Even as COVID-19 continues to rage in most countries, scientists are of the view that climate change remains the greatest challenge to human health in history.
This according to the Minister of Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, has changed lives and livelihood as the world is in constant threat of intensifying maximum and minimum temperatures, rising sea levels, droughts, storms, amongst others.
Ikeazor made this known at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Nigeria Post-COP26 meeting, in collaboration with the Coalition For Socio-Ecological Transformation (COSET) in Abuja, on Thursday.
Represented by Dr Iniobong Awe, Director Department of Climate Change, the minister stated that these effects directly harm lives, destroy habitats and create challenges to humans and the environment. As climate change worsens, it is foreseeable that dangerous weather events would become more severe and frequent.
“It is within this context that the goals of the COP26 were created. The major commitment was to curb Methane emission, halt and reverse forest loss, and align the finance sector with net-zero by 2050.
“From this commitment, Nigeria vowed to achieve NetZero by 2060, to achieve this bold commitment it is important to state that while global warming will continue to mid 21st century, failure to take immediate action on any of the main outcomes would mean that the target set by the government of remaining below 1.5 degree Celsius will be lost.
“We will continue to explore all the opportunities that are equitable for the Nigerian youth, as we achieve the just transition we will be tackling the challenges faced by the youth as they shift towards sustainable livelihood while ensuring that gains of the zero-carbon and resilient economy are shared fairly,” she said.
On his part, Cadmus Atake-Enade, Project Lead Fossil Politics, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, noted that ever since the first Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-1) held in Berlin, the world has been hoping for the best outcomes. However, the raised hopes and anticipations that there will be solutions to the climate crisis have not shown the seriousness needed to solve the problem.
Atake- Enade said, the Glasgow Climate Pact was a mere whimper as far as climate actions and solutions are concerned, adding, the Pact referred to climate justice as something important only to some people. This position is unbelievable and shows that the COP is heading for a dead-end and the justice basis of the UNFCCC is severely eroded.
“Fossil fuels investments are set to continue to grow. In Oil Change International’s report, Sky’s Limit Africa, we learn that the fossil fuel industry plans to sink $230 billion into the development of new extraction projects in Africa in the next decade and up to USD 1.4 trillion by 2050. Even as the Nigerian government claims the right to use fossil fuels for development and energy provision.
Offering a solution, he stated that” a total phasing out of all forms of fossil fuel across Africa and globally through the promotion of real zero, Not Net Zero provisions. Phasing out fossil fuels will give a chance for the recovery of the Niger Delta and avoid a repeat of catastrophic oil spills such as the Aiteo OML 29 oil well blowout.”
Speaking earlier Dr Daniel Mann of FES, reiterates the damages created by climate change as it affects daily life but most farmers and those engaged in earthly work.
While delivering his opening remark Mann disclosed that the Nigerian government does not bring the issues of the people forward as this affects more the people living in the rural areas.