Climate change is taking place everywhere, is incomparable to anything else in the last (hundred)thousand years and the consequences are largely irreversible. The World Bank states that Nigeria is one of the ten most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change and natural hazards in their Climate risk country profile. At the same time, as Africa’s largest economy and second highest greenhouse gas emitter, Nigeria can play a significant role in achieving the Paris Agreement’s goals. And as an oil producing state, it can be an international model in transitioning from fossil fuels to a green economy.
The Netherlands supports Nigeria’s ambition to transition to a green economy. As stated in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) Nigeria wishes to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060 while at the same time improving the standard of living of its citizens, providing electricity access for all and growing the economy. The Netherlands supports Nigeria in attaining these goals by partnering in the areas of solar energy, circular economy and regreening the Sahel.
For decades, Dutch companies and research institutes have been among the international leaders in the worldwide solar PV sector. Not only with high-level fundamental research, but also with converting this research into practical applications. In a country in which sunshine isn’t a given and where space is scarce, there is a great need for innovation.
Besides large hydropower projects solar energy is the most important renewable energy source for Nigeria with a great potential for on and off grid solutions. The reduced cost of solar panels and batteries has made a transition to solar more feasible, and Nigeria is said to be among the fastest growing markets for solar around the world.
The Netherlands strongly believes that a transition to an inclusive circular economy is part of the solution. A circular economy, one in which raw materials are used and reused more effectively rather than simply ‘consuming’ them, offers room for innovation and opportunities for new business ideas, skilled jobs and improved quality of life. The Netherlands has provided support to the set-up of a Circular Business Platform in Lagos: a private-public platform in which companies, knowledge institutes and (local) authorities collaborate to promote and support international collaboration and knowledge exchange on Nigerian circular economy. The Dutch government also participates in the Nigeria Circular Economy Working Group coordinated by the African Development Bank and the Ministry of Environment to contribute to the establishment of an circular economy roadmap for Nigeria.
Regreening the Sahel
More than anywhere else on Earth, the Sahel is on the frontline of climate change and millions of people are already facing its devastating impact. The Great Green Wall is an African-led movement with an epic ambition to grow an 8,000km green wall across the entire width of Africa. The initiative wants to bring life back to degraded landscapes, providing food security, jobs and a reason to stay for the millions who live along its path.