By Bukola Odufade and Oluwaseun Afolabi
As major investors turn towards climate friendly projects, experts have called on corporate Nigeria to leverage the local and international opportunities existing in climate finance, created by the need to combat climate change.
Speaking at the business a.m. / GTI finance and investment dialogue (FID), Stanley Ijeoma, chief executive officer, Schrodinger Greentech, a climate change consultancy, described the global carbon pricing market as a trillion dollar opportunity waiting to be explored by corporate Nigeria, with $21 per tonne set as the standard in monetizing the social cost of carbon emission, which could increase to $25 per tonne in the nearest future.
At the Paris agreement in 2015, Nigeria had pledged to cut its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission by 20 percent and 45 percent with international support which was estimated to cost $142 billion, however, cutting GHG emissions had a benefit estimate of $304 billion, translating into a net profit of $162 billion market to tap into.
Climate finance is relatively new in Nigeria as well as Africa and companies who recognize that climate change holds both risks and rewards, stand a chance to be leaders in unexploited terrain.
According to Ijeoma, climate finance opens corporate Nigeria to global investment and could be the bridge between the global economy and Africa in terms of climate financing.
“The world is facing multi-dimensional extreme exposure and corporate Nigeria should be very concerned. There is a need to expand and build capacity on how to turn climate risks to opportunities,” he said.
James Okeuhie, Manager, Climate and Sustainability Services, Ernest and Young, while echoing the same sentiment, also spoke on the paucity of data which was a major problem in estimating the aforementioned figures.
He said that the Nigeria’s N10 billion green sovereign bond was birthed out of a need to address the $142 billion GHG emission cost.
Ijeoma also noted that legislation regarding GHG emission cuts is in the works and fines would be imposed on companies found wanting in order to finance the GHG emission cost.
He then added that “climate change is already influencing the context in which corporate social decisions are made and that corporate Nigeria needs to pay more attention to it.”