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Shift from fossil industry more beneficial for Nigeria’s economy – Ministry, NGO

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The Ministry of Environment and the Coalition for Socio-Economic Transformation (COSET) say the shift from the fossil industry will benefit Nigeria economically and help solve the challenges of climate change.
They made the claim on Friday in Abuja at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Nigeria following the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) held in Glasgow in 2021.
The post-COP 26 meeting was to address the group Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Nigeria and COSET on climate change commitment for the year.
Environment Minister Mohammad Abubakar said climate change remains the greatest threat to human health in recorded history, affecting lives and livelihoods.
Abubakar, representing Abiola-Awe, Deputy Director and Head of the Greenhouse Gas Inventory Division of the Department of Climate Change, said therefore ways to address it needed to be found.
According to him, the nation lives under the incessant threat of intensifying maximum and minimum temperatures, rising sea levels, droughts, storms, heat waves, forest fires, hurricanes and warming oceans. .
The minister said these effects could directly harm life, destroy habitats and create challenges for livelihoods and communities.
He said it was in this context that COP26 on the 2021 Glasgow Climate Pact had four overarching goals that guided the course of the negotiations and the key outcomes.
He said these are to ensure global net zero, keep warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach;  adapt to protect communities and natural habitats;  mobilize resources and work together to deliver.
“The main commitments of the COP26 are to curb methane emissions and reverse the loss of forests;  align the financial sector to net zero by 2050;  accelerate the phase-out of coal and the phase-out of fossil fuels.
“There is no doubt that, with the right investments, it aims to make the production processes more friendly to the environment and with less use of natural resources.
“There will be millions of jobs for young people in the green economy, more than there have ever been in the fossil fuel industry.
“Regardless of our heavy reliance on oil, the 'fossil' jobs that may be lost under the energy transition plan will be compensated as renewable energy brings crucial benefits to the environment, society and the economy” , He said.
Abubakar further said that the ministry would partner with youth as it recognizes the central role they play in bringing about climate action in Nigeria.
He said that the ministry was certifying the participation of young people and the integration of its innovative green strategies in the just transition implementation procedure.
Rev. Father.  Edward Obi, one of the founding members of COSET, said the global community knew that climate change was a reality that was crippling nations faster than they were creating structures to counter it.
According to Obi, climate change is real and the effects are visible.
“Countering climate change must be a regional effort because the impact is not the same all over the world and each region must be empowered to take measures to counteract it.
“This is what we are doing in the various regions and Nigeria in particular has to lead by example.
“Our fossil fuel industry is self-defeating if we take into consideration the global scheme of things, yes we are a mono economy and we depend only on oil and gas.
Shift from fossil industry more beneficial for Nigeria’s economy – Ministry, NGO

The Ministry of Environment and the Coalition for Socio-Economic Transformation (COSET) say the shift from the fossil industry will benefit Nigeria economically and help solve the challenges of climate change.

They made the claim on Friday in Abuja at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Nigeria following the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) held in Glasgow in 2021.

The post-COP 26 meeting was to address the group Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Nigeria and COSET on climate change commitment for the year.

Environment Minister Mohammad Abubakar said climate change remains the greatest threat to human health in recorded history, affecting lives and livelihoods.

Abubakar, representing Abiola-Awe, Deputy Director and Head of the Greenhouse Gas Inventory Division of the Department of Climate Change, said therefore ways to address it needed to be found.

According to him, the nation lives under the incessant threat of intensifying maximum and minimum temperatures, rising sea levels, droughts, storms, heat waves, forest fires, hurricanes and warming oceans. .

The minister said these effects could directly harm life, destroy habitats and create challenges for livelihoods and communities.

He said it was in this context that COP26 on the 2021 Glasgow Climate Pact had four overarching goals that guided the course of the negotiations and the key outcomes.

He said these are to ensure global net zero, keep warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach; adapt to protect communities and natural habitats; mobilize resources and work together to deliver.

“The main commitments of the COP26 are to curb methane emissions and reverse the loss of forests; align the financial sector to net zero by 2050; accelerate the phase-out of coal and the phase-out of fossil fuels.

“There is no doubt that, with the right investments, it aims to make the production processes more friendly to the environment and with less use of natural resources.

“There will be millions of jobs for young people in the green economy, more than there have ever been in the fossil fuel industry.

“Regardless of our heavy reliance on oil, the ‘fossil’ jobs that may be lost under the energy transition plan will be compensated as renewable energy brings crucial benefits to the environment, society and the economy” , He said.

Abubakar further said that the ministry would partner with youth as it recognizes the central role they play in bringing about climate action in Nigeria.

He said that the ministry was certifying the participation of young people and the integration of its innovative green strategies in the just transition implementation procedure.

Rev. Father. Edward Obi, one of the founding members of COSET, said the global community knew that climate change was a reality that was crippling nations faster than they were creating structures to counter it.

According to Obi, climate change is real and the effects are visible.

“Countering climate change must be a regional effort because the impact is not the same all over the world and each region must be empowered to take measures to counteract it.

“This is what we are doing in the various regions and Nigeria in particular has to lead by example.

“Our fossil fuel industry is self-defeating if we take into consideration the global scheme of things, yes we are a mono economy and we depend only on oil and gas.

“However, in the long term, oil and gas are at loggerheads and we need to diversify now, not tomorrow,” he said.

Obi said that Nigeria needed to diversify its economy to have the capacity and resilience to be able to withstand what was to come in the future.

He said that unless the nation diversifies its economy, it will find itself digging deeper into crude oil while its environment is being polluted beyond redemption.

He advised the nation to create a system that would gradually shift away from the oil and gas industry and invest in cleaner energy sources.

In addition, Mr. Ken Henshaw, a member of COSET, urged Nigeria to show its experience and find solutions to curb climate change.

Henshaw said Nigeria was facing a climate change crisis in almost every region, including increasing flood patterns along the coastal slabs of the Niger Delta and other parts of southern Nigeria.

He said that people were losing their livelihoods and witnessing increased salinization.

“We are seeing water sucking up farmland and destroying livelihoods, we are seeing changes in rain patterns, it rained in Port Harcourt in January 2020 and it rained on December 25, 2021 in Calabar.

“These are all changing patterns and with the rain patterns changing, with the seasons changing and altering effectively, our agricultural system will also be destroyed.

“Several investigations have clearly said that the foods we consume in Africa, most often such as maize, sorghum and cereals in general, will be terribly affected by climate change,” he said.

Henshaw further said that in addition to the flooding on the southern and central coast of Nigeria, there were also effects such as the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast.

“Why did Boko Haram start in Borno? Climate change is attributed to the drying up of Lake Chad, as it is a center for fishing, agriculture and irrigation.

“So as the lake has shrunk, ranchers can no longer graze their cattle and farmers can no longer farm, as can fishermen.

“So homelessness sets in and every time misery sets in, it’s easier to radicalize people and make them adopt extreme ideologies,” he said.

The COSET member advised Nigeria to view climate change as a threat and take serious steps to find ways to curb its challenges, especially by addressing oil drilling.

He said this was not the time to invest more in extraction because it was bad for people and the environment.

“That’s what we’re doing. What’s our plan to stop burning gas, what’s our plan to stop burning fossils at all and how are we thinking about getting out of dependence on oil?” he asked.

Henshaw also advised Nigeria to start thinking about creating an economy that goes beyond oil and draft plans on how to curb climate change and shrink the economy.

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Source: NAN

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