NIGERIA RUSHES TO DECLARE ELECTRICITY MARKET

POWER SECTOR REFORM – NIGERIA IN A RUSH TO DECLARE AN ELECTRICITY MARKET

Those who are in charge of the Nigerian Power Sector reform are determined to progress towards the next crucial stage of declaring the electricity market that characterises a privatised electricity supply industry. I think this should not be the case as the Power System is not ready for it now. In a sense, Nigeria is in an advantageous position when it comes to Privatisation of the Electricity Supply Industry because it can learn from the mistakes and gains from advanced economies that pioneered the restructuring of electricity supply industries for over twenty years now. But will She? It appears not!

So what is an electricity Market?

Simply put, it is an arrangement to effect the sales, purchases and short-term trades of electricity. In this market, electricity, like every commodity, can be bought, sold and traded. Wholesale transactions in an electricity market are typically cleared and settled by a designated market operator or by an independent special-purpose entity charged exclusively with that function. The commodities within an electricity market generally consists of two types – namely, Power and Energy. Power in this case is the metered rate of transfer of electrical energy measured in Megawatts (MW) and Energy is the quantum of electricity that flows through a metered point for a given period and it is measured in Megawatts-hour (MWh). Contrary to common perception, a buyer of electricity is not purchasing Megawatt-hours of energy produced by a specific generation unit but the right to withdraw that quantity of MWhs from a specific location in the network and a seller is paid for injecting a certain quantity of MWhs into the grid at a specified location in the network. Thus, an electricity market is open to anyone including Generators, Power Marketers who buy and re-sell electricity, Independent Power Producers, providers of ancillary services such as Short-Term Operating Reserves (STOR), if they have secured appropriate licences to participate in the market.

What makes an electricity market different from other markets?

The electricity market shares several features with the Financial and Securities market. Participants buy and sell rights to inject and withdraw electricity from the Transmission Network, much as investors in securities buy and sell ownership shares of firms. The difference is in the physics of producing electricity. Virtually all electricity produced must be delivered to final consumers through the Transmission Network, and so the action(s) of other market participants directly impact the ability of a market participant to sell or consume electricity. One problem that comes to mind straight away is the status and reliability of the Transmission Network. Interestingly, although all market participants share a common interest in the reliable operation of the Transmission Network, they may often find it unilaterally beneficial to engage in anti-trust and anti-competition behaviours that degrade the overall reliability of the Transmission Network just to get financial advantage and create wealth for themselves. This will be particularly more destructive in an environment where corruption holds way. A popular trend is one supplier withholding capacity from the day-ahead market in order to increase the price it receives for the energy it sells. This can create a reliability problem for all other suppliers because the system operator will be unable to dispatch the necessary generation units to the levels needed to meet with real time demand without increasing the risk of system collapse.

Whereas antitrust and anti-competition laws are enough for securities and stock market, the required monitoring process for an electricity market is more involving. This is all the more so because, electricity market failures are more likely and substantially more harmful to consumers than other market failures because of how electricity is produced and delivered and the crucial role it plays in a modern economy. Hence, a prospective market monitoring process backed by the prevailing regulatory authority must be put in place at the start of the market.

One similarity between electricity market and the securities market is that the smooth running of the market requires both parties to each transaction to comply with all contractual obligations with maximum liquidity existing within the spot market. Further to this however, a necessary condition for an efficient wholesale electricity market is that participants produce or consume electricity under the terms and conditions specified in their bids into the market. Failure to comply with contractual obligations not only increases the cost to the violating firm on future transactions, it can also reduce the reliability of the Transmission Network and therefore the cost of other suppliers and load-serving entities transacting. It is instructive to mention that an effective electricity market will require sufficient liquidity to ensure that unexpectedly large transactions can take place at virtually any instant in time without causing substantial price movements. Otherwise, prices will be extremely sensitive to small changes in amount of energy purchased or sold in the market. This can also lead to the illiquidity of the forward market wherein, if either side of the market is uncertain about the terms and conditions of delivery of a forward contract for electricity, it will increase the cost of participating in the forward market and thus reduce the liquidity of the forward market.

