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Nigeria Takes A Step Towards Climate Change Action

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, 18th November, signed the Climate Change Bill into law. The new Act generally provides a framework for environmental-economic accountability. It also provides for the establishment of a National Council on Climate Change to promote and adopt nature-based solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change issues in Nigeria.

The Act also establishes a registry with sub-national nodes for ‘Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation’ (REDD+), a mechanism developed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to facilitate intergovernmental co-operation on forests and climate change. The National Council is also expected to provide support for REDD+ activities, as well as collaborate with the National Bureau of Statistics on the development of Natural Capital Accounts for Nigeria. The data from these accounts are expected to be utilised in establishing National Development Plans.

It is commendable that Nigeria is making efforts towards a global action such as climate change, especially in view of its position as a major producer of oil and gas and the environmental impact of fossil fuel. It will be recalled that at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) which held earlier in November 2021 at Glasgow, United Kingdom, President Buhari pledged that Nigeria will work towards achieving net-zero carbon emission by 2060, alongside other world leaders. Provisions of the  newly enacted Climate Change Act are also geared towards the realisation of this goal, to stabilise global temperatures. The President also stated that Nigeria is investing in renewable energy projects and would require the collaboration of partners in innovation, technology and finance to make the transition from fossil fuel to clean energy.