Nigeria has since 1992, given prominence to handling of climate change issues through the establishment of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) in 1988.
The administration of climate change in Nigeria was first identified and situated in the Department of Planning and Evaluation under the defunct Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) as part of the mandate of the Agency. In line with the mandate, FEPA led the Nigeria delegation to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992 and signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which was opened for signature at the Conference.
Since then and after the ratification of the Convention in 1994, the Agency has been the National Focal Point for implementing the Convention. The agency also led the Nigeria delegation to the First Conference of Parties to the Convention (COP-1) held in Berlin, Germany in 1995 and all through to the negotiations that culminated into the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan.
To further demonstrate serious commitment to the issue of environmental protection and conservation of natural resources, the Federal Government established Federal Ministry of Environment at the advent of the democratic dispensation in 1999. The Ministry continued with the overall mandate for protecting Nigeria’s environment and the conservation of its natural resources. With this development, Climate Change Unit was relocated to the Department of Environmental Assessment.Nigeria ratified the Kyoto Protocol in December, 2004 with its attendant expanded activities as a Party to both the Convention and the Protocol.
Consequently, there arose the need to holistically coordinate the two treaties. In recognition of the expanded functions of the Unit and to ensure consistency and co-ordination in the implementation of the Convention and the Protocol, the Special Climate Change Unit was established following approval by the former President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo,GCFR, in 2006 having fused the functions of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Clean Development Mechanism (PIC-CDM) and the former Climate Change Unit of the Environmental Assessment Department. The Unit is now situated in the office of the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Environment.