Whereas participants in financial markets have different choices as regards how to obtain the commodity traded, buyers and sellers of whole sale electricity have no choice as to how to take or provide delivery of the electricity they have purchased or sold. All electricity must be delivered through a single Transmission Network serving a given geographic area. If the network is poorly operated, this increases the cost of participating in the wholesale electricity market for all entities. The spot market is always an alternative option available to buyers and sellers so it is the relevant opportunity cost of participating in the forward market. Consequently, there is much greater need for market monitoring in electricity markets relative to financial markets because one supplier’s privately profitable behaviour can significantly degrade the ability of another supplier to inject the energy it has sold or more importantly for consumers at certain locations in the network to withdraw energy they have purchased. As mentioned earlier, electricity markets require demand to equal supply at every instant of time at every location in the transmission network. But electrons flow according to the laws of physics and not according to the terms of a financial contract to the extent that a privately-profitable behaviour of one market participant that degrades system reliability can immediately reduce the ability of other buyers and sellers to fulfil their contractual obligations. Furthermore, if one market participant decides to misbehave and make more profit by injecting significantly more or less energy into the network than the system operator expects, this can limit the ability of other suppliers and load-serving entities to inject and withdraw energy from the network. Such profit-maximising strategies by participants in an electricity market make it a market requiring tough and consistent monitoring processes.

Finally, electricity is also unique in the sense that the technology of producing and delivering electricity places significant constraints on how wholesale electricity market can operate. For this reason, it is important to have a synergy between the design of the market protocols with the design of the engineering protocols used to operate the system. In this regard, there is need for both engineering and economics expertise to interact seamlessly to achieve a successful and efficient market monitoring process.

The afore-mentioned reasons underscore why electricity markets must be monitored to ensure there is liquidity both in the spot and short-term forward markets. Best results are achieved if this market monitoring process is independent of the system operator, the market operator and all other market participants.

No doubt, careful thoughts and well-thought out plans need to be put in place before declaring an electricity market. Nigeria, yet unable to make gas available to her starving gas power plants in-country, is not “ready” to declare an electricity market!

Idowu Oyebanjo, A Power System Engineer writes from the UK

oyebanjoidowu@yahoo.com

+447985682587

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GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE- WHO IS FOOLING WHOM? – PART 1

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Global warming: The main contributors to Green House Gases

Global warming is just a scientific theory with lots of scientists putting together some pieces of jigsaw that it may cause Climate Change (CC). Even though the theory is not completely accepted yet, the argument for or against scientific conclusions regarding anthropogenic CC is not the subject of this write-up. Identifying the key contributors to the “devil” Climate Change is. The main culprit to be examined is Carbon IV Oxide (CO2). CC is blamed on several human activities, but the biggest contributor to CC is the increase in Greenhouse (GH) effect produced by CO2. Most of the CO2 emissions come from the burning of fossil fuels like oil, gas, and coal. Therefore, it is sufficient to state here that the CC issue is an energy issue. When we mine coal and extract oil and gas from the earth’s crust, and then burn these fossil fuels for transportation, heating, cooking, electricity, and manufacturing, we are effectively moving carbon into the atmosphere than is being removed by the natural process of carbon cycle, ultimately causing the concentration of atmospheric carbon IV oxide to increase. Also, by clearing forests to support agriculture, we are transferring carbon from living biomass into the atmosphere (dry wood is about 50 percent carbon). The result is that humans are adding ever-increasing amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Climate scientists believe that increased Greenhouse Gases (GHG) in the atmosphere will contribute to an overall warming of the earth’s climate, leading to a “global warming”. Even though some regions may experience cooling, or wetter weather, climate scientists believe that the temperature of the planet on the average, will rise. Consequently, they are pushing to contain temperature rises to an average of 2 degrees Celsius (as an average, this means some regions may get higher temperatures and others, lower). Most climate Scientists believe that global warming will result in extreme weather patterns such as the extreme heat waves experienced from time to time in different countries. In some other places, it will mean extreme snow fall, flood, hurricanes, drought, longer spell of dry heat or intense rain, colder weather, scarcity of water, super-storms, cyclones, more intense precipitation and higher winds, rising sea level, ocean acidification, increase in pests and diseases, desertification, hunger due to falling agricultural outputs, etc.

