By Rosemary Ogbonnaya
The federal government and the French Development Agency, “Agence Française de Dévelopment” AFD, have reiterated their commitment to strengthen their cooperation to promote climate action and the low carbon economic development in Nigeria.
This agreement was reached when the new Country Director of the French Development Agency, Mr. Xavier Muron paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of State for the Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor at her office in Abuja.
Muron said the visit was to discuss AFD strategies and priorities for climate action in Nigeria, especially based on the just concluded COP26 and the commitment of Nigeria in this regard.
He also said the meeting was intended to provide an opportunity to discuss the upcoming launch of the Nigeria Deep Decarbonization Project (DDP Nigeria) scheduled to hold in Abuja in the coming week.
The country Director noted that AFD was already funding and collaborating with the Ministry on several high-impact projects in the areas of waste management, biodiversity conservation, urban development, power transmission, and off-grid capacity development. Some of these, he said, are already ongoing while some are in the pipeline.
Muron said he was especially excited about the Nigeria Deep Decarbonization Project which is a national research and capacity building project for the implementation of a Deep Decarbonization Pathway Programme,DDPP, in Nigeria funded by the Agence Française de Dévelopment,AFD, with the International Relation and Sustainable Development Institute, ,IDDRI, as the Programme Coordinator.
It was gathered that project is done in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment under a framework established through a Memorandum of Understanding,MOU, between the Federal Government and the AFD signed in December 2020.
The key objective of the DPP Nigeria is to mobilise and reinforce the capacities of local teams of experts and researchers in Nigeria to be able to produce country studies analysing decarbonization scenarios and low-emission development parkways. DDP is being led by the Center of Climate Change and Development at Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo with researchers from several universities across the country participating as Research Fellows.
The National Project leader for DDP Nigeria, Professor Chukwumerije Okereke who is the Director of the Center for Climate Change at Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State said he was excited that the DDP Nigeria will build the capacity of Nigeria to develop scenarios produce robust quantitative models that can help guide Nigeria’s long term low emission development.
Responding, the Minister of State thanked the AFD for their visit and for both their current and pipeline of funded projects to help Nigeria tackle climate change and related environmental challenges.
Ikeazor said the Ministry is determined to tackle the myriads of challenges posed of climate change with the support of both national and international cooperation.
She said it was evident through the ambitious NDC recently submitted by Nigeria that drastic measures are required in the areas of climate mitigation as well as efforts to enhance the adaptive capacity of Nigeria to protect the country from the negative impact of climate change.
Ikeazor said the ministry is fully aware of the imperative of energy transition for the country and is already working in close collaboration with other relevant ministries and agencies to facilitate the financing and implementation of the Energy Transition Plan of the government.
The Minister noted that while the production of country studies analyzing pathways for low-emission development strategies for Nigeria has always been a critical component of the national climate policy, generating context-relevant long term climate scenarios and modeling for Nigeria has become even more imperative in the light of the newly submitted NDC and the net zero carbon pledge made by the President at COP26 in Glasgow.
She expressed optimism that the analysis that will be done under the Nigerian Deep Decarbonization project will complement the scenarios work done in the Energy Transition Plan so that the country will have a rich menu of options for pursuing her decarbonization agenda with a clear understanding of the implications the various decarbonization options and pathways.
The minister said she was looking forward to hosting the participants in the launch to
present the DDP project to the larger community of stakeholders to ensure wider project ownership as well as to begin the conversation on the scenarios and modeling options that can help Nigeria achieve her stated long-term climate objectives including the goal of net-zero emission by 2060.
Ikeazor announced the commitment of Nigeria to achieve the goal of net-zero emission by 2060 that a Federal Executive Council memo is being prepared for a sustainable National Energy Transition plan for the country.