DAI’s Joe Abah Stresses Cost of Climate Change Inaction at Carbon Conference in Abuja

June 06, 2022

DAI Country Director in Nigeria, Dr. Joe Abah, recently spoke at the inauguration of the Carbon Chamber Project, by the National Chamber Policy Centre of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Abah discussed the dependencies between climate change, poverty reduction, and clean energy. His speech highlighted how renewable energy can reduce poverty and strengthen the Nigerian economy if effectively harnessed.

The Carbon Chamber Project creates a platform where climate change decision makers and green energy technology companies come together to discuss programs and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and how to accelerate development efforts.

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Nigeria is home to 2.6 percent of the world’s population and is only responsible for 0.26 percent of global emissions. Yet, its low-income households bear the brunt of climate change impact, placing the nation among the 10 most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change and natural hazards.

“Nigeria experienced a double shock of severe drought in the northeast and widespread flooding that affected nearly the entire country in 2012,” said Abah. “The floods caused nearly $17 billion in damage and losses in the 12 most-affected states. Climate change inaction could cost Nigeria between 6 percent to 30 percent of income by 2050, equivalent to a loss of $100-460 billion.”

Rapid increases in urbanization and urban poverty also escalate climate risk with an estimated 24 percent of Nigeria’s population (approximately 41 million people) living in high climate exposure areas.

For many years, DAI has led work in climate adaptation and mitigation around the world. In 2021, DAI collaborated with the Rural Electrification Agency of Nigeria to facilitate the provision of clean, safe, and reliable energy with focus on rural communities in Nigeria. The evidence-based, practical, and actionable recommendations drawn from the partnership improved the capacity of the agency to deliver inclusive renewable energy solutions.

While the need for alternative energy sources remains in focus, more efforts and strategies should be put in place for people and businesses—especially those in rural areas who rely on electricity to thrive. This will ultimately drive development, reduce unemployment, and increase the nation’s revenue.

“Electrifying rural communities is absolutely the best way of moving people out of poverty,” said Abah.

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