Climate Change, Carbon Economy and Co-benefits of Gas Utilization

By Innocent E. Azih

Some of the biggest shifts in business and investment is happening in the oil and gas sector, denominated in the clean economic development paradigm. This shift is underpinned by the competitive race for a green global energy transition as pushed and rapidly amplified under a new US-China race for Net-Zero transition. Nigeria cannot be left out of the race, given her huge petroleum, especially gas reserves.
Nigeria’s economy is almost entirely dependent on the petroleum sector. The sector also holds the key factor to low-carbon development in the country through the mitigation pathway. This means that it

(oil and gas) will continue to determine Nigeria’s economic performance into the Net-Zero era, depending on how it is continually navigated through the evolving sustainability transition demands.

Nigeria has a proven natural gas reserve of 203.16tr cubic feet as at 2020. It set sights on new target outputs of 210tcf by 2025 and 220tcf by 2030. This presents a product-economy that is acceptable to the low-carbon movement,

with a window to deepen the domestic utilization. In an era where the world is moving towards hydrogen as alternative energy source and the UK government is setting up a £20m fund for innovative projects with a target of phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, Nigeria needs to rapidly beneficiate the gas resources to build capacity – both financial and technological, in the energy transition period.

This behooves the government to create policies that result in technologies being retrofitted for gas input use,

such as the auto gas scheme. This is already paving the pathway to heightened domestic gas consumption.
The price of emission has risen significantly in the carbon market, post-COVID, and currently provides a long-term investment prospect around the world. From its bottomed-out condition in 2007 shuffling to as low as Euro3 per tonne in 2013, it has risen to Euro 23 per tonne in 2019 and only with high financial incentives for emissions reduction. Deepening the domestic gas utilization across consumer belts presents the multiple co-benefits of ensuring low-carbon development, retaining investments in the petroleum sector, and providing incentive payments through carbon offset revenues in the Voluntary Carbon Market. This will lead to a spike in clean technology optimization as introduction of technology retrofits such as green engines, which use gas, will provide increasing income in the carbon market and further increase gas consumption.

It is therefore time to marry the opportunities of expanded domestic gas consumption with the emission reduction and revenue scope.

The Eko Carbon Exchange is consequently convoking a webinar to enable stakeholders in the gas value chain mainstream the knowledge that gas utilization is going to provide the financial and technological leverage required for business sustainability.

The Exchange plays the role of Carbon Aggregator to the Nigerian Gas Expansion Programme.

It also partners key players in the carbon farming such as Amelia Agro Africa, Uganda.
The webinar brings a collaboration with key industry players, from the highest level of policy to investment, development and financial communities of practice as well as consumers of technology and gas resources.

The Eko Carbon Exchange has been mobilizing the carbon resources of Nigeria from the various sectors of the economy, through the aggregation of emissions avoided or reduced by low-carbon projects, practices and technology. This includes creating education and capacity for emissions management through webinars on solid waste, agricultural sector, renewable energy project, energy efficiency schemes, the construction and building-, and the financial-sector emissions.

It is imperative to have a discourse that will focus on the co-benefit implications of an emerging era of fully deregulated and optimized use of Nigeria’s gas resources across all sectors.

It comes with extra benefits to drive local goals from global trends in low-carbon economic development in the light of historically-observed shifts in the pattern of energy supply mixes.

It is time to mainstream the race to zero-carbon dynamics as it intensifies and as global regulations put investors on their wits’ end.

On the other hand, as hydrogen position to replace the hardest-to-abate emissions, a gas expansion vision catalyzed in terms of emission abatement capacity is key. A convocation to interrogate the opportunities presented by these developments from the perspectives of Policy, Investment, Technology shifts and emission savings and carbon revenue is therefore critical. Join the conversation.

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