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Prof. Chukwumerije

SPP, CCCD, GECCI to engage civil society leaders on climate change law

The Society for Planet Prosperity (SPP), in collaboration with the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike (AE-FUNAI) Centre for Climate Change and Development (CCCD) and Global Environmental and Climate Conservation Initiative (GECCI), is hosting a virtual workshop for stakeholders in the environment and climate change sector.

The virtual workshop, entitled “Understanding and Implementation of Nigeria’s Climate Change Act: Implications for Nigeria’s Net Zero Target”, is aimed at engaging the leaders of civil society and non-governmental organisations in the country.

The aim of the workshop is to gain knowledge, share ideas and provide insights on the role and involvement of CSOs in implementing the core provisions of the Nigeria Climate Change Act and open conversations on how to ensure public understanding of the climate change law.

Speaking on the upcoming workshop, the Chair of Society for Planet Prosperity and Director, CCCD AEFUNAI, Professor Chukwumerije Okereke, said that the forthcoming virtual workshop would bring together leaders of about 50 CSOs and NGOs to discuss on how to assist the government in implementing the core provisions of the Climate Change Act and increase public awareness of the climate change law.

He stated that the workshop would bring together the leaders to inform and analyse the Act, to aid better understanding, as well as to examine the state of affairs since the passing of the Climate Change Act. According to Professor Okereke, the event would generate ideas that the CSOs and the Nigerian Government could use to increase public awareness and implementation of the Climate Change Act, as well as generating ideas that would be documented and submitted to appropriate and relevant government agencies for actions and implementations.

The workshop, which is scheduled hold on Thursday, July 14, 2022, will feature Barr. Nkiruka Stella Okonkwo, the CEO and founder, Fresh and Young Brains Development Initiative; Nnaemeka Oruh, Ag. National Coordinator, GLOBE as speakers, while Professor Okereke is the host and will moderate the session. The Director, Department of Climate Change in the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs Iniobong Abiola-Awe, will deliver the opening remarks.

It will be recalled that, in November 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the Nigeria Climate Change Act, which provides a solid framework for climate actions at the national level.

Nigeria’s 2021 Climate Change Act provides for an ambitious framework for mainstreaming climate actions in line with national development priorities and sets a net-zero target for 2050-2070.

However, despite the signing of the bill into law and the promises the provisions of the law have to coordinate and ensure climate action in Nigeria, the government and relevant stakeholders have not taken any known steps to implement the basic provisions of the Act, such as setting up the National Council on Climate Change several months after the signing of the act into law.

By Chinedu Nwasum

FG Launches Nigeria’s Long-Term Low Emissions Development Strategy

By Chinedu Nwasum (Communication Officer, CCCD AEFUNAI)

The Federal Government through the Department of Climate Change (DCC) has launched a project on elaboration of Nigeria’s long-term low emissions development strategy popularly known as the long-term strategy (LTS). The launching of the project took place at Sandralia Hotel, Abuja on Thursday 12th May 2022. The project aims to design a long-term strategy (LTS) for achieving of sustainable low carbon and climate-resilient development in Nigeria.

Speaking during the event, the director Department of Climate Change, Federal Ministry of Environment, Dr. Iniobong Abiola-Awe stated that the essence of the project was to complement the effort of the Federal Government in its quest to deliver on its commitment of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2060. She pointed out that the DCC had developed a Long-Term vision (LTV) as a first contribution towards the elaboration of the full Long-Term Strategy (LTS).

Dr. Abiola-Awe noted that the objective of the LTS is to translate the vision into concrete and strategies that can guide action, policies and investments.

Addressing participants during the project launch on the topic ‘Understanding the Long-Term Low Emissions Development Strategy (LT-LEDS) -long-term strategy (LTS)’, Richard Baron, representing 2050 Pathway platform said that he was proud that 2050 pathways is able to support Nigeria to develop a robust LTS in fulfilment of key provisions in the Paris Agreement. He said he expected Nigeria’s LTS to give attention to just transition and that he would expect that gas would play a key role in electricity supply in net-zero pathway for Nigeria.

In his presentation, the Coordinator of LT-LEDS in Nigeria Dr. Eugene Itua, stressed the need for national ownership of the project, and the need for the active participation of all stakeholders, especially the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that were affected by the issue of climate change.

Dr. Itua further stated that the LTS was structured around five work packages which include Governance, inter-ministerial coordination and project management, Modelling, Stakeholder engagement, Action plan and LTS implementation, and LTS drafting and validation.

