Federal Government commits to tackling climate change, seeks states’ collaboration
The Federal Government regards the challenge of climate change as inimical to its national sustainable development that must be squarely addressed, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Ibukun Odutose said, last week.She reiterated the government’s its commitment to address climate change as part of the various sectoral policies and management instruments.
The government also pledged to provide leadership in promoting the culture necessary to establish the right conditions for the people to adapt, supporting quality research, education and awareness efforts as well as enforcing industry regulations that will guide businesses and communities.
Odutose made the promise at the South-West Regional Knowledge Deepening Workshop on Climate Change organised by the ministry with the assistance of United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) in Lagos. She noted that climate change would be taken as a strategic development issue in all areas of public policy.
“There is no gainsaying, there will be some changes in climate that cannot be avoided due to past and inevitable future global emissions, but the detrimental effects can be avoided if we can reduce greenhouse gases emission to an acceptable level. Therefore, we must move beyond thinking about climate change and global warming, to take action as a nation.
“Since taking actions that will alleviate the effects of climate change and a warmer world is everyone’s responsibility, we will be interacting and working with the general public, individuals, communities, businesses and industries, international partners as well as the global community to create the necessary awareness in this direction,” she said.
The Permanent Secretary, who was represented by the Director, Department of Climate Change (DCC), Dr. Peter Tarfa, said the government regards the challenge of climate change as inimical to its national sustainable development that must be squarely addressed. “Thus, various national efforts have been put in place at all levels of governance to promote climate resilient environmental sustainability in the context of national development.
“These efforts range from putting policies and legislation in place to building institutional capacity, effective participation in global climate change negotiations and signing international agreements, building partnerships, sourcing funding and embarking on some initiatives for climate change response,” Odusote said.
Dr. Tarfa, who spoke on Strengthening the Institutional Capacity of States Collaboration on Climate Change Education and Awareness in Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies, urged states to collaborate with the department and mainstream climate change activities into development plan as well as team up with Local governments shore up activities in afforestation and reforestation activities with the potential of earning carbon credits under the clean development mechanism (CDM).
He also charged them to establish a desk, department or agency mandated to implement climate change activities; facilitate the implementation of the adaptation strategy through all the sectors, coordinating with the Federal and Local Governments and to provide a platform for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), the organized private sector and government to share information and harmonize activities.
Tarfa wants them to ensure that climate change adaptation is taken into account when drawing up the state’s annual budget; consistently strengthen inter-ministerial and inter-agency coordination and cooperation in climate change adaptation in the State as well as create an enabling environment for the organized private sector to invest in climate change adaptation, including business opportunities presented by climate change adaptation options.
An environmental specialist, Prof. Emmanuel Oladipo noted that climate change governance in Nigeria needs to be further strengthened to ensure an effective mainstreaming of the climate change challenge into the national and state level development process and action. “It is critical for each state to be able to respond effectively to the challenge of climate change,” he said.Oladipo called for the passage of a bill to create a national Climate Change Commission, which, once established, will likely facilitate coordination and support for the multi-level and cross-sectoral climate change responses response.
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