Prof Chukwumerije Okereke, Leed, Nigeria, Deep Decarbonisation Pathways (DDP) project, says that Nigeria requires clear, quantifiable policies to achieve 50 per cent emission reduction by 2050. Okereke said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of a webinar on Nigeria’s Long–Term Low Emission Development Strategy (LT-LEDS), monitored in Lagos.
The theme of the webinar is “Understanding Nigeria’s Long- Term Vision 2050(LTV 2050) and the Elaboration of the Long-Term Low Emissions Development Strategy (LT-LEDS).
Okereke said that the LT-LEDS were strategies used by countries all over the world to plan how they can achieve economic development thereby reducing emissions across all sectors of the economy.
According to him, the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), talks about emission reduction up on to 2030. “Generally, the LT-LEDS thinks about emission reduction up on to 2050. “The Nigerian Government wanted to do an LT-LEDS, but because they did not have the modeling tools and capabilities and because of the brevity of time, decided to do a Long Term Vision (LTV).
“The LTV describes the future whereby 20502060, Nigeria will be a circular economy, well developed and will have a robust climate resilience systems, where emissions will be very low, down by 50 per cent,” he said.
He said that the LE-LEDS provides a clearly defined; quantifiable, measureable, analytically robust and rigorous pathway through which the LTV could be achieved in 2050. Speaking on ways to key into the vision of the LTV, Okereke said that climate change affects everyone and people could play a part in all sorts of different ways.
“If you recycle waste, if you reuse, if you plant trees, if you use solar panels, if you walk instead of driving; all of these things are ways of minimising the generation of emissions by individuals.
“If you switch off your generators when you don’t need them, practice organic farming; they all reduce wastes and emissions, so these are the things that individuals can do.
“The other things individuals can do is in terms of their eating pattern, because a lot of emissions come from cows; so people who eat vegetarian diets tend also to reduce their carbon footprint,” Okereke said.
He said that large scale emissions come from industrial deforestation, gas flaring, haulage, shipping, aviation and transportation.
Okereke said that the task before the government was to come up with robust policies and implement them to help individuals to always take action to reduce their emissions.
According to him, the job of the LT-LEDS is to show what kind of actions, policies and investments that government and individuals can make to reduce emissions.
“Part of the problems with the country is that we throw policies around without costing them; they don’t have a good understanding of the economics of the policies.
“The environmental, economic and social benefits of those policies should be quantified.
“The LT-LEDS have to quantify some of these policies and show in a clear way how these actions and measures can be taken to achieve our ambitious target of net zero emissions by 2050,” Okereke said.
On the position of Nigeria as an oil producing country vis-à-vis its vision at decarbonisation and net zero emissions, Okereke said that Nigeria is in a difficult condition as it relates to climate change.
He said that Nigeria, as an oil dependent state earns about 85-87 per cent of its foreign exchange from oil.
He said that with the global transitioning to green growth, many countries are making efforts to wean themselves out of oil “This means that long-term future value of oil may crash and Nigeria may cease to gain less from the extraction and sale of oil.
“At the same time, Nigeria is very vulnerable to climate change, so it needs to act quickly to build economic resilience.
“If more nations move away from oil as we envisage and rigorous ambitious climate policies are enacted across the nations, that is going to be catastrophic for Nigeria because of the dwindling resources and massive unemployment that will result,” Okereke said.
The professor said that Nigeria has a comparative advantage in wind and solar resources which the country can annex to its advantage.
He said that to annex renewable energy, the country requires the political will and the right caliber of people to make it happen.
“What is required is the 5Ps, People, Policy, Plan, Platform and Politics, without this, you just talk and talk and nothing happens,” Okereke said.
Earlier, Dr Salisu Dahiru, the Director-General, National Climate Change Commission, commended Okereke for his presentation.
Dahiru also expressed gratitude to President Mohammadu Buhari for his wisdom in resuscitating the Act and believing in the ability of the commission to deliver on its mandate.
Leaders of some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have lauded the Federal Government for appointing Dr Salisu Dahiru as pioneer Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change.
The CSOs, in a statement made available to journalists on Wednesday, also expressed their delight that the Federal Government considered their calls for the implementation of the Climate Change Act. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in recent weeks the campaigners were persistent in their demands.
The CSOs leaders and participants at a virtual workshop in July, had expressed the need for the federal government to establish the National Council on Climate Change.
Their call was made in order to boost implementation of the Nigeria Climate Change Act, which was signed into law in November 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Amid calls by youth groups for the commencement of the law’s implementation, the workshop was followed by the submission of a petition signed by 64 groups to relevant government agencies.
The campaigners, who urged government to immediately implement the climate law, also expressed their dismay over the delay by the government in implementing the core provisions of the Act. However, government took a major decision to signpost the beginning of the implementation of the Climate Change Act with the appointment of Dr. Salisu Dahiru as pioneer Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council on Climate Change.
Consequently, Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, the President of the Society for Planet and Prosperity (SPP), said he was delighted that the government has listened to the message sent by leaders of Nigerian CSOs and NGOs to urgently implement the Climate Change Act. Okereke is also the Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Development (CCCD) at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Abakaliki, Ebonyi.
