Nigeria's ambition to become one of the world’s top 20 economies by the year 2020 means that the country must grow its economy, create jobs and promote social cohesion without destroying its natural resources and thus harming the well-being of future generations.
The Heinrich Böll Foundation recently released a study on Green Deal Nigeria, which seeks to provide an overview and practical examples of how to green Nigeria before 2020 and explains the long-term measures that Nigeria needs to take to make the economy grow beyond oil.
According to Christine K, the Nigerian Country Director, Heinrich Böll Foundation , the interactive workshop held in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, brought together stakeholders to analyse the currrent challenges before Nigeria as a result of climate change as climate change as been regarded as an underlying factor for the intensified conflicts in Nigeria.
Mrs Christine noted that there was the need for a clean energy economy that provides growth for ordinary Nigerians and how it can help to reduce ongoing security tension.
“Nigeria is in an unusual position compared to other sub-Saharan African countries as it contributes to global warming through massive gas flaring and bush burning, whilst enduring desertification, sea level rise and extreme weather events that contribute to land degradation and intensify conflict’’ she stated.
According to the Christine K, the study which explores the potential for a greener Nigeria was launched ahead of the Rio + 20 summit in Brazil. She noted that “when the world gathers in Rio to discuss how our planet can provide a decent living for all people, a mojority of Nigerians will be struggling to feed themselves for the day”.
“Nigeria is country of tremendous riches held by the very few in the mids of grinding mass poverty. But it is also a country where a growing middle class is waiting to join the world’s consumers. The thought that buying microwave ovens, flying airplanes and riding one’s own car cast a shadow of greenhouse gas emissions onto the lives of others might not even have occured to many of them. Nigerians are desperate for progress and development, and rightfully so”. She explained.
Some of the pressing questions asked by participants from various groups and government agencies include. -What does Nigeria's future look like when the oil runs out?; how can Nigeria transition from fossil fuel to clean energy?; where would green jobs be created? andWhat will happen if the country does not squarely deal with the ravages of climate change?
A downloadable copy of the study can be accessed at http://www.ng.boell.org/web/index-312.html