The Future of Energy: Integrating Public Health into Climate Change Policy and Planning

Synopsis
According to the 2020 British Petroleum Statistical Review of World Energy, oil accounts for 33.1% share of the primary energy consumption and a major contributor to carbon emissions. Climate change as reported by WHO affects public health and well-being through its effect on the social and environmental determinants of health such as air pollution, disease vectors etc. Towards the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, Nigeria unconditionally pledged a 20% emissions reduction below Business as Usual (BAU) by 2030 as the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and up to 45% hinged on international support.  The COVID-19 pandemic impact on the global oil market caused a reduction in its supply and demand levels therefore affecting the revenue stream of such undiversified economies as Nigeria.  The implication is that climate finance will be constrained and progress on climate action plans may greatly be inhibited. The combined health and economic shock holds a potential to accelerate advancement in cleaner energy sources for a sustainable energy future but also threatens the progress where the available finance focused on confronting the challenges of COVID-19 is prioritised over climate change actions.

Discussion focus:

  • What is the progress on Nigeria’s Sectoral Action Plans towards achieving its pledged 20% Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)?
  • Should Nigeria pursue an aggressive or conservative path to meeting its climate action plans considering the poor state of health facilities in the country.
  • Based on statistics, oil will be continue to be a major components in the energy mix for years to come, what are the potential impact of reducing long term investments in oil in terms of market supply and ultimately energy security
  • WHO reports that areas with weak health infrastructure mostly in developing countries will be the least able to cope due to climate change effects without assistance to prepare and respond. Learning from the of COVID-19 experience, how can the private sector support the government in improving the country’s health infrastructure?
  • What effective approaches can Nigeria adopt towards reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while addressing energy poverty and ensuring a secure supply of energy to its citizens to achieve a sustainable energy future?
  • Considering Nigeria’s growing fiscal deficit, are there risks to meeting the country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement

 

Date: August 4, 2021

Time: 10.00 am WAT