaps in climate action and programmes at sub-national levels, and ensure improved climate change action and resilience among the state actors.

Speaking on the upcoming event, the lead convener, who is also the President of SPP, Professor Chukwumerije Okereke, noted that:

Climate Change is one of the biggest development challenges facing Nigeria today. Its impacts such as flooding, desertification, drought, erosion, and sea level rise are destroying ecosystems and livelihoods thereby pushing many into poverty. The Nigerian Government has committed to achieving Net Zero by 2060 and has also signed a National Climate Change Law which establishes a National Council on Climate Change (NCCC). The Federal Government has a National Climate Change Policy, a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), and some flagship projects such as the Great Green Wall, the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), and Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscape (ACReSAL) to address the impacts of climate change. However, most climate change actions and initiatives have focused at the federal level, with little or no attention to subnational climate change policies, action plans, and investment at the state level. This is a big gap given that the impacts of climate change are mostly borne by States that house the local communities. Therefore, the implementation of policies and actions at the subnational level is crucial to addressing climate change and meeting Nigeria’s net-zero target and other national climate commitments. This current situation calls for an improved understanding of the climate change governance landscape at the subnational including the level of awareness of climate change, available policies and the extent and range of policies and the degree of implementation.

During the scheduled high-level event, experts and facilitators will discuss the findings of the report and opportunities to promote climate policy, action, and investment at the state level. It is expected that the event will help to facilitate coordination, collaboration, knowledge sharing, and learning among various stakeholders at the subnational level, with an opportunity for key stakeholders and policymakers to develop new partnerships to address the gaps for a renewed frontier for climate action in the 36 States of Nigeria and FCT.

The report, which explored the extent of climate change awareness and action, the nature of climate change policies in place, the level of integration of climate change in project and economic planning, the perception of climate risks and vulnerability, and online visibility in the Thirty-Six (36) States and FCT through administration of questionnaire to participants and extensive literature review, including published materials, reports, newspapers, and websites.

This is the first ever and most comprehensive mapping of climate action at the subnational level in Nigeria, this is also timely because it helps Nigeria understand the peculiar needs of the different subnational units of the country in other to encourage improved action either by government, civil society, the private sector, or international donor agencies

The report launch is scheduled to be held in Abuja on Friday, 17th November 2023. The event format is hybrid, hence participants and interested audiences are encouraged to join virtually by registering at https://bit.ly/SubnationalClimateMapping


By Timothy Ogenyi, Senior Policy Analyst (Climate Change), SPP

Okereke bags Fellow of World Academy of Sciences

Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke has been 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.

The Nigeria born Okereke is a Professor in Global Governance and Public Policy in the School for Policy Studies, Bristol University, UK, and Director for the Centre for Climate Change and Development, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Nigeria.

He is a globally recognised leading scholar on global climate governance and international development with specialism on the justice dimensions of the international climate regime and just societal transitions to the green economy.

Okereke has a strong track record of cutting-edge and high-impact research focused on understanding and addressing systemic barriers to economic and social inclusion in the context of climate policy and green economy transitions,

He has made significant contributions to scholarship on several areas such as: (i) understanding how different conceptions of justice influence global climate governance and the implications for climate-resilient sustainable development in developing countries; (ii) advancing the theory of theory of climate governance through his various works that focus on the activities of non-nation state actors in climate governance; and (iii) advancing knowledge and practice of climate governance and green growth transitions in Africa where his work has had a far-reaching impact on public policy and practice across the continent.

He also worked with a diverse array of stakeholders to mobilise research to shape climate governance in Africa including drafting a climate change law in Nigeria, modelling Nigeria’s long-term low-carbon development strategy, designing African Unions’ Adaptation Initiative, and drafting the first ever national green growth plan in Africa, for the Government of Rwanda.

Professor Okereke’s academic merit and international research leadership status is 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.

He is a visiting professor at London School of Economics and Senior Academic Visitor at the University of Oxford.

He is also a leading member of the Global Earth Commission’s Safe and Just Transformation Working Group and Coordinator of African Forum Climate Change, Energy and Development (AFCEED) the leading African Network of scholars, policy makers and practitioners working on climate change and sustainability transitions in Africa.

Commenting on the award, Okereke said: “I am delighted to have been elected Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (UNESCO-TWAS).

“It means a lot to me because I have always been driven by a desire to highlight the challenges faced by developing countries in addressing climate change while also pursuing economic growth as well as the opportunities to leverage climate action to build resilience and achieve economic growth.

“Developing countries face multiple challenges related to colonial legacy and unjust international economic order which work to the advantage of advanced countries. I believe that approaching climate governance from the framework of justice enables us to tackle, not just the issue of climate pollution, but also the more fundamental question of global equity and fairness needed to ensure that everyone can lead a decent life regardless of where they are born.

“I grew up in a very rural village in Old Eastern Nigeria. I played naked under the rain, swam and drank water from the brownish local river, went to school for the most time barefooted, studied under the big akparata tree in the local school, hunted rats and rabbits with my age-mates and sang with other children under the moonlight.

