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Energy and Agriculture: Key Factors to Methane Emission 

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By Okoko Chidozie Christian

[email protected]; 09025179984.

Methane as the main ingredient in natural gas production is a major source of global emission alongside agriculture and waste management.

Energy and Agriculture: Key Factors to Methane Emission 

Targeting fossil fuels, waste and agriculture can bring a significant reduction in the overall greenhouse gas emissions.

Agriculture being the predominant source of methane, livestock emission from manure and gastro enteric release accounts for roughly 32% of human–caused emissions.

Though, agricultural methane does not only come from animals, also paddy rice cultivation–where flooded fields prevents oxygen from being penetrated into the soil, creates ideal conditions for methane, thus emits bacteria which accounts for another 8% of human-linked emissions, study reveals.

A big deal about methane is that: as a primary contributor to the formation of ground-level ozone-a hazardous air pollutant and greenhouse gas, exposes about 1 million premature people to death. Also, about 80 times more potent at warming the earth than carbon-dioxide, CO2.

Methane has accounted for roughly 30% of global warming since the pre-industrial times, and it is proliferating faster than at any other time since record keeping began in the 1800s. According to data from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, even as carbon-dioxide emission decelerated during the pandemic-related lockdown of the COVID-19 in the year 2020, atmospheric methane shifted up.

Recently, on how to reduce methane emission, James Lomax, adviser to UNEP Food Systems and Agriculture says “the world needs to begin by rethinking our approaches to agricultural cultivation and livestock production”. That will include: leveraging new technology shifting towards plant-rich diets and embracing alternative sources of protein.

Carbon-dioxide remains in the atmosphere for hundreds to thousands of years. This means that even if emissions were immediately and dramatically reduced, it would not have an effect in the climate until later in the century. But, it takes only about a decade for methane to breakdown. So, reducing methane emissions would have an impact on the near-future, and it is critical to help keep the world on a path to 1.50C. Also, it will be a way out if humanity is to slash greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming to 1.50C – a target by the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

Looking at the farmer’s corner, farmers can provide animals with more nutritious feed for large and healthier productivity. Research gathered that scientists are experimenting with alternative types of feed to reduce the methane production by cows, and looking at ways to manage manure efficiently by using it to produce biogas-(a gas with high methane content).

However, when it comes to staple crops like paddy rice, experts recommend alternative wetting and drying approach that could reduce emissions rather than allowing the continuous flooding of fields. For example, paddy rice cultivation could be irrigated or drained two or three times throughout the growing season, thereby limiting methane production without impacting yield. That process will also require 1/3 less water, making it more economical.

Human-caused methane emissions could be replaced by as much as 45% within the decade. This would also improve health, and avert nearly 0.30C of global warming by 2045 helping to limit global temperature rise to 1.50C, and putting the planet on track to achieve the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

Subsequently, the yearly reduction of ground–level ozone would also prevent 260,000 asthma–related hospital visits, 73billion hours of labour from extreme heat, and 25million tons of crop losses.

Moreover, the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres convened the UN Food System Summit in September, 2012 which aimed at helping farmers and food production more environmentally friendly. Hence, the UN’s Joint Work on Agriculture is supporting transformation of agricultural and food systems, focusing on how to maintain productivity amidst a changing climate.

According to Mark Brownstein, Senior Vice President of Environmental Defense Fund “reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas industry is the fastest way to slow the rate of global warming that we feel today”. Cutting methane can also slow warming right now, but scientists explains that if there is success in a rapid, full-scale effort, then there is a chance to actually experience the benefit fast in our lifetime.

The International body through research and advocacy are drawing actions to cut methane pollutions from the energy and agricultural sectors for over a decade, and are building a Methane-Tracking Satellite to help scale reduction by at least 30% by 2030. September 7th every year has been isolated for the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies. This day aimed at raising awareness and facilitating actions to improve air quality.

It is a global call to find new ways of doing things to reduce the amount of air pollution we cause; and ensure that everyone, everywhere can enjoy their right to breathe clean air.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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AfriLabs, Korea-Africa Foundation in Strategic Partnership to Boost African Innovation

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African hubs network AfriLabs has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Korea-Africa Foundation for a strategic partnership aimed at driving innovation and economic growth across the continent.

AfriLabs is a network organisation that is committed to driving innovation and entrepreneurship on the continent by bringing together technology hubs, startups, investors, and other key stakeholders in the ecosystem.

Having recently announced the admission of 16 new hubs, AfriLabs now has a network of 478 hubs across 260 cities in 53 African nations.

The Korea-Africa Foundation, meanwhile, aims to serve as a platform for collaboration between the private and public sectors, and to strengthen exchange and cooperation with African countries.

The collaboration between the two aims to bridge the gap between Korean and African startups by leveraging each other’s expertise and resources. This will be achieved through the exchange of insights on youth development, the launch of joint research initiatives, and the fostering of a dynamic ecosystem that cultivates talent and entrepreneurial spirit in both regions.