Speaking on ‘Nigeria’s Net-Zero target: The linkages and expected synergies of LTS, DDP, ETP and NDC’, the Director of Centre for Climate Change and Development Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike and the Project Coordinator Nigeria Deep Decarbonization Project (DDP), Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke highlighted the differences between the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), Long Term Vision (LTV), Deep Decarbonization Pathways (DDP), and the Energy Transition Plan (ETP). He explained that that while the NDC focused on a short-term ambition achievable by 2030, the LTS is a long-term deliverable spanning through 2060. He said that the DDP and the ETP are similar in that both plans are intended to provide pathways to a net zero emission for Nigeria. The DDP he says, will however cover more sectors than the ETP.

While commending the efforts that have gone into the preparation of the previous policy documents, he noted that the LTS will play a vital role in identifying and costing the measures that would help Nigeria achieve the net zero emissions pledge made by President Buhari at COP26 in Glasgow and long-term low carbon sustainable development.  He said he was very excited that the modelling work that will underpin the LTS will be done by Nigerian scientists and academics working in the Nigeria’s Decarbonization Project (DDP) noting that this would be the first time that Nigerians academics will be leading the modelling exercises to support the development of a major decarbonization plan for the country.

He said that while the Energy Transition Plans is a solid and valuable document, there are some important gaps. He said that the ETP did not cover emissions from Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) which is a major source of GHG emissions in Nigeria. Further, Prof. Okereke promised that the steps, scenarios, data, and modelling tools used to arrive at the pathways for the LTS will be co-produced with stakeholders and open for public scrutiny.  He said this is another major difference between the LTS project and the Energy Transition Plan (ETP), which was developed using some proprietary softwares that are not easily available.

The special guest of honor for the event and the Permanent Ministry of Environment, Engr. Hassan Musa, who was represented by the Director of Human Resources, Mr Lawrence Adige declared the project open and inaugurated the Technical Working Group as well as the Steering Committee for the project. In his keynote speech he said that it was evident that Nigeria was already suffering from the effect of climate change and that all hands need to be on deck to turn the climate change into an opportunity for low carbon and climate resilient development in the country. He expressed the hope that the LTS will offer clear pathway through which Nigeria can grow her economy while taking ambitious climate action.

The event featured a technical session where presentations on the different sectors (Oil and Gas, Transportation, Industry, AFOLU, the Economy, Energy and Power) were made by the different sectorial heads in the Nigeria Deep Decarbonization Project, namely Dr Ogheneruona E. Diemuodeke (team lead for the Oil & Gas Sector), Engr. Kesiena Owebor (team lead for the Power and Building Sectors), Dr. Ekwe B. Ekwe (team lead for Industrial Sector), Dr. Nnaemeka Emodi (Transport Sector), Dr. Cosmas Anyanwu (team lead AFOLU) and Chukwuemeka Emenekwe and Uchenna Nnamani (Macroeconomic sector).

The project launch and inauguration of the Steering Committee and Technical Committee was attended by directors from several ministries who will act as the technical working group for the Nigeria Deep Decarbonization Project as well as the LTS Project. Civil Society Groups, and the Private Sector stakeholders were also represented in the event.

Professor Chukwumerije Okereke

Okereke advocates govt, stakeholder collaboration on just transition

The Director Centre for Climate Change and Development Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike, Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, has advocated close collaboration and synergy among the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), government and other key stakeholders to ensure a just transition to green energy delivery in Nigeria.

Prof. Okereke said this while delivering a keynote address on “Just Energy Transition for Oil and Gas Workers Social Welfare and Security” at the Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the NUPENG on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in Asaba, Delta State.

According to him, all stakeholders in the field of oil and gas should collaborate and form a strategic synergy as well as alliance to ensure that serious conversation on just transition in Nigeria begins in earnest.

He said: “Let us start a conversation about the role we want oil and gas to play in Nigeria’s economy. Let us have a serious conversation about the projected emissions from future oil and gas operations and realistic measures to curtail such emissions. Let us have serious conversation about the role of current and future role of subsidy in Nigeria; what kind of reforms we want and the conditions for a reform.”

While noting that the oil and gas sector plays a strategic role in the energy transition, the erudite Professor opined that this could be achieved through the mobilisation of oil and gas workers such as PENGASAN by NUPENG to clamour “for the establishment of a national dialogue on just transition” and the government constituting a Just Transition Task Force (JTTF) vested with the responsibility of getting the conversation on just transition onto the front burner of national green transition, “with a focus on implementing energy and climate justice, where workers’ welfare is paramount to any plan of reducing energy intensity of the economy”.

