The 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was held in Paris in November and December 2015. 195 participating countries negotiated and adopted the Paris Agreement, which includes objectives to peak greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, to limit the global average temperature increase above pre-industrial levels to well below 2 C, and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 C.
The Paris Agreement, which entered into force on 4 November 2016, requires Parties to put forward their best efforts through “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs). These NDCs represent targets and actions for the post-2020 period.
Nigeria’s updated NDC reflects higher ambition, higher quality, and higher national buy-in. In terms of the numbers, the updated NDC:
- Updates baseline business as usual (BAU) projections, using more accurate and recent economic growth projections. Estimated BAU 2030 emissions are now at 453 MTCO2e, increasing 31 percent from a 2018 baseline of 347 MTCO2e.
- Raises economy-wide mitigation targets to 47 percent, with 20 percent of emissions unconditional. The updated ambition includes improved reduction projections for the waste sector and new gases, including short lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
With this revised baseline, Nigeria’s updated NDC results in far fewer absolute emissions than were previously submitted in the 2015 NDC—more ambitious as a percentage, consistent with the 1.5°C pathway, and peaking emissions by the end of the decade.
With respect to oil and gas emissions, the revised NDC is significantly stronger than the prior NDC. The revised NDC commits to end flaring by 2030, whereas the prior version committed only to “work towards ending” flaring by 2030. The NDC also commits to reducing fugitive methane emissions from oil and gas operations by 60% by 2031. The NDC reports that fugitive emissions represent 36% of energy sector GHG emissions, which in turn account for 60% of the country’s total GHG emissions. Thus, a 60% reduction would represent about 13% of total GHG emissions for Nigeria.