To mitigate the effects of climate change on the environment as already being felt in Nigeria, public advocacy about the environment should be intensified among the populace so as to be more aware of the need to adjust their lifestyle to reduce carbon emission which poses a threat to human existence.
This assertion was made by the Director General, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Mr. Adeniyi Karunwi, at the Foundation’s headquarters in Lekki, Lagos, during the event to commemorate the Earth Hour 2016, organized in partnership with a nongovernmental organisation, Connected Development (CODE).
During the event that was marked with the symbolic one-hour of darkness, between 8:30pm and 9:30 pm, so as to encourage the reduction of carbon emission, observed across over 170 countries according to time zones and broadcast worldwide via the social media, Karunwi said there was need for social and political will to intensify campaign against the rise in global temperatures and its ripple effect on the environment because many Nigerians are still unaware of the benefits of building a clean energy economy and the risks of not doing it.
According to him, this accounts for the reason the NCF is willing to support every effort of the government geared towards achieving low carbon development pathway as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has also declared a commitment to 20 percent emission reduction of greenhouse gases for the country.
He added that NCF will also engage businesses and other stakeholders to assist them align their business operations to be in conformity with the Paris Climate Agreement that was adopted for the benefit of the planet and also implement various mitigation projects such as the Green Recovery Nigeria aimed at rehabilitating the 25 per cent forest cover, thereby feeding into the national commitment to reduce global temperature below 2.0 degree Celsius.
“As a follow-up to the realisation of the Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contribution, NCF will support the relevant Government ministry to drive the process of achieving a low carbon development pathway. In view of this, the Foundation has intensified its effort in public advocacy to align with the national deliverable towards the Paris Climate Agreement,” he said.
Coordinator of CODE, Dotun Babayemi, while speaking at the event, said earth hour has yielded results and Nigeria should not be left behind in the campaign.
According to him, the campaign has brought about the Earth Hour Forest in Eastern Africa and the Walk to Mali in West Africa. “Countries that were not ready to cooperate with the carbon emission reduction have now made commitment to the global campaign, so it should be our resolve to match the ‘change the climate change’ campaign with actions,” he said.
Highlights of the event included the Ignite Talks, an interactive session among climate change experts explaining efforts made so far to reduce global warming.
Those that made presentations were Solomon Adefolu, NCF; Olumide Idowu, Climate Wednesday; Alex Akhigbe, Clean Up Nigeria and Aniche Phil – Ebosie, EONGRATIS.