On GreenBiz: Five Signs that Nigeria is Leading Sub-Saharan Africa in Climate Action

Last year was one of optimism for environmentalists and sustainability practitioners all over the world. The mass acceptance of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by national governments, investors and corporations alike finally showed that global and diverse parties were ready to work together to reduce the threat of climate change and promote sustainable development. Undoubtedly, the acceptance of the Paris Agreement by the United States and China (two of the biggest economies), both of whom had historically expressed reluctance towards any global agreement on climate change, contributed significantly to this air of optimism.

Amid this, Africa, and Nigeria in particular, has not been left behind. Since 2016, and even more glaringly this year, Nigeria, the most populated nation in Africa, has been poised to take a leadership position in climate action and sustainable development. Interestingly, people have been motivated to think differently in light of the significant economic slowdown in the economy (although improvements are now being experienced) and to take into consideration the lessons learned from the (failed) implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.

In particular, five key things have happened in the past 18 months that show Nigeria is well on its way to becoming a climate action leader in its region.

  1. Nigeria has ratified the Paris Agreement
  2. Nigeria is set to release Africa's first green bonds in 2017
  3. Banking industry sustainability regulations are firmly in place
  4. A renewable energy association has been established
  5. Reform of federal and state environmental legislation is ongoing

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