Need to focus more on oil, gas emissions, operations

In other to tackle all sources of methane emissions arising from human activity, Nigeria needs to focus more on emissions from oil and gas operations. HELEN OJI reports.

Methane, with its potent warming capability and harmful effects on both climate and human health, demands urgent attention. Nigeria as a leading oil and gas producer in Africa, recognizes its responsibility to take decisive action in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, particularly methane. It is no longer news that climate change poses a significant threat to mankind and the planet thereby making it imperative for concerted efforts to address issues of greenhouse gases, its sources and the associated adverse effects.

Regulate Methane emissions

According to the Minister of State for environment, Dr Iziaq Adekunle Salako, Nigeria is the first country in Africa to regulate methane emissions in the energy sector and continues to contribute its quota to meet the global methane pledge. Well incorporated into the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) are specific methane reduction target for the oil and gas sector.

He said the NDC stands as a testament to the country’s alignment with international measures advocated by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) reflecting ambitious targets for reducing pollutants such as carbon, methane, hydrofluorocarbons, particulate matter (PM2.5), and nitrous oxides (NOx).

Dr Salako added that Research confirms that the concentration of methane in the atmosphere is currently around two and a half times greater than pre-industrial levels and is increasing steadily.

“This rise has important adverse implications for our environment, our climate, social, economic and physical health. As an example, a number of the security challenges being currently faced in our country are traceable to global warming and will therefore not be solved through arms and ammunition alone but by also addressing the poverty and loss of livelihoods induced by climate change.”

He further stated that green house gas emissions are also known to come from other sources such as coal burning and bioenergy, oil and gas operations appears to the largest source of emissions from the energy sector.

“It is in recognition of the country’s efforts that Nigeria has been honoured as one of the Global Methane Pledge (GMP) Champion. This prestigious title acknowledges our dedication to mobilizing increased action to achieve methane reduction targets under the Paris Agreement. With support from the Clean Air Task Force (CATF), Nigeria has translated ambition into concrete actions, thereby positioning as a pivotal participant in the global push for methane reduction and climate action,” he stressed.

Methane roadmap

Dr Salako explained that the journey towards methane reduction in Nigeria is further bolstered by the imminent completion of Nigeria’s Methane Roadmap, supported by Climate and Clean Air Coalition in collaboration with the World Bank through the Methane Roadmap Action Programme (M-RAP).

“These initiatives further underscore Nigeria’s determination to implement effective strategies for methane mitigation and reduction. Within the oil and gas sector, practical steps are being taken to address methane emissions.

“The Federal Ministry of Environment through the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) will be commencing the periodic review of the plans of international and indigenous oil companies to ensure they stay on course to end routine gas flaring by latest 2030.

Furthermore, Nigeria is poised to embark on methane reduction projects that will enable Nigeria’s commitment to methane reduction and meeting Net zero emissions by 2060.

“It is therefore reassuring to see initiatives such as the Project- “Methane Mitigation and Reduction in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Sector” which is being initiated.

Methane mitigation, reduction

He urged stakeholders to use the platform to discuss the complexities of methane mitigation and reduction within Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

“It will provide insights and overview on existing policies, implementation strategies, including key stakeholders involved in these efforts. Through rigorous research and collaborative efforts, we can identify gaps, challenges, and opportunities for effective national actions.

Dr Salako noted that the process of accelerating significant progress in methane emissions reduction is the collective efforts of all the stakeholders through constructive contributions, which will provide needed opportunity to evaluate the current situation, raise awareness, explore co-benefits, discuss relevant legislation and regulations, delve into related technical and economic challenges, and propose progressive strategies for effective Project implementation towards meeting this goal.

“The importance of data-driven policymaking and the need for robust implementation strategies tailored to the unique realities of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

He implore all stakeholders to seize the moment to reaffirm their commitment to a cleaner, healthier environment for generations to come. Together, we can chart a unified course towards sustainable and effective methane mitigation and reduction in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

The Federal government has continue to demonstrate his commitment to environmental sustainability and climate action in line with the many multilateral environmental agreements that Nigeria is party to.

“This commitment is well captured in the Renewed Hope Agenda and the presidential priorities. At COP28 in Dubai for example, the President reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to end routine gas-flaring by 2030 to reflect the seriousness with which our nation approaches methane mitigation and reduction.