But why do we burn fossil fuel? For energy! The amount of energy consumed in any country is a measure of the level of development of that country. In more simplistic terms, ask yourself what makes people want to travel to developed countries of Europe, America, and the like? What makes humans walk through the desert to arrive at another man’s country? What makes people want to spend their holiday in these places? What makes others to schedule meetings as well as looted monies for these economies? The availability of electricity, good transportation, quality education and improved quality of life to mention but a few. In the so called developed economies, energy is used principally in the form of electricity, transportation and heating. For those who have heard or seen it, developed countries are those which we can say have electricity continuously (even though there is no country in the world where you do not have power cuts, the frequency and scale is what differs). During the day and in the night, in the shops and every corner of the streets, the sights are amazingly awesome. In the festive periods, there are more spectacular display and you see the “lights” on! This is a huge consumption of energy and therefore, carbon emission which “pollutes the earth”. Also, most of these countries are very windy and have wintry weather that makes life unbearable without some form of heating (electric, gas or coal fire heating etc). Heating therefore accounts for a significant amount of the energy requirements in most of the developed economies and therefore it is an important consideration in this energy debate. Another feature of industrialised economies is a good network of transportation. There are enough buses, coaches, trams, sea, air and rail transport to commute people without much hassles from one place to another daily. This improves their overall quality of and attitude towards life. The roads have been well maintained and so the number of cars in developed economies is vast. The airports are lovely sites and people can do with taking their photographs from there to send to their siblings at home. But all these means of transportation use fossil-fuel based products with the attendant release of CO2 into the atmosphere. Other uses include manufacturing of plastics, and every good thing that is desired by poor countries but which they are “reluctant” to produce themselves. It can be argued that because of the lack of vision and “knowledge”, Nigeria does not burn energy to better her world in terms of electricity generation, transportation, manufacturing etc. The only “good” use that has been made of her energy resources is in the flaring of rare precious gas during exploitation and exportation of her oil. Needless to say, this should have been made available to power the many Gas Power Plants crying for Gas to generate electricity for the nation in darkness!

The major countries with the biggest per-capita emissions in descending order of magnitude are Australia, USA, Canada, Ireland, Netherland, Russia, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, The United Kingdom, South Africa, Italy, France, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Brazil, Mexico, Thailand, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Philippines, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo etc. Note though that CO2 emissions in China and India are high but their per-capita emissions fall below the world’s average. This is because of their large population. Also, much of the industrial emissions of China and India are associated with the manufacture of “stuff” for the developed countries. There is no gain saying that emissions due Nigeria result primarily due to the activities of the international oil companies (IOCs) in her oil rich Niger-Delta. So, assuming that something needs to be done urgently to reduce CC via GH gas emissions, who has a special responsibility to do something? This is majorly an ethical question with the responsibility falling mainly on those who not only have put the emissions there to begin with, but are also able to afford the huge finances required to pay for mitigating the effects of Climate Change. As much of the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere remain there for 50 to 200 years, it is not enough to base the decision on the countries with the highest rate of CO2 emission today, but also on the historical footprint of individual nations which account for the cumulative contribution to the world’s “pollution” in the last 100 years, say. Also to be considered is the contribution now to the “pollution” by rapidly developing nations like China, India, Brazil, and South Africa, who have realised that very soon, and indeed very soon, all others who are yet to “pollute” the world and develop their “world” will remain undeveloped for “life” and regret their actions or inaction.

In terms of historical emissions, industrialised countries account for roughly 80% of the CO2 build-up in the atmosphere to date. Since 1950, the US has emitted a cumulative total of roughly 50.7 billion tons of carbon, while China (4.6 times more populous than the US) and India (3.5 times more populous than the US) have emitted only 15.7 and 4.2 billion tons respectively, although these numbers have been increasing since they “woke up”. Much of the growth in emissions in developing nations results from the provision of basic human needs for growing populations, while emissions in industrialised countries contribute to growth in a standard of living that is already far above that of the average person worldwide. This is exemplified by the large contrasts in per-capita carbon emissions between industrialised and developing countries. Per capital emissions of carbon in the US are over 20 times higher than India, 12 times higher than Brazil and 7 times higher than China.

This is what the notion of Climate Justice and equity tends to resolve. The key principle that must be sung by Nigerian and African representatives at any Climate Change negotiation framework is that of “the common but differentiated responsibilities”.  This recognises that

·      Industrialised nations have emitted far more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than developing nations thus enabling the path to industrialization;

·      Rich countries therefore face the biggest responsibility and burden for action to address Climate Change; and

·         Rich countries will need to support developing nations to adapt to the problems they will face if they must avoid the “polluting” path to development which is easier and cheaper for them. This is mainly through financing and technology transfer.

As expected, many rich nations will like to work against the notion of Climate Justice and thus blame China, India and other developing countries for their accelerated rate of economic development, or gain credence in the “false balancing” argument that if they must be subject to emissions reductions, then so must China and India. Where there may be a case for emerging nations to be subject to some reduction targets, the burden of immediate reductions lie with industrialised countries. If the rich nations continue to delay at the rate they have begun since early 1990s, then, the poor nations will have to “save the earth” with their sacrifices to remain poor and allow the rich and powerful nations to rewrite history to claim they were the ones that saved the planet. Note though that most debates have been on reduction of emissions and what is often left out is the fact that poor countries are already facing problems without much help to adapt to the effects of “Climate Change”.

