An Abuja-based think tank, Agora Policy, has warned that unless urgent and bold actions are taken, Nigeria risks becoming one of the worst-affected countries by climate change.
The Agora Policy stated this in its report, titled: ‘Climate Change and Socio-Economic Development in Nigeria, which was released in Abuja and was produced with the support of the MacArthur Foundation.
According to the 84-page report, it identifies opportunities for Nigeria to address climate change, while supporting economic growth and resilience.
The report states: “It is evident that climate change is not a marginal or peripheral issue that the government and the people of Nigeria can take lightly.
“Climate change is compounding poverty challenges in Nigeria and impeding the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals,” adds the report. “Climate change is already increasing hunger, poverty, disease burden, migration, conflict and insecurity in Nigeria. It is damaging infrastructure, changing Nigeria’s coastlines, fuelling desertification, producing water scarcity, facilitating erosion and resulting in the loss of revenue for states and the national government.”
The report also states that as of 2020, Nigeria loses at least $100 billion annually to the effects of climate change and the country may lose trillions of dollars in manufacturing, construction and oil and gas assets likely to become stranded as the world gravitates to a green economy.
“Nigeria risks becoming a stranded country. Climate change has the potential to further jeopardise Nigeria’s economic development and alter its geographical, social and political trajectory for decades”, the report noted.
The report also stated that “Climate change offers opportunities for economic competitiveness, energy security, and sustainable development.”
“There are many climate-led opportunities that Nigeria can explore to enable rapid economic growth, create jobs for a rapidly growing youthful and urbanising population, and address high levels of abject poverty and inequality through a just transition.”
Urging the Federal Government to consciously pursue a climate-compatible development agenda, the report called for 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.
“Leveraging climate action to pursue economic development in Nigeria is not only a viable but an essential strategy.
“The global transition from a high-carbon economy to a low-carbon economy is already well underway and will produce winners and losers across the world. Whether Nigeria will swim or sink in the face of the transition will depend on its willingness to take urgent action now and re-align its national development strategies towards a low-carbon economic future. To transform climate change from a significant threat into an opportunity requires deliberate planning supported by immediate, bold and courageous action,” the report stated.