Population, Technology and Social Inequality: The Impact of the Dynamic Trio on Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Nigeria


  • John Lekan Oyefara


Population, Technology, Social Inequality, Climate Change, Nigeria


The issues around climate change have remained at the centre of developmental discourse
most especially in the past two decades for obvious reasons. Human activities such as burning
of fossil fuels, coal and various energy-related emissions from bush burning, cooking and
usage of various machines that produce smoke result in the building up of greenhouse gases
(GHGs), such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbon and methane in the
atmosphere, lead to global warming of the earth surface and rising sea levels with devastating
consequences that threaten the existence of humanity and earth. The paper examines the nexus
between population, technology, social inequality and climate change in Nigeria. To achieve
these objectives, eclectic research methodology was adopted using documentary secondary
data. The theoretical underpinning of the paper was derived from the integration of biological,
economic and social models as explanatory tools. The paper observed and posited that the
interactions between population growth rate and size with evolution and diffusion of
technology across cultures and entrenched social inequalities are major factors responsible for
rapid climate change and its associated consequences. In Nigeria, the effects of climate change
are already being felt with unprecedented floods, rendering many people homeless, devastating
massive farmlands and population dislocation. Using the UNFPA’s framework of agenda, the
paper suggests that the current Nigerian national population growth rate should be contained,
the lifestyles most especially the adoption and utilization of technology should be modified,
social inequality should be reduced, while various laws on environmental sustainability should
be strictly enforced.