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Current situation

What is Nigeriaʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

Emissions profile

Energy emissions were the largest source of emissions in Nigeria in 2017, responsible for about two thirds of national total emissions, excluding LULUCF. The power and transport sectors make up the largest shares of energy CO₂, though CO₂ from traditional biomass for energy production, Nigeria’s largest source of primary energy, are included in LULUCF emissions and therefore not considered here. Fugitive emissions from the upstream oil and gas industry make up a significant portion of energy emissions, though these have slightly decreased since 2000.5 While energy emissions have overall been decreasing, emissions have increased in the agriculture, waste and industry sectors keeping emissions relatively constant since 2000.

There is significant uncertainty around LULUCF emissions estimates in Nigeria. The country’s Third National Communication estimates these as the largest source of emissions (over 300 MtCO₂e), while the interim NDC update reports land use emissions together with agriculture as about one quarter of emissions (approximately 87 MtCO₂e in 2018).1,5

1 Federal Republic of Nigeria. Submission of an Interim Report of the Updated Nationally Determined Contribution. (2021).

2 Federal Ministry of Power. About this platform. Nigeria SE4ALL.

3 Energy Commission of Nigeria. National Energy Policy. (2018).

4 Akinola, R. Nigeria Moves to Develop Long-Term Low Emissions Plan to Curb Climate Change. Natural Eco Capital. (2020).

5 Federal Ministry of Environment. Third National Communication (TNC) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. (2020).

6 IEA. Africa Energy Outlook 2019. (2019).

7 IEA. World Energy Balances 2020. (2020).

8 Economic Sustainability Committee. Bouncing Back: Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan. (2020).

9 IRENA. Nigeria.

10 Central Bank of Nigeria. Half Year Economic Report, 2020. (2020).

11 Department of Climate Change. President Buhari Approves the Revised National Climate Change Policy for Nigeria. (2021).

12 Akinola, R. Nigeria Moves to Develop Long-Term Low Emissions Plan to Curb Climate Change. (2020).

13 The Premium Times. Osinbajo urges EU not to stop financing Nigeria’s gas projects. (2021).

14 Vanguard. Let’s engage more on transition to net zero emissions, Osinbajo tells visiting COP26 President-designate. (2021).

15 Ministry of Power. National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy. (2015)

16 See the Climate Action Tracker for assumptions.

17 See Climate Action Tracker, forthcoming analysis on Nigeria.

18 While global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C provide useful guidance for an upper-limit of emissions trajectories for developed countries, they underestimate the feasible space for such countries to reach net zero earlier. The current generation of models tend to depend strongly on land-use sinks outside of currently developed countries and include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches. The scientific teams which provide these global pathways constantly improve the technologies represented in their models – and novel CDR technologies are now being included in new studies focused on deep mitigation scenarios meeting the Paris Agreement. A wide assessment database of these new scenarios is not yet available; thus, we rely on available scenarios which focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology. Accordingly, we do not yet consider land-sector emissions (LULUCF) and other CDR approaches.

19 See Climate Action Tracker assessment on Nigeria.

20 In some of the analysed pathways, the power sector assumes already a certain amount of carbon dioxide removal technologies, in this case bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

Nigeriaʼs current GHG emissions


Displayed values

By sector

  • Fugitive emissions
  • Buildings
  • Power
  • Transport
  • Industry (energy use)
  • Other
  • Agriculture
  • Waste
  • Industry (processes)
Energy (62%)0

By gas

  • CH₄
  • CO₂
  • N₂O
  • Other

Sectors by gas

Industry (processes)

Energy system

In 2017, Nigeria supplied 77% of its primary energy with bioenergy, primarily traditional biomass, driven by low access to electricity.6 Oil is the second largest source of primary energy, accounting for 13% in 2017.7 Nigeria’s COVID-19 stimulus plan includes a domestic gas utilisation programme aimed at reducing the country’s reliance on oil and a solar homes program.8 Investing in natural gas expansion increases the risk of stranded assets and is a missed opportunity for further renewable energy investment. Remaining energy supply comes from gas (10%), renewables (0.4%) and coal (0.02%).

Natural gas supplies about 77% of electricity generation in Nigeria. The remaining generation is supplied almost entirely by hydropower.9 Nigeria’s 2015 National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy (NREEEP) targets over 23 GW of renewable capacity including large hydropower by 2030; however, Nigeria is not on track to meet this target.

Nigeria’s 2018 draft revised National Energy Policy includes a target to reduce energy-related GHG emissions to 15% in the long-term.3 The policy also targets a 30% share of coal in the country’s energy mix by 2030, though little progress has been made. The oil and gas sector accounted for 56% of government revenue in 2019. Nigeria’s economy entered into recession in 2016 following the fall in international oil prices and again impacted by oil price collapse in 2020 due to COVID-19.10

Nigeria approved its revised National Climate Change Policy in June 2021, though details of the policy are not yet available.11

Targets and commitments

Economy-wide targets

Target type

Baseline scenario target

NDC target

Unconditional target:

  • 20% below BAU by 2030 (incl. LULUCF).
  • 1% below 2015 by 2030 (excl. LULUCF).19

Conditional target:

  • 45% below BAU by 2030 (incl. LULUCF).
  • 33% below 2015 by 2030 (excl. LULUCF).19

Market mechanism

  • 2017 NDC: “Review of Nigeria’s current climate finance landscape, support needs and the international funding landscape, along with an assessment of climate finance readiness and gaps. This will include possible use of funding through carbon market mechanisms subject to the detailed provisions of the Paris agreement.”

Long-term target

  • Nigeria does not currently have a long-term target, though is in the process of developing a long-term low-emissions development strategy.

Sector coverage


Greenhouse gas coverage


Sectoral targets


  • Zero routine gas flaring by 2030.
  • 50% increase in energy efficiency by 2030.


  • 30% renewable energy generation by 2030.
  • 90% electricity access by 2030.


  • 25% all buses converted to CNG by 2030.
  • Euro IV emissions limits met by all vehicles by 2030.