The International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED) is marking its twentieth anniversary. The centre seeks to bring prosperity to Nigeria’s poor through energy and climate change ideas and action. ICEED has become a leading source of information and analysis on sustainable development in Nigeria. It has built some of the most influential partnerships for expanding access to pro-poor energy services and responding to the climate crisis.
As the Centre celebrates its twentieth anniversary, it takes stock of effort to address energy poverty and reform the country’s response to climate change. Together with the World Bank, ICEED worked on the first ever rural electrification strategy for Nigeria in 2001, and since provided technical assistance for the establishment of the Rural Electrification Agency and the Rural Electrification Fund.
According to Ewah Eleri, Executive Director of ICEED, “Over the years of its establishment, ICEED has helped to raise and sustain the momentum for energy access in Nigeria. We supported the Energy Commission of Nigeria in the development of the Renewable Energy Master Plan – an investment framework for expanding the renewable energy industry. With funding from the UK Government’s Department for International Development, ICEED consultants designed the award-wining Solar Nigeria project”. ICEED also formed and launched the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. Today according to the organisation, over five million clean cookstoves have been distributed by partners.
Energy poverty has however become endemic in Nigeria. Over 20 million households are without electricity. Seventy percent of all households cook in traditional open fire. Lack of access to affordable and sustainable energy source is an important impediment to growth and development in Nigeria.
The issues of access to energy services and climate change are linked. ICEED has influenced Nigeria’s response to the challenges of climate change. The think tank formed and launched the Nigeria Climate Action Network under the chairmanship of former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke. According to Mr Eleri, “over the years, we provided the research that underpinned Nigeria’s positions on climate change negotiations and trained the country’s negotiators. Together with partners, we have helped broaden the participation of non-state actors in Nigeria’s response to climate change, and brought behaviour change communication to the Nigerian public”.
ICEED has also responded to the humanitarian challenge posed by Boko Haram terrorism in the North East. According to Mr Eleri, “ensuring safe and sustainable access to energy is important for crisis-affected populations. Together with Food and Agricultural Organisation, the centre initiated and launched the Safe Access to Fuels and Energy (SAFE)”. The SAFE Nigeria partnership aims to deliver clean cooking and lighting solutions to one million people in Northeast Nigeria by 2020.
As the organisation takes stock of its work in the past 20 years, it also takes aim of the next 20 years. How can our stewardship of energy resources help us meet the Sustainable Development Goals and beyond? What new visions do we see in the horizon; and what should ICEED’s priorities be? The centre brought together its partners to identify new opportunities for shaping a sustainable future for Nigeria and its people in the next 20 years.