So what do you think? Who should pay for Climate Change? Answers and more in part 2.

e-mail:oyebanjoidowu@yahoo.com

Telephone: +44-7985682587

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE – WHO IS FOOLING WHOM? – PART 2

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Global Warming: Who should pay?

Climate Scientists have reached the conclusion that to avoid catastrophe, the average global temperature rise of the earth must be limited to a 2 degree Celsius relative to the pre-industrialisation levels. To realise this, CO2 emissions must be cut significantly at all levels. Whether this is true or false will involve rigorous review and analysis. The main ethical questions that must be reviewed include but not limited to the following:

1.      Is it wrong to exploit global resources in a way that imposes significant costs on future generations?

2.       Should pollution be free?

3.       Should we take steps to ensure that CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is not doubled?

4.       Should world leaders agree on a cap on emissions?

5.       Must the countries with the biggest CO2 emissions over the last century be required to lead action on climate change?

6.      Is it fair to share the CO2 emissions’ right equally across the world’s population?

7.      What can Nigeria and indeed Africa do to derive the most benefit from all these?

Whichever of these you want me to discuss will depend on which side of the coin faces you. Let me begin with the question of fairness. What does a fair global climate regime mean?

The earth’s atmosphere is a common resource. By emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as a result of heavy industry, adequate power generation from fossil fuel based power stations, good transportation network and the like, a nation receives the full financial benefit of having a growing and stable economy. However, the cost associated with the damage to the atmosphere is shared by all nations on the earth. If every country continues to act in accordance with her rational economic self interest, the result will inevitably lead to a detrimental impact to all. To this end, world leaders have decided to effectively ration access to emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and this is precisely what the global climate deal seeks to achieve. This is a herculean task indeed! It appears that to determine what rations constitute fair shares, nations should just be given the level of emissions that they will be allowed in the future. This, some have argued, is unfair. To do things fairly, they argue, consideration must also be given to the historic responsibility for emissions.  Climate Scientists claim that since CO2 can stay in the atmosphere for between 50-200 years, it is likely that significant emissions from the middle period of the industrial revolution onwards are currently in the atmosphere and some of today’s emissions will be there until circa 2200. Therefore, even if we stop “polluting” the atmosphere today with anthropogenic release of GHG, we still have a responsibility for our historical actions. There is no gain saying therefore that if the atmospheric space available as an environmental sink was unlimited, historic responsibility would be less of an issue.

 There is no doubt that anthropogenic production of CO2 has a clear correlation to wealth creation. Put another way, CO2 intensive economies became the largest and most successful economies. However, Climate Scientists claim that it is not possible to use all of the world’s fossil resources without inflicting catastrophic damage on the atmosphere. Developed countries, by acting first, have taken a far greater percentage of available atmospheric space leaving very little for developing nations and maybe none for a country with enormous wealth like Nigeria, crawling in her effort towards development. This leaves a huge issue in terms of equity. If developing nations accept that insufficient atmospheric space remains for them to grow their economies through fossil fuel combustion and deforestation, they must ask developed economies to share with them, their historic wealth, equivalent to the ecological space that they took from them. Where they feel that they are being inadequately recompensed, they have a sovereign right (which might be taken away soon) to continue to pollute the atmosphere and remove their existing environmental sinks (forests) which are relied upon by the entire earth.  A further complicating factor of course is that the potential negative consequences of Climate Change including potential famine and increased spread of diseases will disproportionately affect developing nations.  

Global reasoning on this matter is that industrialized countries set out on the path of development much earlier than developing countries, and have been emitting greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere for years without any restrictions. Since GHG emissions accumulate in the atmosphere for decades and centuries, emissions from industrialized countries are still present in the earth’s atmosphere. Therefore, the rich nations are responsible for the problem of global warming given their huge historical emissions. They owe their current prosperity to decades of overuse of the common atmospheric space and its limited capacity to absorb GHGs. Developing countries, on the other hand, have taken the road to growth and development very recently. In countries like China, India, South Africa and Brazil, emissions have started growing but their per capita emissions are still significantly lower than those of industrialized countries. The difference in emissions between industrialized and developing countries become more pronounced when per capital emissions are taken into account. In 1996 for example, the emissions of one US citizen equaled that of nineteen Indians. This difference, known as the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, recognizes that

  • The largest share of historical and current global emissions of greenhouse gases has originated in developed countries;
  • Per capita emissions in developing countries are still very low;
  • The share of global emissions originating in developing countries will grow to meet their social and development needs.
  • It is unfair to expect the third world countries to make emissions reductions considering the fact that their emissions come from satisfying basic needs as opposed to the rich nations where emissions result from luxury consumption and expensive life styles.

