Published 15 August 2023
The use of gas in an unsustainable manner including through flaring has exacerbated the emission of greenhouse gases. Recent trends in energy transition including the international climate change regime have necessitated Nigeria to adopt measures to mitigate the emission of greenhouse gases in its energy sector. One such measure is the adoption of a net zero emission target in the Country from 2050-2070 under the Climate Change Act 2021 and other decarbonisation targets under Energy Transition Plan (ETP) 2022, National Energy Policy 2022 and, the National Energy Master Plan 2022. The Petroleum Industry Act 2021 and ancillary regulations were also adopted as necessary primers to achieve decarbonisation of the sector through the abatement of gas flaring. This article interrogates the extent of the mentioned relevant laws and policies in decarbonising the gas sector by abating flaring given Nigeria’s commitments under the international climate change regime. It finds that while the policies and legal frameworks have gone a long way in gas flaring abatement, several factors whittle down its effectiveness. Among the positive attributes identified for this purpose include the outright prohibition of gas flaring with defaulters liable to pay heinous pecuniary penalties, the establishment of a market route for the utilisation of associated gas, a mandatory system of reporting and a regulator which is independent of the regulated. However, some of the lapses identified are the discretion given to the regulator to permit gas flaring including for strategic operational reasons and an apparent lack of enforcement. The paper concludes with some key recommendations including commitment to implementing the necessary policies and laws.