The Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI) has said Nigeria would lose $460bn if the economy continues to rely on climate-sensitive industries.
Speaking at the launch of the carbon policy by the Abuja Centre for Commerce and Industry (ACCI) yesterday in Abuja, the Country Director of DAI, Dr Joe Abah, noted that the continued reliance on products from agriculture, forestry, oil and gas extraction would make the country prone to climate change, deforestation and watershed degradation.
Dr Abah said the loss would emanate from flooding and droughts and also lead to an increased risk of wildfires.
“Climate change inaction could cost Nigeria between 6 per cent to 30 per cent of income by 2050, equivalent to a loss of US$100-460 billion. Nigeria is classified as one of the ten most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change and natural hazards.
“Most recently, Nigeria experienced a double shock of severe drought in the northeast and widespread flooding that affected nearly the entire country in 2012. The floods caused nearly $17 billion in damages and losses in the 12 most affected states.”
While stating that Nigeria has 2.6 per cent of the world’s population, it is only responsible for 0.26 per cent of global emissions but low-income households are the most vulnerable to weather-related natural disasters as 80 per cent of the rural poor rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.
He added that the rapid rise of urbanisation and urban poverty also increases potential flood risk with an estimated 24 per cent of Nigeria’s population (approximately 41 million people) living in high climate exposure areas.
He however said reducing emissions in the energy sector can protect Nigeria’s rapidly depleting tree cover and improve the quality of life for millions of citizens.
But with Nigeria very dependent on oil for its foreign exchange earnings, and thus, vulnerable to the transition risks associated with climate change, he called on the international community to ensure a just transition and unlock trillions of dollars in climate investment needed to secure the transition.
In his remarks, the UK’s Head Of Climate Change and Energy West Africa, Sean Melbourne, said relative to its populace and the size of its economy, Nigeria is not making the most of international climate finance.
He pointed out that a green industrialisation pathway will also create new job opportunities and new forms of innovation that will boost the productive capacity of Nigeria and create new streams of employment in the manufacturing, energy, waste and building sectors.