By Abigael Joshua
The Minister of Environment, Malam Balarabe Lawal, says unlocking the carbon market is pivotal to environmental sustainability.
The minister made the submission on Tuesday, in Abuja at a two-day workshop on Nigeria’s Carbon Market Framework: Article 6 Training and Implementation Design.
“Unlocking Nigeria’s carbon market opportunities holds potential for sustainable growth, economic development and climate change mitigation.
“Nigeria’s carbon market is an emerging market that is yet to actualise its full potential; the country’s carbon market will serve as an attraction for climate finance and as a means to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
“The need to unlock its opportunities is pivotal to promoting sustainable growth, stimulating economic development, and mitigating climate change,’’ he said.
The minister said that Nigeria had the potential to produce millions of tons worth of carbon credits annually by 2030 through projects such as reforestation, renewable energy, energy waste, and improved cook stoves.
“Collaborating with international partners, capacity building and targeted investments can help actualise these potential.
“Nigeria had over the years shown increasing interest in reducing its emissions through engagement in relevant partnerships and initiatives.
“The adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015, set a worldwide objective of keeping the global average temperature well below 2 °C above pre-industrial period,’’ he said.
The minister said that one of the key outcomes of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow was the approval of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement’s rulebook governing carbon markets.
“It is essential to note that Carbon Markets present a very important tool to reach global climate goals in short and medium terms.
“They could help to mobilise resources and reduce costs to give countries and companies the space to smooth the low-carbon transition and be able to achieve the goal of net zero emissions in the most effective way possible,’’ he said.
According to him, it is timely to consider the different approaches for the carbon market necessary to steer the country on the trajectory of low-carbon policies, while also considering national priorities such as socio-economic development and sustainable development.
Earlier, Salisu Dahiru, Director-General, of the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC), said that consultations with various stakeholders indicated a strong interest in market-based mechanisms.
“It is widely acknowledged that creating and establishing these market-based mechanisms can be cost-effective in achieving emission reduction targets.
“In spite of its low level of emissions, Nigeria has the potential for a range of carbon mitigation activities above, and beyond the planned activities of the nationally determined contribution that may allow it to access carbon finance.
“This can be achieved through trading, to assist its ambitious goal to become a developed, carbon-neutral, and climate-resilient economy by 2060.
“Thus, as the marketplace for carbon trading is emerging, it will be of great importance to explore opportunities, and identify implications and risks associated with the carbon market under the PA’s Article 6 in Nigeria,” Dahiru said.
The director-general said that participating in Article 6 necessitated a country-led, efficient, and robust institutional architecture with high-level engagement and monitoring.
“The arrangement must have legal and administrative authority to effectively implement Article 6 on behalf of the national government.
“The just concluded COP 28 held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate ended up with a call to come together around real, practical and meaningful climate solutions that equal the scale of the climate crisis,” he said.
Nussbaumar James, Climate Officer, U.S. Embassy commended Nigeria’s leadership role on climate change and promised to take adaptation to climate issues seriously. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Nick Nicholas and Chijioke Okoronkwo