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Case study: ICAT’s work in Nigeria – towards the establishment of a robust sectoral MRV framework

11 January 2023

National circumstances

Located just north of the equator in Western Africa, Nigeria covers an area of 923,768 km². It is Africa’s largest economy, and today, is home to some 200 million people. The World Bank projection is that Nigeria will become the world’s third most populous country by 2050 with over 400 million people. 

As a country that is both highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and also one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions across Africa, Nigeria has an important leadership role. 

The impacts of climate change in Nigeria vary in extent, severity and intensity. The following risks, among others, have been identified: 

  • loss in GDP for the overall economy
  • decrease in agricultural productivity
  • water stress and access to potable water
  • development of floods in the South and droughts in the North of the country 
  • sea level rise leading to highly productive delta loss
  • significant effects on the energy sector with higher energy demand in some sectors
  • negative effect on tourism
  • degradation of habitats 
  • intensification of desertification.

Climate engagement and Long-term vision

Nigeria submitted its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in 2015, setting an economy-wide target. However, Nigeria raised its ambition in its updated NDC, published in 2021. Nigeria’s 2021-2030 vision on climate change – as set out in its National Climate Change Policy – is to promote low-carbon, climate-resilient and gender-responsive sustainable socio-economic development. The 2050 long-term vision for Nigeria proposes the following perspective: “By 2050, Nigeria is a country of low-carbon, climate-resilient, high-growth circular economy that reduces its current level of emissions by 50% and is moving towards having net-zero emissions across all sectors of its development in a gender-responsive manner.”

The figure below presents the main commitments made by Nigeria to tackle climate change.

ICAT

The Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT) was established in 2015 at the COP that adopted the Paris Agreement to support implementation of the Agreement’s Enhanced Transparency Framework. 

ICAT provides countries with tailored support and practical tools and methodologies to build robust transparency frameworks needed for effective climate action in sync with national development priorities. The projects ICAT supports relate to: building or enhancing transparency systems for mitigation actions; building a monitoring approach for adaptation actions; implementing and further delivering nationally determined contributions; assessing the impacts of policies related to climate action; integrating and/or aggregating climate actions at the subnational level and for non-state actors; and identifying and increasing domestic benefits and synergies from enhanced climate action.

ICAT offers a range of methodologies and tools to assist countries. The Initiative works with over 40 developing countries ranging from large countries, like China, to small islands, such as Antigua & Barbuda.

ICAT is an unincorporated multi-stakeholder partnership steered by the Donor Steering Committee (DSC), conformed by its donors, the Children Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF); ClimateWorks Foundation (CWF); Germany and Italy, and the UNFCCC Secretariat and UNOPS as ex-officio members. The Initiative is managed by UNOPS on behalf of the DSC. Within UNOPS, the ICAT Secretariat manages ICAT day-to-day activities, coordinating and guiding the work of the implementing partners.

In Nigeria, ICAT supported the development and implementation of sectoral Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) frameworks for three sectors/five sub-sectors.      

Summary of the work carried out

ICAT began working with Nigeria in 2020, following an initial scoping phase to identify the country’s climate action transparency needs and priorities. 

ICAT supported Nigeria to develop sectoral MRV frameworks for identified sub-sectors (oil and gas, road transport, other transportation, agriculture, land use/forestry) as well as to start designing a national overarching institutional arrangement scheme that should be further completed with sectors currently not covered (e.g industrial processes and product use (IPPU)). The project also focused on the policies and measures across the targeted sectors to help assess their impact in terms of greenhouse has mitigation and develop NDC indicators required to track Nigeria’s progress in the implementation of its NDC. 

Technical support was provided by national sectoral experts, a national coordinator and ICAT’s technical implementing partners (Citepa and the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute).

Stakeholder involvement

The ICAT project involved rigorous and regular stakeholder engagements through technical virtual meetings and consultative workshops. During the final validation workshop stakeholders recommended that stakeholder engagement processes be carried out periodically to continue improving their skills and knowledge, after the life of this project, where possible. 

Project organization and results

The first step in the ICAT project was to review the existing sectoral MRV frameworks. This was carried out by national consultants, who surveyed key stakeholders and analysed documents. Meetings were organized with the data providers and MRV experts involved in the greenhouse gas inventory compilation and mitigation action MRV system. This led to a mapping of stakeholders, data flows and tools, which were used as the basis to develop sectoral MRV frameworks. 

The outcome of the gap and needs analysis included the following recommendations: 

  • existing Institutional arrangements must be strengthened. This was addressed by proposing a robust institutional arrangement through transparent mapping of stakeholders and a clear definition of roles. 
  • MRV requirement technical knowledge was insufficient, which was addressed by enhanced stakeholder capacity building. 

The following steps were carried out for each sub-sector covered:

Step-1: Identification and engagement of relevant sector stakeholders

Step-2: Identification of sectoral needs and gaps 

Step-3: Design of the institutional arrangements to support the accomplishment of the country’s climate goals and targets and ensure that responsible stakeholders are saddled with the responsibility to effectively track and monitor progress across the various sectors

Step 4: Capacity building process in the form of reinforced stakeholders’ engagements, with technical virtual meetings and consultative workshops.

Sectoral MRV frameworks were incorporated in an overarching national MRV system allowing Nigeria to report accordingly to international requirements on greenhouse gas inventory and mitigation actions. The capacities of ministries, departments and agencies were strengthened.

Policies and measures from the different sub-sectors defined in the NDC were assessed and indicators developed to track their implementation and impact in terms of greenhouse gas emission mitigation over time. 

Finally, to complete the analysis of the transport sector, Nigeria implemented the ICAT TRACE tool to estimate the co-benefits between the Sustainable Development Goals and the corresponding policies covered by the NDC. The cumulative quantified benefits over the period up to 2030 are estimated to be about US$ 39 billion. Fuel saving accounted most for the economic benefit, followed by reduced congestion and the health impacts of air pollution.

A final validation workshop, gathering about 140 participants, was held in February 2022 in Abuja. The aim of the workshop was to present the results of the projects and the lessons learned. The key recommendations made were:

  • There is a need for a data sharing agreement among relevant stakeholders in the MRV implementation process to ensure NDC’s implementation;
  • Capacity building for stakeholders is vital; hence the need for more capacity building at the various stages of implementation;
  • There is a need for more public awareness and adoption of an advanced technology framework in the MRV development and implementation processes;
  • To achieve greater transparency, there is a need to prepare MRV guidelines that will set specific roles and responsibilities, with specific data expected to come from each stakeholder to operationalize the MRV system;
  • There is a need for more engagement of local research institutes, experts and consultants in data management and analysis.

Moving forward, ICAT and the Government of Nigeria have validated a work plan with further areas of work for Phase II, including:

  • integration of the IPPU sector into the overarching national MRV framework 
  • applying ICAT methodologies to assess the impacts of policies and measures focusing on transport, forestry and IPPU sectors; and the transformational change methodology, focusing on oil and gas and agriculture, forestry and other land use. 

ICAT will also support the development of a framework to plan, measure and track a process that ensures a just transition of the economy, including that the needs of workers are taken care of when climate policies are implemented.