Today’s Opinion

An Insight into Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) 2021

The Paris Agreement 2015 (PA) has been widely adjudged the most significant environmental protection-centred international instrument since the inception of climate change, global warming, and sundry conversations. It established universal goals endorsed by 196 countries. This fundamentally includes ensuring global average temperature rise is held below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial level while intensifying efforts to attain 1.5 degrees Celsius in no distant time.1 One of the enforcement or monitoring mechanisms under the agreement is the obligation on signatories to furnish the United Nations with periodically updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), which contains medium and long term specific targets, as well as efforts undertaken in terms of policies by a state party to the PA to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and mitigating climate change impacts. 2

As a party to the PA, Nigeria restated her commitment to carbon neutrality as contained in her initial NDC submitted in 2015. The country has submitted a reviewed and updated NDC in 2021. Nigeria’s NDC in the post-Paris era is targeted, amongst others, at the following adaptation measures:

(i) Building resilience of the people in the agro-ecosystems to ensure their capacity to provide ecosystem services;
(ii) Ensure the integration of the agriculture sectors as well as food security and nutrition concerns in climate change strategies and policies; and
(iii) Integrated strategy related to water management, land and natural resource management, rural development, and social protection.3

The 2021 update pledged an unconditional contribution of 20% below business-as-usual by 2030 and a 47% contribution conditional on international support. The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) has also made a number of policy commitments to put the unconditional contribution into practice. These include phasing out kerosene lighting by 2030, reducing crop residue burning by 50% by that year, and establishing forest programs to achieve a 20% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. Nigeria’s National Climate Change Policy, which was recently amended, outlines the country’s position on climate change. According to the strategy, Nigeria will have a low-carbon, climate-resilient, and high-growth circular economy by 2050, with emissions reduced by 50% from their current levels and progressing towards net-zero emissions across all sectors with consideration for gender. Nigeria’s commitment to reaching net-zero emissions was proclaimed by President Muhammadu Buhari during the 26th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021.4

As ambitious as Nigeria may sound in her NDC, numerous barriers exist in the way of implementation, namely; energy poverty, fossil fuel dependency, biomass economy, price of renewables, water and food insecurity, policy inconsistency, governance deficit, lack of political support, and issues with data transparency.5





Taofeek ’Lekan Yahaya is an intern with the Global Centre for Law, Business and Economy.



1 UNDO, ‘What are NDCs and How Do They Drive Climate Action?’ Global Climate Promise (31 May 2023)
se%20efforts.> accessed 08 September 2023.
3 AIS Okoh, ‘An Analysis of Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in the Transition to A Low Carbon
Economy’ (2020) 1(1) Open Journals of Social Science and Humanities 42

4 Chiamaka Asoegwu, ‘Exploring Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contribution’ Business Day (Abuja: 07 March
2023) <,contribution%20conditional%20on%20interna
tional%20support.> 08 September 2023.
5 AIS Okoh (n 3).

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