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net-zero

Stakeholders move to devise measures to help Nigeria reach net-zero

A scheme aimed at helping to actualise Nigeria’s net-zero dream officially commenced in Abuja on Thursday, July 28, 2022.

Scheduled to span 10 months, the project, titled “Top 10 measures for Nigeria to Reach Net Zero”, will map some 10 key steps and decisions that, if taken in the coming years, will underpin a socio-economic transformation required to enable Nigeria to meet its 2060 net-zero objective.

Speaking during the project launch that engaged government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), think tanks, civil society organisations (CSOs), media practitioners and other relevant stakeholders, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Society for Planet and Prosperity (SPP), Professor Chukwumerije Okereke, said that the top 10 measures to net-zero project is aimed at identifying key policy measures and activities within that will assist Nigerian government’s ambition to achieve net-zero growth emissions by 2060.

“While there are many policies and measures in key government documents, many feel that action on these measures are not happening as quickly as they could. At the same time, while the measures in these documents may be technically sound, many feel that their benefits are not sufficiently well communicated to the broader national audience,” said Okereke.

He added: “But time is ticking and what is undisputed is that the measures that will be implemented over the coming five years, will make a decisive difference. A small but targeted package of measures implemented across the key economic sectors will be able to put Nigeria on a deep decarbonisation pathway. Such measures will require investments from government and the private sector, with international climate finance leveraging those domestic investment and lowering investment costs and reducing risks. A failure to put Nigeria on the decarbonisation path in the near term will possibly foreclose the opportunity for net zero emission by 2060 altogether.”

The project, he stressed, is conceived to inform and stimulate the Nigerian discourse on the actions to take before 2025 that can make a decisive difference.

“The outputs are intended to support Nigerian stakeholders including policy makers, businesses, civil society organisations, and international development partners and crucially the general public, in moving this important issue out of the confines of expert debate and furthering societal debate about climate choices, regardless of people’s political perspective. The project presents the 10 key steps and decisions in a format that is accessible to a wider public through communication materials that can stimulate and inform a wider public debate,” Okereke emphasised.

Dr Iniobong Abiola-Awe, Director, Department of Climate Change in the Federal Ministry of Environment, in her remarks, stated that the global impact of climate change needs urgent attention of all stakeholders worldwide.

“This gathering is seen as an attempt to address the impact of global warming. Nigeria has ratified the Paris Agreement and President Muhammadu Buhari at COP26 on November 2021 announced Nigeria’s net-zero by 2060 commitment. The government is not relenting and is looking forward to partnerships like this towards addressing the climate change challenge. The ministry is looking forward to the outcome of this project.”

Dr Aisha Mahmood, Special Adviser to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Sustainable Banking, stated that government has been evolving and implementing the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies through policy frameworks and regulations since 2012 throughout the financial system.

Citing the sustainable banking principle as an example, she stated that the strategy is being reviewed to align with national priorities such as the Climate Change Act and the Net Zero objective.

“The financial system is implementing the strategy in lending and investment decision so as to avoid lending to sectors that will negatively impact the environment,” she stated.

Germany-based Hans Velrome of Climate Advisers Network in a presentation titled “Assessing the development benefits of climate action” described development benefits as the added benefits gotten “when we act to stop climate change, above and beyond the benefit of a more stable climate”.

He added: “They are often referred to as co-benefits or as synergies.  Some first order examples are cleaner air from reduced air pollution and less waste from reduced resource use. Some second order examples are improved security from reduced resource conflicts, or the jobs created by better access for SMEs to affordable energy.

“Decision makers look at the full development picture. So, whereas they acknowledge the need for climate change action, their aim is to deliver a cleaner, healthier, safer and more prosperous future. To many decision makers the development benefits of climate action are the principal benefits, the climate benefit is oft considered the co-benefit. Lesson: Put development at the heart of climate action.”

He listed Nigeria’s development challenges to include:

  • Economic diversification, job creation and poverty reduction
  • Security, social safeguards and gender equality
  • Food security and public and environmental health
  • Sustainable and affordable power and transport.

The Top 10 Measures for Nigeria to Reach Net Zero project is funded by the European Climate Foundation (ECF) and is being implemented by Society for Planet Prosperity.

