Climate change in Nigeria
Nigeria is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change in the world . The stability of its food systems is under serious threat from climate change . The extreme conditions caused by climate change (such as floods, drought, reduced soil fertility, pests and diseases) have led to reduced crop yields . Climate change is matter of life and death as majority of Nigerians depend on rain-fed agriculture for their income .
How is Olam addressing climate change?
Olam has a few climate change initiatives. First of all, Olam is working to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from its farming and processing operations. It understands that agriculture is the biggest producer of greenhouse gas emissions in Nigeria. With its leverage as a major buyer of agricultural produce, Olam is motivating its suppliers (farmers) to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions .
Greenhouse gas emissions in Nigeria by sector 
Climate Change is a threat to Olam’s business. For its agricultural operations, it is working on climate resilience and adaptation techniques to mitigate against the negative effects of extreme weather conditions. Examples of adaptation techniques include planting of shade trees and using various landscape methods to increase water retention in soil.
Agricultural produce, Olam’s raw material, may see significant changes in quantity, quality and price due to the impacts of climate change. For example, the crop yields of farmers who supply Olam may be reduced due to water scarcity. Olam is collaborating with over four million farmers to modify their farming techniques to mitigate the risks of climate change or adapt to the effects of climate change.
Cocoa landscape in West Africa (Click on image for better quality) 
What else should Olam consider?
Olam stands to benefit from its climate change program. There is an obvious benefit of mitigating its supply chain risks. This may be a source of significant competitive advantage. The use of more sustainable agricultural practices and food production systems should also boost Olam’s reputation in markets where it operates.
In December 2015, Nigeria, with over 190 other countries, submitted a pledge to the Paris Climate Summit to reduce its contribution to emissions by 45 percent by 2030 . To encourage sustainability initiatives, Nigeria may in the future reward firms that develop sustainable value chains in Nigeria and reduce greenhouse gas emissions with tax breaks, for example.
Olam should emphasize its support for tackling climate change in Nigeria by channeling sum of its corporate social responsibility funds to support Nigeria’s climate change research to, for example, develop seeds that thrive in certain extreme conditions common in Nigeria.
What can Nigeria learn?
While agriculture in Nigeria suffers from climate change, it is also a leading producer of greenhouse gas emissions. Agricultural practices such as fertilizer use and deforestation contribute to emissions . Nigeria should use policy to discourage farmers from employing practices that have significant negative impact on the environment.
Nigeria should also establish a unit in its Department of Climate Change (Ministry of Environment) to coordinate the activities of non-profits and companies (such as Olam) working on climate change to maximize efficiency. This unit should also propose and advertise turnkey climate change projects for nonprofits and companies to lead or sponsor.
Olam has shown that companies are willing to invest in tackling climate change. Nigeria may exploit the corporate social responsibility (CSR) allocations of companies to fund climate change programs. Some countries, such as India, take advantage of CSR funds to run social programs. India, in fact, mandates CSR by imposing a two percent tax on profits .
Through its climate change program, Olam has shown that there is a business case for companies to employ sustainable practices and fight climate change. Nigeria needs to encourage more companies to develop such programs so that it may reduce the impact of climate change on its citizens and meet its emission targets for 2030.
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 IPCC, 2007. Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, New York: Cambridge University Press
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 IFPRI, 2010. Enhancing agricultural productivity and profitability in Nigeria, Abuja: International Food Policy Research Institute.
 Olam, 2016. How is Olam contributing to the international two degrees Celsius target goal? [Online] Available at: http://olamgroup.com/sustainability/sustainability-reports/crs-report-2015/material-areas/climate-change/olam-contributing-international-2oc-target-goal/ [Accessed 1 November 2016].
 WRI, 2005. Climate Analysis Indicators Tool, Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.
 Noponen, M., 2016. Supporting Cocoa smallholders to transcend the boundaries of climate change. [Online] Available at: http://olamgroup.com/blog/supporting-cocoa-smallholders-transcend-boundaries-climate-change-2/ [Accessed 1 November 2016].
 UNFCC, 2015. INDC. [Online] Available at: http://www4.unfccc.int/submissions/indc/Submission%20Pages/submissions.aspx [Accessed 1 December 2016]
 FAO, 2014. Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use Emissions by Sources and Removals by Sinks, Rome: United Nations.
 Banerjee, J., 2013. India Mandates Corporate Social Responsibility: The 2 Percent Bill, New York: GBCHealth.
Cover image and description:
Olam, 2016. Olam Sustainability: Climate Change. [Online] Available at: http://olamgroup.com/sustainability/sustainability-reports/crs-report-2015/material-areas/climate-change/ [Accessed 1 November 2016].