Developing countries will reduce emissions ultimately, but in a different way. The richer nations will have to provide the means for the developing world to have a transition to cleaner technologies while they develop. The scale of performance of poorer nations in this regard will depend on the effective implementation by richer nations, of their commitments towards financial resources and transfer of technology under a regime that must recognize that economic and social development along with poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of poorer nations. No doubt, this is a very complex project that mankind has chosen to pursue.

e-mail:oyebanjoidowu@yahoo.com

Telephone: +44-7985682587

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE – WHO IS FOOLING WHOM?

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The United Nation Framework Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) will Continue for years without meaningful agreements

Recently, the United Nation Framework Climate Change Convention was concluded in Warsaw, Poland with no meaningful agreements reached by vested interests. That was however not the first time world leaders will meet on the topical issue of Global Warming for the fun of it, and unfortunately, it will not be the last without meaningful outcomes. The following paragraphs give the brief history of global Climate talks held by world leaders in the past.

Climate Scientists began to be more vocal about their concerns regarding Climate Change (CC) from the early 1980s. The Vienna convention for the protection of the ozone layer was held in 1985 to provide the required platform and framework for the negotiation of the Montreal accord. Here, the responsibilities of individual countries for simultaneously protecting human health and the environment against the adverse effects of ozone depletion were addressed. The ozone layer shields the planet earth from the damaging radiations from the sun. Thus, the Montreal protocol, signed in 1987, led to an international agreement designed to protect the ozone layer by stipulating that substances which can deplete it must be phased out of production and consumption by the beginning of this millennium (Year 2000). These compounds include chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Carbon Tetrachloride, Hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) etc. In 1988, the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was created by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to assess the scientific knowledge on global warming. Africans and indeed Nigerians are serving on this panel. They can be contacted to provide further insight into Government policies respecting Climate Change (CC). The first report of the IPCC paved way to an international convention for CC known as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) signed by over 150 countries at the Rio Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. As a slow beginning, the convention could only take effect in 1994 after the conference of Parties (COP) fine tuned and negotiated the decisions and conclusions of the convention which led to the adoption of a more popular Kyoto protocol (COP3) in 1997. A protocol for the purpose of this discussion is an international agreement linked to an existing treaty, but standing on its own.

The Rio Convention was weakened because the US threatened a boycott if there were binding commitments to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions in her usual wisdom. Otherwise, how do you tell a country with abundant gas reserves to surrender development and a “lavishing” way of life when it is not Nigeria? Since article 4 of the convention clearly recognizes the right for developing countries to develop economically, China and India, who have since become the “emerging” world powers, ramped up development of their infrastructure to make their countries like the US or Europe. This means burning fossil fuels to provide constant electricity, good transport network, High speed trains etc. Nigeria unfortunately did not wake up. Within the succeeding fifteen years (1992-2007), China became the world’s largest “polluter” second only to the US. This means nothing else but constant electricity, availability of good transport services, development of roads and other infrastructure exploiting readily available technologies as well as energy from coal, oil and gas. Yes, china and India became “emerging” world powers.

 

 

The Kyoto Protocol

The conference of parties (COP) convened again in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997 to review the activities of party nations who are signatory to the binding agreements on emissions reduction. The developed nations were earlier assigned emissions targets they must not exceed while the developing nations were not bound by any assigned limits. Under this protocol, industrialised countries (also known as annex 1 countries) commit themselves to a reduction of their GHG production by a collective total of up to 5% relative to the benchmark levels of 1990.

The main purposes of this protocol include but not limited to

  1. Provision of mandatory targets on greenhouse gas emissions for the world’s leading economies most of whom accepted it at the time.
  2. Provision of the required flexibilities in how countries meet their targets.
  3. Recognition of the fact that commitments to emissions reduction will vary from country to country.

