A new report by Agora Policy, an Abuja-based think tank, has shown that Nigeria was losing at least $100 billion annually to the effects of climate change and that the country may lose trillions of dollars in manufacturing, construction and oil and gas assets which are likely to become stranded as the world gravitates to a green economy.
According to the 84-page report, Climate change poses severe and multiple threats to Nigeria’s current and future development and should be taken more seriously by the Nigerian government and other critical stakeholders.
The report acknowledges and details a plethora of climate-related initiatives, including policies, programmes and projects and even the 2021 climate change law put in place or undertaken by successive Nigerian governments but it claims that the potentials of these initiatives and interventions are undercut by the absence of commensurate action, lack of synergy and inadequate funding.
The report showed that despite Nigeria’s relatively low emission profile, the country is already bearing the brunt of the effects of changes in climatic conditions and of adverse weather events but that the tolls could be significantly higher.
“Unless urgent and bold actions are taken,” the report said. “Nigeria risks becoming one of the worst-affected countries by climate change, with grave implications for the country’s currently fragile economic, social and human development indicators,”.
The report further highlights the different channels through which adverse effects of climate change could worsen in Nigeria and further compound the country’s developmental challenges, some of which include: projected 2.9- and 5.7-degree Celsius rise in temperature across different ecological zones in the country; increased occurrence of floods, droughts, erosion and rising sea levels; the likelihood that 75% of the delta could be lost; and further adverse effects on agricultural yields, food security, health burdens, water and energy sufficiency, peace and security, and adequacy and longevity of critical infrastructure.
The report recommended investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency, promoting climate-smart agriculture, embracing green manufacturing, harnessing natural resources for adaptation, and enhancing disaster risk reduction systems as strategies that will help the country consciously pursue a climate-compatible development agenda.
Other prescriptions made by the report for Nigeria include: strengthening national climate change framework; mainstreaming climate change into the country’s development process; building a climate-resilient and competitive economy; boosting adaptive capacities of communities in different ecological zones in the country; incentivizing investment in low-carbon industries; increasing public awareness about climate change; advocating for a fair and just energy transition; and pursuing a collaborative approach to low-carbon development.
The release of the report will be followed by a policy conversation in Abuja on 22 November 2023, with the theme: “Nigeria, Climate Change and the Green Economy.”
Story was adapted from Nairametrics.