The Intersection of Economic Policies and Climate Change: A Case Study on Nigeria's Refinery Operations and Global Temperature Records

Feranmi Olaseinde

Hatched by Feranmi Olaseinde

Aug 16, 2023

3 min read


The Intersection of Economic Policies and Climate Change: A Case Study on Nigeria's Refinery Operations and Global Temperature Records


In recent news, the Port Harcourt Refinery in Nigeria is set to commence operations by December, according to the national presidents of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress. Meanwhile, global average temperatures have reached alarming levels, highlighting the detrimental effects of carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels. This article will explore the intersection of economic policies, specifically in the context of refinery operations, and its impact on climate change.

The Paradox of Refinery Operations:

One cannot help but question the timing of the Port Harcourt Refinery's revival. Critics argue that this should have been done before removing fuel subsidies, as the refinery has already consumed a significant amount of financial resources with a slow pace of progress. Had the refinery been operational earlier, it could have potentially mitigated the inflationary effects of removing subsidies. However, now that the damage has been done, inflation has already occurred, and the prices of commodities are unlikely to come down significantly.

The Dangote Refinery Dilemma:

Another factor to consider is the competition between the Port Harcourt Refinery and the Dangote Refinery, which is currently under construction. The order in which these refineries begin operations will have a significant impact on the market dynamics. If the Port Harcourt Refinery resumes production before the Dangote Refinery, the latter will have to adjust its prices according to the market, potentially becoming a price taker. On the other hand, if the Dangote Refinery starts operations first, it will have the power to set prices, which may not come down even with the Port Harcourt Refinery's entry into the market.

The Political Game:

Critics argue that politicians often prioritize their own interests rather than considering the welfare of the general population. They claim that decisions regarding refinery operations and subsidies should have been made more strategically, with the aim of benefiting the Nigerian economy as a whole. This raises concerns about the fairness of economic policies and the potential for politicians to manipulate the system for personal gain.

The Climate Change Conundrum:

While the focus has primarily been on the economic implications of refinery operations, it is crucial to acknowledge the broader context of climate change. The burning of fossil fuels, such as those used in refineries, contributes to carbon emissions, which in turn drive global warming. The recent record-breaking global average temperatures serve as a stark reminder of the urgent need to transition to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources.

Connecting the Dots:

By examining the connection between refinery operations and climate change, it becomes evident that economic policies have far-reaching consequences. The decision to revive the Port Harcourt Refinery, albeit delayed, can potentially impact both the economy and the environment. It is essential for policymakers to consider a holistic approach that balances economic growth with sustainable practices.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Invest in Renewable Energy: Governments and private entities should prioritize investments in renewable energy sources to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and mitigate the impact of climate change. This transition can create new job opportunities and foster economic growth while addressing environmental concerns.
  • 2. Foster Collaboration: Policymakers, industry leaders, and environmental activists should come together to develop comprehensive strategies that consider both economic and environmental factors. Collaboration can lead to innovative solutions that promote sustainable development without compromising economic stability.
  • 3. Increase Awareness and Education: Educating the public about the consequences of carbon emissions and the importance of sustainable practices is crucial. This can drive individual actions and consumer choices that contribute to a more sustainable future.


The case of Nigeria's refinery operations and the record-breaking global average temperatures highlight the complex interplay between economic policies and climate change. It is imperative for policymakers, industry leaders, and citizens to recognize the long-term implications of their decisions and work towards sustainable solutions. By investing in renewable energy, fostering collaboration, and increasing awareness, we can strive for a future where economic growth and environmental preservation go hand in hand.

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