12 December 2002

Nigeria to Benefit From Kyoto Protocol

Abuja — Nigeria, especially the private sector, is expected to be among the first beneficiaries of the Kyoto Protocol when the implementation commences, Dr. Peter Pembleton of the United Nations Industrial Organisation (UNIDO) Vienna, has said.

Pembleton made the disclosure yesterday at a stakeholders' meeting organised by UNIDO and the Federal Ministry of Environment as part of efforts to prepare and enlighten stakeholders and the public on the requirements of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and how best the country could benefit from the programme on take off.

CDM is a market-based mechanism assisting developing countries in achieving sustainable development and developed countries in meeting the emission-reduction requirements under the Kyoto Protocol. It also creates regulated market for a new commodity - the Certified Emissions Reduction (CERs), produced in the South and purchased in the North.

Pembleton said for any country to qualify for CDM, it must have ratified the Kyoto Protocol and established a national authority that would monitor and coordinate the activities of the private sector.

Private sector foreign direct investment (FDI) is generally expected to be the driving force behind projects under CDM of the Kyoto Protocol.

It is expected that the private sector in developing countries creates projects that produce and sell CERs while the private sector of industrialised countries purchase them.

He said part of UNIDO's efforts was to facilitate technology transfer and capacity building in the energy sector to provide alternative energy sources in the context of CDM. UNIDO also is trying to make the projects a bottom-up, multi-stakeholder, learning-by-doing process and to foster public-private partnerships.

A UNIDO expert, Mrs. Deborah Cornland, who also delivered a paper said "one of the problems confronting the country and Africa in general is the need to build its institutional infrastructure capacity in order to take full advantage of the opportunities under CDM as capacity at all levels needs to be strengthened to attract a meaningful amount of additional investment resources through the CDM."

Cornland noted that African countries in general do not have infrastructure and institutional practices needed to encourage and support FDI or sufficient capacity to deal with the economic, technical and environmental issues that must be addressed in order to effectively participate in and benefit from CDM projects.

The three phases mapped out for the programme are to first of all create awareness and promote the dissemination of information on CDM and climate change issues to relevant stakeholders and would also help to foster networking among stakeholders.

The second on is to create an enabling environment to eliminate some of the barriers previously identified through focused implementation of targeted sub-programmes, covering manpower development and capacity building/enhancement, building and strengthening of institutional infrastructure and creation of facilitating environment.

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