“I experienced the joy of growing up in the natural environment and am passionate to see that economic development for all the good things it brings does not impose existential risk on our environment and the lives of people on the planet.

“This recognition encourages me to continue to work as there is still quite a long way to go to achieve climate justice for the vulnerable countries of the world.”

Okereke is among 47 Fellows elected by the Academy.

Deadlock on L&D Funding: Rich Countries Again Trample on Equity And Trust In The Global Climate Agreement

The fourth meeting of the Transition Committee for the operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund ended in Aswan, Egypt with no clear resolutions on key issues especially where the Loss and Damage Fund( agreed to in COP27, at Sharm el-Sheikh) would be domiciled.

From 17-20 October, 2023, developed countries led by the United States of America held their ground, insisting that they must have total control over this fund, which they say is being established for developing countries.

Many experts including Harjeet Singh, the Head of Global and Political Strategy of the Climate Action Network (CAN) saw this resolution as a complete disappointment.

This insistence by the U.S and her allies is nothing short of an attempt to exert control over developing countries.

By trying so hard to force developing countries to accept that the Loss and Damage Fund must be domiciled within the World Bank— an institution long seen by developing countries as serving the interests of developed countries— developed countries led by the United States and Switzerland have once again showed that for them, climate action is not about justice and corrections of the mistakes of the past, but more about them exercising powers over anything and everything in the world.

Historically, emissions by developed countries created the climate crisis. Furthermore, those emissions were used by developed countries to boost their technological progress giving them an advantage when it comes to control and access to finance and technologies needed to cut down emissions.

Having exploited the common resources of the entire world to get to this point, it is only fair that they should support poor countries who are bearing the impact of the climate crisis to grow in a more sustainable way.

Nonetheless, these countries have continuously refused to make the basic compromises required to build trust in the international process and encourage developing countries to pursue low-carbon development.

First, they failed to meet the $100bn annual support agreed to in 2009 to assist developing countries by 2020, next they tried to pass of high interest loans as part of the effort to meet the $100 billion pledge.

And Now, this bull-headed decision to have control of the Loss and Damage Fund with the usual conditions to make sure that access becomes extremely difficult for those who need adds salt into the wounds of developing countries.

Let us be clear, the funding expected from rich countries either as part of the Green Climate Fund, Adaptation Fund, or the Loss and Damage Fund, should not be viewed as charity.

Instead, they are essentially tokens from massive profits made by developing countries from destroying the earth. It is as simple as that. While the language of compensation is not explicitly used in the UNFCCC texts, that is essentially what it is, and the fact that poor countries agreed to expunge compensation language from the text is already enough demonstration of compromise and good will by the Global South.

Confronted with the stark reality of climate change, and constantly reminded by developed countries that they must take action to address climate change, developing countries have since committed to follow the low-carbon development path hoping that those who destroyed the earth would at least live up to their own words and provide the agreed financial support necessary to encourage mitigation and adaptation efforts, and also support for Loss and Damage.

Yet, all poor countries continue to get is warm words and empty promises.

It is instructive that as soon as the Ukraine-Russian war hit, and energy became a problem in Europe, developing countries that had been told by rich countries to divest from fossil fuel and make net zero transition plans watched as Europe made a dash for gas in Africa and had coal-powered energy industries were reactivated in Germany!

The Loss and Damage Fund therefore presented a clear opportunity for developed countries to, for once, build trust and defer to what works for those whom the fund is being set up for.

But as usual, they have re-emphasized that for them, it is only about what benefits them, and not what is best for the long-term good of the world.

Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke is a Professor of Global Governance and Public Policy at the University of Bristol.

Nnaemeka Oruh is Senior Policy Analysts with the Society for Planet and Prosperity, Nigeria.

Participants of International Visitors Leadership Program Awardee Inspire Enugu State Students to Plant Trees

In a remarkable initiative to promote environmental consciousness among young minds, piloted by Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke of the Center for Climate Change and Development, participants of the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) Awardee embarked on a mission to various schools across Enugu State. Their goal? To educate and engage students in the importance of tree planting while imparting practical knowledge on the most efficient and effective methods of tree planting.

The event was inaugurated with great enthusiasm by the Honourable Commissioner for Education of Enugu State, Prof. Ndubueze L. Mbah, at New Layout Secondary School, Enugu. Prof. Mbah’s presence marked the official commencement of this impactful program, setting a tone of significance for the entire community.

Students from New Layout Secondary School, as well as several other schools, were provided with hands-on training in tree planting, ensuring that they not only understand the theoretical aspects but also gain practical experience. Under the expert coordination of Hon. Basil Ojengwa and Mr. Elochukwu Anieze, the IVLP Awardees guided the students in planting numerous trees within their school premises, thereby contributing to a greener and healthier environment for generations to come.