Sadly and again, the US came to the Kyoto deliberations saying they will only agree to a globally binding agreement to cut down emissions if and only if the rest of the world agreed to use her “wonderful” Emissions Trading System (ETS) where emissions permits are traded by putting a cap on the amount of emissions that would be allowed by individual nations and then allowing firms to trade on this. Every other nation rejected it but as the US made this a pre-condition for signing up to the agreement and insisted on this, others were forced to adopt it. As soon as the other nations adopted it, the US pulled out of the agreement. What a demonstration of world power! Although COP3 tried to resolve most of the operational details of the existing protocol, the US and some other powerful nations did not ratify it. A global agreement which is binding on other nations apart from the US did not seem to be a good idea back then and is still not today. This is one of the reasons why the protocol which was adopted in 1997, only came into force in 2005. Yet, key ingredients which emerged from COP3 included three flexible schemes – the clean development mechanism (CDM), the international Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and the Joint Implementation (JI) mechanism. 

Efforts to define the unresolved operational details led to several other meetings such as COP 4, Buenos Aires, November 1998, COP5, Bonn, October/November 1999, COP 6, The Hague, November 2000 and COP 7, Marrakesh 2001. Suffice it is to mention here that several other cities have been used to further the course of Climate Change with a view to securing a globally accepted and legally binding agreement until the last show inthe just concluded COP 19 in Warsaw, November, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The table below provides a summary of key steps taken thus far on Climate Change.

 

Key Steps Towards Action on Climate Change

Events

Dates and Venues

Principal achievements

First report (IPCC1) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change (IPCC).

 

1990

Broad international consensus among Climate scientists that human actions are influencing the climate

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC)

1992, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Entered into force in 1994)

·         Committed the global community to stabilizing the level of GHG in the atmosphere

·         Recognized the primary responsibilities of industrialized countries, and the differentiated responsibilities of developing countries

IPCC – Second report (IPCC2)

1995

·         Confirmed human influence on Climate

·         Stated that the risk from Climate Change is enough to justify preventive actions (Governments which have signed the convention have to accept the findings of the IPCC).

Conference of parties 1 (COP1)

1995, Berlin, Germany

·         Established budget, Secretariat and Institutional mechanisms.

·         Established pilot phase of “Activities Implemented Jointly” to reduce GHG emissions.

·         Agreed time table for setting specific reduction targets for industrialised countries.

Conference of Parties 2 (COP2)

1996, Geneva, Switzerland

·         Endorsed IPCC2 and COP 1 agreements

·         US announced her commitment to binding targets “medium-term”, with “flexibility in implementation measures”

·         OPEC dropped its position to action.

Conference of parties 3 (COP3)

1997, Kyoto, Japan

Agreed the Kyoto protocol, with reduction targets for industrialized countries on GHG emissions.

Conference of Parties 4 (COP4)

1998, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Agreed a “Plan of Action” for following up on the Kyoto protocol, including processes for stimulating technology transfer to developing nations

Conference of Parties 5 (COP5)

1999, Bonn, Germany

Further progress sought on implementing the Kyoto protocol

Conference of Parties 6 (COP6)

2000, The Hague, The Netherlands

 

IPCC Third Report (IPCC3)

2000/2001

 

“RIO Plus Ten” Earth Summit

2002

Many people hoped the Kyoto protocol will be ratified as a legally binding agreement but this did not happen. It only came into force in 2005.

 

2005

Negotiations began for a second round of emissions reduction for the second half of the Kyoto protocol

 

2008-2012

Agreed cuts in GHG specified in the Kyoto protocol will lapse. A replacement protocol must be sought

 

Sadly, and as can be observed from the table above, many of the objectives highlighted have not been realized. For example, the industrialized countries have not been committed to the course of emissions reduction to the scale required of them by the binding Kyoto protocol. The US even opposed the Kyoto protocol itself. Nigerian and indeed African representatives at any future submit must bear in mind this question. Why is it that after any agreement reached at a Conference of Parties, it takes many years later before it is being fully ratified by just a few countries? Food for thought indeed! The Kyoto protocol took eight years to get ratified!!

It is obvious from the Warsaw conference that the developed economies are less interested in talks about Climate Change and commitments to any binding agreement. This is why they will explore the process of fracking to get more Oil and Gas from planet earth, pollute more to satisfy their ever growing energy needs. The lesson is, developed economies are more concerned about energy sustainability and will go to any length to meet this desire, even it means impacting negatively on the environment. If they had more Oil and Gas reserves, no one will talk about Climate Change, at least not for now. What happens in the meanwhile is that individual nations return to ramp up development of their infrastructure by “polluting” the earth knowing full well, and indeed, very well, that the time left to do same is reduced.

e-mail:oyebanjoidowu@yahoo.com

Telephone: +44-7985682587