Symposium on Energy, Climate Change and the Environment in Nigeria: National and International Dimensions

A collaborative project between University of Reading UK and University of Benin, Nigeria

Location: University of Benin, Nigeria
Dates: 23 - 26 September 2012

Oil rig

Symposium Rationale

Nigeria faces increasing and multiple developmental pressure due to climate change and lack of access to energy. Through its severe negative impacts on economic, social and the natural environment, climate change could reverse decades of development efforts and further limit the resources available to fight poverty in the country. Although Nigeria produces large volumes of oil and natural gas, the majority of its population are still without electricity.

While successive governments have professed addressing energy poverty as their priority, this objective has yet to be realised due to complex finance, capacity and governance challenges. Increased energy provision could lead to increased carbon emission which in turn could worsen climate vulnerability. A major challenge for Nigeria over the next decade or so is how to increase energy access and promote sustainable resource management while at the same time addressing the challenges of environmental degradation associated with oil exploration and climate change.

Traffic congestion in NigeriaThe present government has recently established an Energy and Environment Centre at the University of Benin with the mandate to conduct research on several technical and policy questions on the subject of renewable energy, climate change and environmental degradation.

This symposium will bring together leading scholars on energy, climate and the environment, key policy makers, funding organizations, company executives and practitioners to take stock and discuss best approaches for advancing research and practice.

The Questions that scholars will address during the conference are:

  • What are the key issues in energy, climate change and environmental degradation in Nigeria?
  • What are the urgent research and knowledge gaps needed to advance understanding and action?
  • What are the areas that are best tackled through collaborative research projects between Nigerian and UK scholars; and
  • What are the best approaches to take in developing concrete research proposals and seeking funding?

Symposium Objectives

The broad objectives of the workshops are to:

  1. Enable in-depth interaction and exchange of knowledge among scholars that are working on the issues at the interface of Energy, Climate Change and the Environment;
  2. Provide a forum for scholars from both universities to scope out the field and discuss relevant existing and emerging areas of research - especially the ones that can be best tackled through collaborative research projects;
  3. Enable discussions about concrete research ideas, how best to build collaborative research projects and which funding bodies to approach.
  4. Consolidate plans on short training course on climate and energy provisioning for the key stakeholders in Nigeria.

Symposium Format

The first day of the symposium will feature high level presentations from governments, leaders of international organisations and business executives. The aim will be to build networks and get insiders' perspectives from governments and relevant funding agencies. The remaining two days will be devoted to in-depth discussions to identify concrete research ideas and decide how to deal with relevant operational issues including management and timelines.

Scientific Steering Committee

Professor Lawrence Ezemonye, Director, National Centre for Energy and the Environment, University of Benin, Nigeria

Dr Chukwumerije Okereke, Reader in Environment and Development, School of Human and Environmental Sciences, University of Reading, UK

Professor Anthony Ebeigbe, Executive Director, Global Educational Initiative for Nigeria and Director of International Engagement, University of Benin, Nigeria

Professor Chris Collins, Reader in Soil Science, School of Human and Environmental Sciences, University of Reading, UK

Key Partners

University of Benin is one of the most prestigious centres of learning in Nigeria. It was ranked the first in the current nation-wide university research assessment exercise (2010-2011). Their strength in energy and environmental studies is well recognised in Nigeria and the entire West Africa. Given its location in the oil rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria, the University of Benin (with the co-operation of Reading) can play a crucial role in helping to find ways of solving some the greatest development challenges facing African biggest economy.

The University of Reading is a world renowned research intensive university. It has global reputation for high quality research and teaching on Metrology, Agriculture and Development, Climate Change, Energy and Environmental Management.

Symposium Sponsors

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