On Wednesday, the Energy commission of Nigeria and the British High Commission, Abuja launched the Nigeria 2050 Calculator. The event was marked with a reception at the British High Commission Residence later in the evening of same day.
Instructively, the UK Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative on Climate Change, Sir David King was in Abuja for the launch of the calculator designed to provide strong evidence on energy matters which can be used to inform and shape Nigeria’s future energy and environment policies. Of note, Sir King, is an expert on climate change and has been travelling the world speaking to governments and the public to build support for a new global deal on reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
It is equally noteworthy that Nigeria and the UK have both been participating in discussions on this deal, which is planned to be agreed at a major UN Conference on climate change this December.
It will be recalled that on November 25, 2013, the UK and Nigeria signed an agreement to implement the 2050 Pathways Calculator in Nigeria.
The 2050 Calculator is a modeling tool which allows users to look at the potential effects of different scenarios for energy supply and demand within a country over the next forty years. It can be used to create a wide range of model scenarios for energy supply and demand, and look at what effect each one has on different long term goals such as improving energy security, matching supply and demand, or reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
At that event, then British High Commissioner, Dr. Andrew Pocock said that the 2050 Calculator will provide valuable evidence, which the Nigerian government and members of the public alike will be able to use, to better understand how Nigeria might meet its future energy needs. It was there and then given that with the agreement signed, the Energy Commission of Nigeria will work with the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change to collect and process the data which will form the backbone of the Calculator.
Thus, Wednesday’s event came as a major step in efforts at fulfilling the expected positive impact of better understanding of Nigeria’s future energy needs even as climate change continues to breed several environmental issues.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Nama Fatima Mede at the event said, “as the climate risk intensifies, Nigeria will be seriously, adversely affected and from the studies we have, it is said that Nigeria is the number sixth country in the whole world that is most vulnerable to the impact of climate change and that if we do not take action now, by 2030 not even 2050 Nigeria would be one country out of 10 in the world that will have disaster-induced poverty.”
She said it is thus incumbent on the country now to take action beginning with steps that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
“We do not have the needed funding to take on some programmes that will help to mitigate these and help us adapt. We do not have the capacity we need to build capacity, institutional capacity, technology transfer that will help us take steps to make sure that the impact from climate change is reduced and curtailed because nobody knows what it would be.”
Talking about what Nigeria stands to gain with the introduction of 2050 Calculator, Mrs Mede explained that, “It would help us to measure the emission, which is the greenhouse gasses that are being emitted so that once we can measure; we know what we are doing.
“So, this calculator will help us to begin to see the steps taken starting from everything we do from generators, cars, even the bulbs, everything we use in the house. So let it will us know what we are putting out there and to be able to prepare and mitigate.”
It is believed that the calculator would provide strong evidence on energy matters which can be used to inform and shape Nigeria’s future energy and environmental policies.
The high profile gathering at the residence of the British High Commissioner in Abuja had in attendance top diplomats, media gurus and other notable Nigerians.