As the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) opens tomorrow in Egypt, the Federal Government represented by the Ministers of Environment, Power and Trade has recommended a white paper titled ‘Trade, Energy and Climate Change: Harmonising Nigerian and Global Concerns on Climate’.

Led by PUTTRU, the white paper is a collaborative effort with the federal Ministries of Environment, Power, Industry, Trade and Investment; Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) and the Office of the Deputy President of the Senate. 

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The objective of the white paper is to inform the international community and Nigeria’s trade partners on how the country’s national concerns on trade, energy and climate change can be harmonised with global concerns in a manner that ensures that Nigeria’s interests are seen as global interests.

The white paper posits that given Nigeria’s large and growing population, achieving this balance between trade, energy and climate change is a matter of national, continental and global concern, stressing that ultimately, the goal is to strengthen Nigeria’s position as a global trade partner in the global supply chain as the world moves towards a net-zero future.

The 58-page document is divided into four chapters namely, Climate Change, Energy, Trade and Trade, Energy and Climate Balance with three forewords written by Mohammed H. Abdullahi (Minister of Environment), Abubakar Aliyu (Minister of Power) and Otunba Niyi Adebayo (Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment).

Enriched with insights, the document has an impressive list of contributors and reviewers drawn from members of Technical Working Group (TWG) with experts from the Federal Ministries of Environment, Power, Industry, Trade and Investment, ECN and other Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government, the academia and civil society organisations. 

In the forewords, the Minister of Environment wrote: “This white paper explores the different nexus between trade and climate change while focusing on how future trade opportunities will be affected by climate change and policy response. This will guide stakeholders in discussions on how trade provides the goods and services that can drive mitigation and adaptation, and the new opportunities for promoting trade diversification in the transition to a low-carbon world.”

The Minister of Trade and Investments also wrote: “I commend the production of this white paper, which combines three of the most pressing concerns for not just our country or continent but for the entire world. The Technical Working Group, made up of public and private sector representatives and the academia, have provided sound recommendations that harmonise both Nigerian and global perspectives on these topical issues.”

While urging the global community to adopt the position of the white paper, the Minster of Power wrote: “The Ministry strongly calls on all stakeholders, private and public partners, investors and global climate change and energy experts to study the white paper for better understanding of the conditions necessary to achieve transformational economic development for our country and meet her climate obligations.”

Lead author of the white paper and founder of PUTTRU, Monica Maduekwe, remarked that the document calls for Nigeria’s international trade partners to act now, stressing the need for planned and targeted investments to go into strategic projects in the next five to seven years.

According to her, this is to avoid investing in infrastructures that are energy-intensive in the near term, since doing so will result in path dependencies that will delay the emergence of a carbon-neutral Nigeria.

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