He added: “Nigerian workers are change agents. They can champion the cause to strengthen cooperation among all stakeholders through integrating interest of workers into the mitigation pathway. We say this bearing in mind that Just Transition agenda is not only limited to the oil and gas sector alone as it is a multi-sectoral approach which ensures holistic integration of all facets of the economy.

“Maintaining the progress of energy transition to stay on the track is the task of all. We need the support at individual, local, state and Federal Government. Even so, state-owned entities such as the recently unbundled NNPC and private companies, and other stakeholders are crucial to achieving just transition goals.”

Also speaking at the event, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari, called for the support of NUPENG, the National Association of Road Transport Owners, and other critical stakeholders in the oil and gas sector to tackle crude oil theft in the Niger Delta region.

He observed that the theft of crude oil has negative effect on the revenue of the Federal Government and has stopped the country from having much-needed fund to boost and stimulate economic development.

Mr. Kyari noted that a report released last month during a meeting on crude oil theft between the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission and Oil Producers Trade Section, as well as the Independent Petroleum Producers Group, showed that, between January 2021 and February 2022, Nigeria lost $3.2 billion to crude oil theft.

On his own part, the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Patrick Ukah, while declaring the conference open, said NUPENG was a critical stakeholder in the oil and gas sector and advised the organisation to always seek a common ground in settling industrial issues to ensure harmony in the sector.

In his opening speech, the National President of NUPENG, Williams Akporeha expressed disappointment on the inability of the government to revamp the nation’s four refineries.

He said Nigerians were losing patience and hope with the system, noting that the continuous reliance on importation of petroleum products is having grave negative economic consequences in the country.

Mr Akporeha called on the Federal Government to expedite action in turning around the refineries for the common good of all.

The 5th quadrennial delegates conference was attended by all the critical stakeholders including NNPC, Government and Nigerian Labour Congress.

By Chinedu Jude Nwasum

CCCD AEFUNAI Pledges Partnership with Youth Initiatives on climate education for 5 years

Chinedu Nwasum

The Director of Centre for Climate Change and Development Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike, Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke has promised to partner with youth led climate change and environmental organisations to conduct massive climate education programmes that would touch every part of the country for the next 5 years.

Prof. Okereke made the statement while delivering a keynote speech titled ‘Beyond COP26: Global Climate effort, Nigeria’s implementation readiness, and implications  for the youth’ during a one day Nigeria Youth Post COP26 Conference for South-East Geo-political zone of Nigeria organised by Global Environmental  and Climate Conservation Initiative (GECCI) in collaboration with United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Centre for Climate Change and Development Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike (AEFUNAI) and Society for Planet and Prosperity.

According to him, the Centre would provide part of the resources, intelligence and capacity to design such project and he called on the organizer to work with other organisations to come up with suggestions on how the programme can become a reality.

He noted that the youth possess the needed energy and capacity to drive the campaign for the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), Climate Change Act and other Long term vision policies enacted by the Nigerian government stressing that the young people who still have number of years would bear the brunt of the climate change in the future if nothing is done to ensure that the government intentionally implement the content the NDC and the Climate Change act to avert the looming catastrophic consequences.

Prof. Chukwumerije, however, thank the Federal Government of Nigeria for its commitments so far in investing and developing different climate change policies such the NDCs and Climate Change act aimed at mitigating climate change and ensuring adaptation in the country but, argued that existing policy documents do not have well spelt out programmes that will ensure that the set target of reducing emission in the country would be achieved.

Prof. Okereke in a group photograph with a cross section of participants
Prof. Okereke in a group photograph with a cross section of participants

He reminded the youth that climate change challenge offers them opportunities in the areas of advocacy, innovation and climate education, and charged them to embrace the opportunities and make their voices heard in the climate change arena.

In his opening remarks, the Ebonyi State Vice President of Global Environmental and Climate Conservation Initiative Amb. Ukachukwu Macpherson Ifeanyi, said that the conference became imperative to address the role of Nigeria youth in climate change mitigation and adaptation due to the fact that climate change posed a great danger to the survival of mankind. He called on Nigeria youth to come together and form a common front in the crusade for climate change action in Nigeria.

During the panel session, Prince Sunny Ugwuocha, SSA to the Governor on Environment and Climate Change, Dr. Robert Onyeleke, Elochukwu Anieze, Chinedu Nwasum, and Nnaemeka Justus Unigwe, spoke on different aspect of the conference theme such as youth participation in climate change, legal implication of climate change policies, climate education and communication in Nigeria.