The IVLP participants, hailing from various countries, shared their expertise and knowledge about the pivotal role trees play in mitigating climate change, preserving biodiversity, and enhancing the overall quality of life. Through interactive sessions, they engaged the students in discussions about the significance of trees and the urgency of taking action to protect the environment.

The program extended its reach to other schools, including Community Secondary School, Akwuke-Garriki, and Community Secondary School, Umuchigbo, Enugu. This widespread effort ensured that a larger segment of Enugu State’s youth was inspired and educated on the importance of tree planting.

The initiative received overwhelming support from the local community, educational institutions, and government officials, reflecting a collective commitment to sustainable environmental practices. It serves as a shining example of how international collaboration and knowledge exchange can drive positive change at the grassroots level.

The impact of this educational program is expected to be far-reaching, as these young students are now equipped with both the knowledge and practical skills to become environmental stewards in their communities. The seeds of change have been planted, and Enugu State’s future looks greener and more sustainable than ever.

As the IVLP participants continue their mission to foster environmental awareness, their efforts, professionally coordinated by Hon. Basil Ojengwa and Mr. Elochukwu Anieze, are a testament to the power of education and community engagement in building a more sustainable and environmentally conscious world.

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Climate Action: President Tinubu’s Government Needs to Correct Course ahead of COP28

The 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) may have come and gone but the debates and the representations by the global leaders continue to shape the path to commitments and development. In his opening remark, the UN Secretary-General said, “action is what the world needs”. That indeed captures what the world must focus on—more action and less talk.

On September 20, 2023, the President of Nigeria, His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR, harped on six important points: (i) the need to see Africa’s development as priority through partnership, (ii) direct investment in critical industries; (iii) affirm democratic governance in Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) region; (iv) human trafficking; (v) securing the mineral-rich areas in Africa; and (vi) Climate Change.

While some have called the president’s speech bold, he only spent a few minutes on climate change and the approach African countries will take to address it. According to the president, efforts must be aligned with global collaboration based on Africa’s unique requirements, particularly as it intersects with climate change and the continent’s growth.

Even though President Tinubu’s speech amplified the Great Green Wall Initiative, desert encroachment and flooding; the speech was however silent on specific steps being taken to combat these menaces, and he did not propose new actions Nigeria is taking to accelerate climate action and by extension how the country— the giant of Africa— intends to show leadership within the continent in driving up climate action including strategic approach to meeting its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Recall that during UNGA76, former President of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, had committed to building a climate-resilient economy fully aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). President Buhari would at COP26 in Glasgow commit Nigeria to attaining net zero by 2060, and later proceeded to sign into law the Climate Change Bill. At UNGA77 in 2022, President Buhari again reiterated that Nigeria will not make the same mistakes developed countries made which brought about the climate crisis but went ahead to challenge developed countries and Multilateral Finance Institutions to do the right thing.

One would expect that Nigeria will follow the path of this statement by the former president, sadly, there has not been a clear statement that climate action will be pursued with urgency and deserved vigour. In all fairness, President Tinubu has taken some actions which align with acceptable global climate action— removal of petroleum subsidy; signing into law of the Electricity Act 2023 which liberalizes the industry and provides a major boost to investments in renewable energy. We have also seen his choices on important appointment of Special Advisers into the National Economic Council (NEC) and Climate Change. Yet, it is sometimes hard to fathom any clear direction as to how his administration intends to up the ante in the fight against climate change.

While the President’s speech at UNGA78 lands some good points, it was somewhat a missed opportunity to demonstrate leadership and the prioritization of Nigeria’s action on climate change which is extremely relevant to achieve his bold sustainable economic development plan for Nigeria and Africa.

Similarly, the president’s absence at the Africa Climate Summit was a great miss for Nigeria to show leadership and stand side by side with her African brothers to take a unified position on critical climate change issues such as adaptation, loss and damage, renewable energy, and climate finance.

The UNGA78 platform should have been leveraged to galvanize continental action and demand accountability but Nigeria failed to do that.

But it is not too late for the Tinubu administration to course-correct.

As the world builds up to COP28, with Africa and the friends of Africa championing the truth that Africa presents the world with a solution to the climate crises, all eyes again will be on the Nigerian government to firm up its plans and reach out to the African Group of Negotiators and other Heads of Governments, and lead from the front by sending a high-powered delegation to the negotiations while holding several bilateral meetings to hold developed countries accountable.

Prior to that, Nigeria must now take a decisive action by committing a significant percentage of the savings from petroleum subsidy savings to innovative climate action that intersects with the sustainable development of the country. Such a commitment will send a strong signal to global climate leadership and motivate others to emulate.

Another decision will be to create a concrete path for Nigeria to industrialize in order to tackle most of its pressing developmental problems. This should include presenting an equitable and sustainable phase-out of fossil fuel plan to avoid being left with stranded assets, or worse deeper poverty.

African countries, led by Nigeria, must therefore see climate action as a critical and indeed ever-present staple of their governments’ priority policies. Any African government not prioritizing that, has set out from the very beginning to fail its people and that will be sad.