“At AfriLabs, we are dedicated to unlocking Africa’s full potential and generating wealth through strategic alliances. This partnership with the Korea-Africa Foundation unlocks a treasure trove of opportunities for startups, granting them access to a global network, invaluable resources, and unparalleled industry knowledge.

“Together, we will empower the next generation of African innovators and entrepreneurs, paving the way for sustainable development and a thriving economy,” said Anna Ekeledo, executive director of AfriLabs.


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$750m World Bank Loan:  FG May Reintroduce Telcoms, Gambling Taxes

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Federal government may reintroduce the controversial telecom tax and other fiscal measures to fulfill one of the conditions for The World Bank’s fresh $750 million loan to Nigeria.

$750m World Bank Loan:  FG May Reintroduce Telcoms, Gambling Taxes

Experts have however strongly opposed new taxes, calling them harmful to the sector’s survival and the larger economy.

But The World Bank in programme appraisal document, dated May 17, 2024, on the loan disbursement to Nigeria, said that $750 million loan to Nigeria will support the federal government’s policy reforms.

A copy of the plan’s document posted on the World Bank website indicated that the government might reintroduce the excises on telecom services, and EMT levy on electronic money transfers through the Nigerian Banking System among other taxes.

Recall that on June 13, Wale Edun, minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, announced the approval of two financial support packages by the World Bank valued at $2.25 billion.

The loan consists of $1.5 billion for Nigeria’s reforms for economic stabilisation to enable transformation (RESET) development policy financing program (DPF) and $750 million for Nigeria’s accelerating resource mobilisation reforms (ARMOR) program-for-results (PforR).

In the programme appraisal document, the World Bank said the ARMOR programme contains revenue policy measures such as raising pro-health taxes on tobacco, and alcohol.

The Bretton Woods institution also said the programme contains the introduction of taxes on online betting and gambling, as well as new excise on telecommunication services.

Experts have however warned that these taxes would have severe consequences for investment and the operational viability of telecom companies.

According to them, higher taxes would hinder digitalization efforts, which are crucial for economic growth.

The proposed tax measures, according to the industry, are not only damaging to the telecom sector but also to the broader economy.

 

 


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EFCC, Flutterwave to Establish Cybercrime Centre for Security of Transactions

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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Flutterwave, unicorn payments technology company have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to establish and a state-of-the-art Cybercrime Research Centre.

EFCC, Flutterwave to Establish Cybercrime Centre for Security of Transactions

Areas of focus of the centre include advanced fraud detection and prevention, policy development, as well as youth empowerment.

The fintech company with fortunes worth over $1bn headquartered in San Francisco with footprints in Nigeria and other African countries said the centre would also provide a “sustainable lifeline to youths across the country”.

To this effect, the Silicon Valley-based company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the anti-graft agency in Abuja.

Ola Olukoyede, chairman, EFCC; Olugbenga Agboola, founder, Flutterwave; Christopher Gray, director of Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI); and other senior officials from both the EFCC and the FBI witnessed the signing of the MoU

Specifically, the MoU was signed by Mohammadu Hammajoda, secretary, EFCC and Agboolaof Flutterwave.

Olukoyede said, “This partnership marks a significant leap forward in our efforts to combat financial crimes and ensure a secure financial landscape for Nigerians. The Cybercrime Research Centre will significantly enhance our capabilities to prevent, detect, and prosecute financial crimes.”

On his part, Agboola said, “This initiative underscores our commitment to creating a fraud-free financial ecosystem and leading the charge in safeguarding transactions across Africa.

“We applaud the EFCC’s relentless efforts to combat internet fraud and other illicit activities in the financial sector.”

The Cybercrime Research Centre, to be established at the new EFCC Academy in Abuja, would serve as a hub for advanced research, training, and capacity building in the fight against financial crimes.

Areas of focus of the centre include advanced fraud detection and prevention, collaborative research and policy development, youth empowerment and capacity building, technological advancement and resource enablement, among other key areas.

“Advanced Fraud Detection and Prevention: Developing and implementing cutting-edge technologies to detect and prevent financial fraud. The centre will offer comprehensive training for law enforcement and industry professionals to combat modern financial crimes effectively.

“Collaborative Research and Policy Development: Engaging in joint research initiatives and policy formulation to enhance the understanding and regulation of financial crime. The centre will provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and best practices between the public and private sectors.

“Youth Empowerment and Capacity Building: Providing high-end training and research opportunities for 500 youths, equipping them with the skills needed to navigate and excel in the digital economy.

“Technological Advancement and Resource Enablement: Creating a repository of advanced tools, technologies, and resources to support financial crime investigations, including protocols for addressing emerging threats such as cryptocurrency-related crimes,” the statement concluded.

Birthed in 2016 by Agboola, fondly referred to as GB, Flutterwave, with its corporate headquarters in San Francisco and operational head office in Lagos State, grew within a short time, penetrating the African market with customisable payments applications through its unique Application Programming Interface.

 

 


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