In his closing remarks, the CEO Global Environmental and Climate Conservation Initiative (GECCI) thanked the people who attended the conference and admonished them to pass the information and knowledge from the conference to the neighbours and friends.

The one-day conference which held at Muchels hotel, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, attracted young advocates, entrepreneurs, researchers, students, academia, CSOs, NGOs, and other change-makers attending the event from the South East.

Okereke Outlines Key Steps To Scaling Up Climate Implementation In Nigeria

The President, Society for Planet and Prosperity (SPP) and Director, Centre of Climate Change and Development, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ebonyi State, Nigeria (AEFUNAI), Professor Chukwumerije Okereke, was guest speaker in a webinar hosted by the Association of Sustainability Professionals of Nigeria (ASPN) on February 24 as part of the 2022 induction programme of the professional body.

The webinar had “COP26 and Nigeria’s Net Zero Commitments-Analysing the Facts, the Implications” as its theme and was intended to engage sustainability stakeholders, some of which include Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), key players in Nigeria’s private sector (particularly those in the oil & gas, energy, financial services, manufacturing, real estate and construction, agriculture, telecommunications, transportation, other sector players), media and civil society groups, and environmental and social risk practitioners on result-oriented discussions around Nigeria’s climate-related threats and opportunities, and its readiness to deliver on its global commitments to tackle climate change.

Minister of State for Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, was represented by Mrs Iniobong Abiola-Awe, Director of the Department of Climate Change (DCC).

Professor Okereke delivered a speech titled the “Nigeria’s Climate Commitments and Implementation Readiness: Workable Strategies, Frameworks and Regulations”. In his presentation, he stated that Nigeria has shown a determination to deliver ambitious climate commitments, pronouncements, and pledges in an era of austerity but noted that concerted effort was now needed to translate the pledges into concrete policies and actions that will help Nigeria build resilience to climate change and achieve sustainable green economic growth.

Professor Okereke cited the revised NDC which has 20% unconditional and 47% percent condition emission reduction pledges, the 2050 Long-Term Vision for Nigeria (LTV-2050), the Nigeria Energy Transition Plan, the 2060 net zero pledge by President Buhari at COP26 in Glasgow, the Nigeria Climate Change Act and the ongoing Nigeria Deep Decarbonation Project (DDP- Nigeria) as some examples of the credible and ambitious climate efforts made by the government.

Professor Okereke highlighted several concrete steps that Nigeria can take to move beyond policy pronouncements into implementation state. He noted that Nigeria has not yet developed full GHG inventory (GHGI) and prescribed the key next steps on this to include the establishment of institution for the oversight and coordination of data; establishing data collection, documentation and management system; building a full MRV capacity and improving MRV system over time.

On policy and science, Okereke urged for designing and review of the current mitigation policy landscape, the development of a detailed appraisal of priority actions for key sectors, and open access to financing of mitigation actions. He said several climate actions such as clean cooking, climate smart agriculture, distributed renewable energy, green transportation and energy efficiency have the potential to deliver climate objectives as well as wider sustainable development goals such as green jobs, clean air, better health, food and energy security. He said more modelling work and economic analysis were required to quantify net benefits and aid science-based policy.

Professor Okereke said a big area of opportunity for climate action in Nigeria is to mainstream climate change into other sectors of the economy including transportation, water and irrigation, energy, etc. He said that according to the Federal Ministry of Finance, Nigeria’s core infrastructure stock is currently estimated at 30% of GDP and falls short of the international benchmark of 70%.

He observed that Nigeria’s aspiration and infrastructure target for 30 years is estimated to need no less than $3 trillion infrastructure investment.  He also said cited the IFC figure, saying that the Paris Agreement has opened nearly $23 trillion in opportunities for climate-smart investments in emerging markets between now and 2030.

Professor Okereke said that investing in green infrastructures is the only way for Nigeria to scale up climate implementation and achieve long term low carbon and climate resilient development.

While making reference to the estimated cost of implementing Nigeria NDCs valued at $177 billion, he decried the paltry climate finance status of Nigeria and recommended that Nigeria establishes an institutional arrangement for the oversight and coordination of climate finance activities, identifies funding gaps and needs, assesses public and private financing options and develops a country climate investment plan among other financial recommendations.

He expressed hope that the new Nigeria Climate Change Act as signed by President Buhari provides a robust legal framework needed to improve Nigeria’s readiness and drive a full-scale implementation of climate change action that will put Nigeria on the path to a just and green economy.

By Gboyega Olorunfemi and Ethelbert E. Anieze, Society for Planet and Prosperity (SPP)