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Minister vows for sustainable future of Nigerians

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By Usman Oladimeji

Proactive measures are required to ensured a sustainable future.

The Minister of Environment, Balarabe Abbas Lawal, has pointed out that Nigeria is among many nations experiencing the harmful consequences of climate change such as severe weather, higher sea levels, decreased biodiversity, and other damaging effects that impact society. According to him, it is important for Nigeria to take proactive measures to ensure a sustainable and adaptable future for both the citizens and the environment. This was mentioned in Abuja during the national workshop discussing the results of the 28th Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Lawal highlighted the significance of the workshop, stating that it will enable participants to have meaningful discussions, share fresh perspectives, and collaboratively devise effective plans to guide Nigeria towards sustainable development and environmental protection. This event reflects joint dedication to tackling the pressing issue of climate change. He also mentioned that it provides a way to discuss the important results of COP 28, while also preparing for Nigeria’s involvement in the upcoming 29th Conference of parties in Azerbaijan.

Ultimate goal is to cultivate a resilient socio-economic landscape.

He further highlighted that the 28th UNFCCC conference was a significant step forward in the worldwide fight against climate change, serving as a vital space for countries to come together for discussions, bargaining, and agreement. COP28 reiterated our unwavering commitment to combating the urgent danger posed by climate change. The results of COP28 will have profound effects on the fate of our Earth. He emphasized the importance of promoting a collaborative and united approach towards achieving Nigeria’s environmental objectives as we prepare for COP 29.

Nevertheless, the minister encouraged the participants to carefully evaluate and recognize both accomplishments and areas that require development. As part of the country’s ongoing endeavours to combat the effect of climate change within the country is Nigeria’s 2021-2030 National Climate Change Policy, which aims to significantly curb greenhouse gas emissions and minimize the socio-economic repercussions of climate change. The ultimate goal is to cultivate a resilient socio-economic landscape that supports sustainable development while actively decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Nigeria has also introduced the Energy Transition Plan.

Furthermore, the Policy serves as a tool to streamline the coordination of development plans, funding, and supervision of climate change projects and programs within Nigeria. It outlines the goals and targets for climate change governance in the country, along with the fundamental beliefs and approaches to direct the execution of actions aimed at mitigating the potential negative impacts of climate change on the nation’s progress. Similarly, Nigeria took a significant step towards combating climate change by enacting the Climate Change Act in 2021. This legislation aims to promote environmentally friendly practices and sustainable development by establishing a roadmap to achieve net zero emissions sometime in 2050 to 2070.

Former administration had also made a firm pledge to achieve net zero emissions by 2060 during COP26, aligning with the Climate Change Act. Nigeria has also introduced the Energy Transition Plan (ETP) in August 2022 to outline the steps needed to reach the 2060 net zero goal. The Act provides a basic structure for implementing a net zero greenhouse gas target by 2050-2070, but there is room for enhancement in the final target. It is crucial for the target to clearly outline which emissions are included and the significance of carbon removal methods in reaching the goal.

Related Article: FG counters climate change with NCCC- CAA

Climate change has become a pressing threat to sustainable development worldwide, impacting economies, societies, and the environment. Despite Nigeria’s low emission levels, the country is already experiencing the negative consequences of shifting climates and extreme weather. However, the potential costs could escalate significantly in the future. In the absence of immediate and decisive measures, Nigeria could face severe consequences from climate change, potentially causing significant damage to the nation’s already fragile economy, social structure, and human development benchmarks.

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