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The Gambia Current situation

What is The Gambiaʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

How to citeLast update: December 2022

Emissions profile

The Gambia emitted over 4 MtCO₂e, including LULUCF, in 2017. The majority of the GHG emissions came from the LULUCF sector (37%) followed by agriculture (32%) and energy (21%).5 Cropland and livestock are the main sources of emissions within the agriculture sector through rice cultivation and enteric fermentation. The most emitted gas is methane (CH ₄), followed by carbon dioxide (CO₂).6 The historical breakdown here does not include Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), leading to a significantly smaller estimate of industry process emissions than indicated in the country’s second NDC.2

The Gambia’s emissions are expected to increase, correlating to a growing electricity demand.6,7 Transport emissions are also predicted to increase as a result of economic development.6 Only around 60% of the population has access to electricity, and the government continues to fund projects to increase electricity access throughout the country.8 Although The Gambia’s emissions are increasing and continue to do so, its total emissions are only 0.016% of global GHG emissions.9

1 Climate Action Tracker. The Gambia – Policies & action (6 Jul 2022 update). Climate Action Tracker. 2022.

2 The Republic of The Gambia. Second Nationally Determined Contribution of The Gambia. UNFCCC. 2021.

3 CAT. The ten most important short-term steps to limit warming to 1.5°C. 2016.

4 Republic of The Gambia. The Gambia’s long-term climate-neutral development strategy 2050. 2022.

5 Gütschow, J., Günther, A. & Pflüger, M. The PRIMAP-hist national historical emissions time series v2.3 (1750-2019). (2021) doi:10.5281/zenodo.5175154.

6 Government of The Gambia (GOTG). Third National Communication of the Gambia under the UNFCCC. UNFCCC. 2020.

7 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Circular GHG mitigation opportunities inThe Gambia – A metabolic approach to defining a resource efficient and low-carbon future. 2021. assessment – undp-ndcsp-gambia-circular-GHG-mitigation-report %285%29%5B46%5D_0.pdf

8 IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency). Energy Profile – Gambia. 2021.

9 Camara, I., Jallow, A., Jallow, B. & Swaby, G. Towards a low-carbon climate-resilient future. Developing The Gambia’s 2050 Climate Vision. 2021.

10 The Republic of The Gambia. The Gambia 2050 Climate Vision. 2021.

11 Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MoPE). Strategic Plan 2021-2025. 2021.

12 Ritchie, H. & Roser, M. Gambia: Energy Country Profile. 2020.

13 “Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MoPE). Universal Access by 2025 and Transforming The Gambia Electricity Sub-sector: Strategic Roadmap 2021-2040. 2021.

14 Climate Action Tracker. The Gambia – Targets (6 Jul 2022 update). Climate Action Tracker. 2022.

15 News Desk. Gambia Adopts ECOWAS Approved Minimum Energy Performance Standards. News Ghana. 2022.

The Gambiaʼs current GHG emissions


Displayed values

By sector

  • Combustion
  • Fugitive emissions
  • Other
  • Agriculture
  • Waste
  • Industry (processes)
Energy (21%)0

By gas

  • CO₂
  • CH₄
  • N₂O
  • Other

Sectors by gas

Industry (processes)

Energy system

The Gambia faces a number of challenges with regard to energy supply. The Gambia’s total primary energy supply in 2018 was predominantly composed of oil (51%) and renewable energy (48%).8 The Gambia imports all of its needed fuel oil, which is not only a burden on its economy but also an issue of energy insecurity.10 The Gambia continues to promote efforts to extract oil domestically to reduce fuel oil imports.11

The Gambia generates almost all of its renewable energy from bioenergy which is almost entirely consumed by households.8 Households mostly use wood as an energy source and account for over 80% of total energy demand. Bioenergy is one of the least regulated sectors and more efforts are needed to mitigate forest loss from fuel wood harvesting.11

The Gambia has significant solar energy resources, but as of 2020, the country had only 2 MW of solar and 1 MW of wind installed capacity.8 The government has highlighted solar PV as one of the least cost renewable energy technologies as it seeks to address steadily increasing electricity consumption and achieve universal access to electricity by 2025.12,13 The Gambia has a total of 170 MW in solar PV projects in the pipeline for 2021–2025, though the projects have suffered from delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.1

Targets and commitments

As expressed by the country:

  • 49.7% below BAU in 2030 (incl. LULUCF) or absolute emissions of 3327 GgCO₂ in 2030 (incl. LULUCF).2
  • This translates in absolute emissions level in 2030 (excl. LULUCF) = 2.74 MtCO₂ (4% below 2010).14

Economy-wide targets

Target type

Baseline scenario target

NDC target

Unconditional NDC target:

  • 2.6% reduction below BAU in 2030 through two mitigation measures (1 in forestry and 1 in energy) or absolute emissions of 6448 GgCO₂ in 2030.2
  • Translates in absolute emissions level in 2030 = 5.53 MtCO₂e (excl. LULUCF) or 95% above 2010 levels in 2030 (excl. LULUCF).14

Conditional NDC target:

  • 47.2% reduction below BAU in 2030 or absolute emissions of 3496 GgCO₂ in 2030.2
  • Translates in absolute emissions level in 2030 (excl. LULUCF) = 2.74 MtCO₂ (89% above 1990 or 4% below 2010).14

Long-term target

  • The Gambia submitted its Long Term Climate Neutral Development Strategy 2050 to the UNFCCC in September 2022 which includes its net zero target by 2050.4

Sector coverage


Greenhouse gas coverage


Sectoral targets


  • . Potential reduction of 0.08 GgCO₂e by 2030 through installation of solar home systems for off-grid consumption.2
  • The National Electrotechnical Committee of the Gambia (NEC) adopted ECOWAS Approved Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) on energy efficiency appliances in March, 2022.15
  • Solar water heating facilities to supply 10% of demand by 2030.2


  • Increase renewable energy electricity supply: 50% by 2023 and 60% by 2025.11
  • Install 89 MW of utility-scale solar PV capacity and 3.6 MW of utility-scale wind capacity.2
  • Fully replace diesel mini-grids with solar PV and battery storage systems.2
  • Install 6 MW of solar PV rooftop systems by 2024.2


  • “Multistrata agroforestry” – multiple initiatives to increase tree cover and food security in both urban and rural areas with potential emissions reduction of 169 GgCO₂e by 2030.2
  • Strive to maintain 30% of the total land area of The Gambia under forest cover.10