Frontline energy law expert and the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships (ARISP) of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Professor Damilola S. Olawuyi, SAN has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to put in place mandatory requirements for high emitting businesses, especially those in the oil, gas and minerals sectors, to disclose their climate-related efforts, risks and opportunities.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who is also a member of the governing board of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), made this call at a public roundtable themed “Climate Change and COP 26: The Road Ahead for Nigeria”, organized by the Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law (CPEEL), University of Ibadan. The event, which explored innovative approaches through which Nigeria can address the menacing impacts of climate change, was moderated by Professor Akin Iwayemi of CPEEL, and featured expert contributions from Professor Olusanya Olubusoye, Director, CPEEL, Mr. James Ogunleye, Managing Director Carbon Limits Nigeria, Professor Yinka Ohunakin, Covenant University, and Professor Adeola Adenikinju, Head of Department of Economics, University of Ibadan.
While evaluating the key strengths of Nigeria’s Long-Term Vision on Climate Change which was recently released by the Federal Government, Professor Olawuyi, SAN described the document as an important wake-up call for stakeholders in key sectors, especially high-emitting industries such as oil and gas, to put in place robust internal risk management processes needed to achieve the Government’s target of 50 percent emission reduction by the year 2050. He also emphasized that achieving this target will require more targeted and stringent efforts by the government to monitor and track the level of compliance by business enterprises in key sectors.
Professor Olawuyi SAN noted that: “Global transparency requirement in the extractive sector has moved beyond financial transparency alone. It now includes transparency in environment and climate-related disclosures. We want to know how a company is addressing climate-related risks across their entire business value chain, the impact of their operations on climate change, and how they are integrating climate change into business planning through green procurements, green jobs, capacity development, and supporting clean technology innovation.”
The Learned Silk called on the Federal Government to empower important transparency agencies such as NEITI, working with the Department of Climate Change, to mandate extractive operators to disclose their climate-related programs, risks and opportunities in order to ensure coherent planning. He noted that by so doing, achieving green growth and sustainable development in key sectors of the Nigerian economy will move beyond a vision to reality.
Professor Olawuyi, SAN also called on education institutions to take necessary steps to increase training, education and capacity development on climate change by introducing specialized courses that can help administrators, planners and policy makers to undertake the essential steps that will guide the country towards achieving its net-zero emission reduction targets. He commended ABUAD’s leadership in this regard, noting that ABUAD is institutionally committed to addressing the problem of climate change and advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
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