By Nkechi Isaac, Abuja
Climate change is impacting human lives and health in a variety of ways. It threatens the essential ingredients of good health – clean air, safe drinking water, nutritious food supply, and safe shelter – and has the potential to undermine decades of progress in global health.
Climate change is one of Nigeria’s major challenges which have the potential to significantly slow down development with negative effects on economy. To mitigate the negative effects of climate change, Nigeria joined other 196 countries to sign the Paris Agreement in 2015.
The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change are at the heart of the Paris Agreement.
The adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 and it’s ratification in 2017, has made it binding on Nigeria to work towards meeting its 20 per cent unconditional commitment by 2030 and 45 per cent conditional with international support below business-as-usual.
The NDCs’ implementation being driven by the Ministry of Environment through the department of climate change (DCC) has continually engaged the public and sought multisectoral partnership in achieving the nation’s set target. One of key activities of the department under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) NDC Support Programme is the six regional NDC Business Roundtables across the country to communicate the NDC targets and facilitate enhanced organised private sector’s involvement in the process.
The UNDP, in 2018, reached out to Nigeria to support the nation’s effort in the implementation of the NDC also called the Paris Agreement, with a view to fully achieve the emission reduction targets set for Nigeria, building on the five priority sectors of agriculture, power/energy, transport, oil and gas, and industry.
Recall that the South-West version held in Lagos in September 2019 and South-South edition held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in February 2020. Some 72 participants gathered in the Nasarawa State University city from September 29 to 30 for the third of planned six roundtables
Speaking at the third in the series for the north-central region in Keffi, the acting director, department of climate change, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Halima Bawa-Bwari, said the workshop was aimed at communicating government’s efforts in the implementation of the NDC with particular emphasis on increasing the role of the private sector in the current revision, design and implementation of the 2015 NDC.
“It further aimed in developing a common understanding of the status of Nigeria’s NDC implementation, strategies in and support received since the ratification of the Paris Agreement. it will be very useful that we take adequate steps to communicate these government’s steps to the private sector across all regions of the country and also seek the active participation of private sectors in its actualisation,” she said.
The DCC boss said the NDC and its targets were aimed to ensure sufficient climate resilience was built across critical sectors while the country continues to pursue its economic growth at a low carbon pathway.
“In the spirit of ensuring whole-of-society approach, inclusiveness and leaving no-one-behind, the Federal Ministry of Environment will continue to encourage organisations and citizens to fully understand and play their respective roles in responding to climate change by choosing emissions reduction actions within their operations by adopting efficient ways of doing things, lowering their carbon footprints through the use of greener products and services.
“Governments on its part will support informed greenhouse gas management decisions by providing information directly to the public and/or by creating or supporting organisations that help the public and private sectors reach emission reduction targets.
“I want to therefore assure you that government is committed to domesticating the elements of this global agreement and the NDCs targets into its national developmental programmes and plans including the post-COVID recovery plan,” she added.
Earlier, the national coordinator of the Nigeria UNDP NDC Support Programme, Mr Huzi Mshelia, said the predominant business activities in the zone include mining and agriculture, pointing out they are high energy intensity and high green house gas (GHG) emitting sources.
He added the NDC industry targets should take note of this vast and special interest to accordingly reflect in the revision process.