Okereke led the Technical Committee set up by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to review the bill.
Also Nnaemeka Oruh, National Coordinator, Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE), Nigeria, lauded what he called coordinated campaign by stakeholders on the matter.
“I would say that the coordinated campaigns by civil society, the media, youth advocates, the international community especially the British High Commission, and of course by the National Assembly especially Rep. Sam Onuigbo, played a critical role in this.
“This is a win for Nigeria and an important step” he said.
Dr Mina Ogbanga of the Centre for Development Support Initiatives (CEDSI Nigeria), described the development as `a strong step in the right direction’.
Ogbanga acknowledged the step as one that would cascade our climate change ambitions unto actualisation.
She said that “the strategic advocacy of civil societies contributed in no small way to the government taking this step.
“As an organisation, we have continuously called for the implementation of the Climate Change Act as part of Nigeria’s contribution to safeguarding its citizens against the harsh realities of climate change impact.
“It is our hope that the composition of the National Council will meet all best practice standards to accomplish this very strategic step,” she said.
Abdulhamid Hamid, the Chief Executive Officer, Global Environmental and Climate Conservation Initiative (GECCI), said that the call for the government to implement the Climate Change Act “was very effective”.
He said: “We now know that the government is taking it seriously.
Therefore, with this good development on the appointed DG of the Council, we are still expecting for its urgent implementation.
“The Climate Change Act also includes provisions for members of the public and private sectors, as well as civil society, women, youth, and people with disabilities.
“It empowers the Council with significant powers to coordinate national climate actions, administer the newly established Climate Change Fund, mobilise resources to support climate actions, and collaborate with the Nigerian Sovereign Green Bond in meeting Nigeria’s NDC.
“The Climate Change Fund is envisioned as a financing mechanism for prioritised climate actions and interventions.
“The promotion and adoption of nature-based solutions to reduce GHG emissions and mitigate climate change is encouraged.
“The terms of the agency’s being given funds to start implementing work, and all those involved in the act should be called to be included in the implementation work that will begin as the law provides.
” Similarly, David Terungwa, Founder and Executive Director of the Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP), said that the delay in the implementation of the Act was uncalled for.
He said: “While we commend the appointment of the Director General, it is important to state that the long delay in the implementation of the Climate Change Act was not necessary.
“Considering its importance it took a push and campaigns by civil society organisations and other stakeholders before the appointment of the Director General.
“Now that we officially have less than seven years to act to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius (1.5°C), as agreed in the 2015 Paris Agreement, urgent action is required more than ever before to deal with the increasing risks of climate change across the globe.
President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Climate Change Bill into law in November 2021. The Act reaffirms the federal government’s aim to cut current emissions by 50 per cent by 2050 and achieve net zero emissions as early as possible in the second half of the century (net zero target for 2050 to 2070).
The Lagos State Government says it is set for the ninth edition of its Climate Change Summit.
The Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, stated this at a news conference on Wednesday in Lagos ahead of the summit .
According to Bello, the summit, which will take place from Aug. 2 to Aug. 3, will be action-oriented because the government has decided to do things differently.
Bello said that for the government to achieve a robust summit, it co-opted the Organised Private Sector (OPS) from the planning stage to the delivery of the Summit.
“This is in recognition of the impact of the OPS to economic growth in Lagos and our resolve to mainstream climate action in the next phase of the developmental agenda in Lagos state.
“It is also an affirmative action in the support of the role of the private sector in mitigating the effects of climate change,” Bello said.
He said that the theme of the 2022 edition of the Summit is “Integrating Climate Actions in Lagos State Development; Investment Opportunities and Trade-offs”.
According to him, the theme demonstrates the effect of climate action on the state and how new vistas of opportunities can be developed.
The commissioner said that the state government inaugurated the Lagos State Climate Action Plan at the eighth edition of the summit in 2021.
He said that the projected agenda embedded in that plan was aimed at charting a course towards achieving net zero emissions; that is zero carbon emission in Lagos by 2050.
He added that the state hope to achieve zero carbon emission through the provision of impact oriented actions across various sectors of the economy.
“What this simply means is that we have to accelerate the development of a green economy in the state by exploring innovative climate solutions and mobilizing various resources required to achieve the target,” Bello said.
He said that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu will be the Special Guest of Honour at the summit.
The commissioner said that the lead paper, titled “Financing Transformative Climate Action for Lagos State”, would be delivered by Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke.
Okereke is the Director of the Center for Climate Change and Development, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi.
Bello enjoined all stakeholders, development partners and investors to join Lagos as partners in progress towards achieving a green and sustainable economic growth in Lagos.
The commissioner expressed optimism that the summit will create a sustainable environment for future generations.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that other dignitaries present at the conference included the Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Lagos state, Mr Lekan Shodeinde and the Consultant on Climate Change, Prof. Babajide Alo. Also in attendace was Dr Omobolaji Gaji, Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Ministry of Environment.