The World Bank said Monday that the country could benefit from cheaper and more diversified electricity sources and could also save up to about $12 billion by reducing its contributions to global climate change.
It added that following the path of a low carbon emission would further lead to a more efficient operation of the oil and gas industry with discounted net benefits of about $7.5 billion.
The Bretton Woods institution said in its two new reports which were launched Monday in Abuja, that the Nigerian economy could be more climate resilient and less carbon-intensive without jeopardising its growth prospects.
The two publications titled: “Toward Climate-Resilient Development in Nigeria” and “Low-Carbon Development Opportunities for Nigeria” are the result of a two-year long collaboration between the World Bank and the Federal Government to address the challenges posed by climate change to the country.
It called for a unified effort at reducing human activities which contribute to climate change, some of which resulting in unprecedented temperatures, and other related environmental crisis.
Lead Environmental Economist and main author of the reports, Mr. Raffaello Cervigni said: “If not addressed on time, climate change will limit Nigeria’s ability to achieve and sustain the goals set out in Vision 20: 2020."
According to him: "With concerted climate action, Nigeria can seize opportunities for increased cross-sectoral investments and policy reforms paving the way for climate-resilience, low-carbon growth.”
The reports identified specific technologies and management practices that could be applied to key economic sectors, including agriculture and land use, water resources, oil and gas, power, and transport.
The studies further revealed that impacts of climate change could impair the prospects of Nigeria’s ability to achieve its ambitions which are set out in the National Vision 20: 2020-to become one of the world’s 20 largest economies by 2020.
Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who launched the reports said: “The 2012 floods in Nigeria were a stark reminder of the vulnerability of our communities, infrastructure and economy to climate-induced natural disasters.
“These studies will help inform decision-making across key sectors and levels of governments so that the economy becomes not only more productive but also more climate-resilient.”
World Bank Director of Sustainable Development for the Africa Region, Mr. Jamal Saghir said: “Building a climate-resilient, low-carbon economy need not be at odds with growth. To assist sound policy-making and better assessment of trade-offs, these reports offer practical examples of win-win actions that Nigeria could consider adopting for achieving lasting development outcomes.”
However, the report added that although reduction of carbon emission are technically viable, it would require extra financial incentives to be economically viable for the country.