Why Centre for Development Support Initiatives supports petition seeking implementation of climate law

Recently, the Centre for Development Support Initiatives (CEDSI) joined over 60 civil society organsations (CSOs) in Nigeria to sign a petition urging President Muhammad Buhari, Attorney General Malami and the Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, to urgently Implement the Climate Change Act.

CEDSI was proud to join the move to urge the Nigerian government to urgently implement the Act for many reasons but, most especially because of the expectation that the implementation of the Act will help to motivate climate action at the subnational level especially in the Niger Delta where climate action is seriously lagging.

The importance of taking targeted and well-coordinated action to address climate change in Nigeria can hardly be overemphasised. Climate change is displacing thousands of people in the Northern Nigeria and contributing to the growing insecurity that is threatening Nigeria’s existence. In the Niger Delta, climate change is causing coastal erosion, sea level rise and saltwater intrusion and unprecedent flooding which is affecting millions of people annually.

So far, Nigeria is not taking enough action to address the multiple impacts of climate change in the country. Despite having an ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and many other lofty climate policy documents, action on the ground has not matched up the aspirations outlined these policy documents. Moreover, much of the discussion on climate in Nigeria has concentrated at the national level in Abuja without being cascaded down to the states and sub national levels where the impacts of climate change are felt daily.

Hence, when President Muhamad Buhari signed the Climate Change Bill to create the Climate Change Act, the Centre for Development Support Initiatives (CEDSI) was very excited. We saw in the new Climate Change Act an opportunity for Nigeria to increase its action on climate change. Critically, we saw in the Act as an opportunity to increase climate action in the 36 states of the country.

As an organisation that has been working to enhance climate action in the Niger Delta, we are hoping that the Act will help to promote the work we have been doing to promote awareness, policy and action.

Hence, when President Muhamad Buhari signed the Climate Change Bill to create the Climate Change Act, the Centre for Development Support Initiatives (CEDSI) was very excited. We saw in the new Climate Change Act an opportunity for Nigeria to increase its action on climate change. Critically, we saw in the Act as an opportunity to increase climate action in the 36 states of the country.

As an organisation that has been working to enhance climate action in the Niger Delta, we are hoping that the Act will help to promote the work we have been doing to promote awareness, policy and action.

We are surprised and disappointed that the Federal Government is delaying action on the Act when the impact of climate change is driving more and more people into poverty in the Niger Delta and Nigeria at large.

The CEDSI has worked with multiple partners to promote community action at the state level with a focus on the Niger Delta states. The recent establishment of the Rivers Network of NGOs (RINNGOS) has served as a strong platform for harnessing multiple partners and building capacity of NGOs in climate governance.

The CEDSI has been expecting the Federal Government to commence the implementation of the Act in order to leverage that to increase more awareness and stimulate action at the state level. In the meantime, CEDSI is continuing in its effort to work with other partners to push for the domestication of the Climate Change Act in Rivers State. We are working hard to engage the three arms of the River State Government in fighting climate change. We hope that the recent petition sent to the President will result in quick action on the Act.

CEDSI also wishes to thank the Society for Planet and Prosperity (SPP), Centre for Climate Change and Development (CCCD) of Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike, and Global Environmental and Climate Conservation Initiative (GECCI) for organising the recent awareness workshop for civil society leaders on the Climate Change Act for bringing in experts that provided detailed information on how the implementation of the Act can help Nigeria take a leadership role in fighting climate change in Africa.

By Mina Ogbanna, Centre for Development Support Initiatives (CEDSI)

64 civil society leaders sign petition, urge govt to implement climate law

A coalition of civil society organisations on environment and climate change has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to immediately implement the Climate Change Act signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari since November 2021.

The group, in a petition signed by 64 CSO and NGO leaders and submitted to the relevant government agencies, expressed dismay over the delay by the government in implementing the core provisions of the Act which, according to them, would set the country on the right trajectory in meeting the 2060 net zero target.

According to the coalition, “we are gravely worried that after eight months of signing the Climate Change Act into law, no action has been taken to implement the different provisions of the Act”.

The coalition, however, thanked the President for showing commitment to providing a solid framework for climate action to achieve Nigeria’s short-, medium-, and long-term goals on climate mitigation and adaptation through the signing of the bill into a full Act.

“We, the undersigned civil society organisations and individuals appreciate and commend the President for signing into law the Climate Change Act which has demonstrated his commitment to providing a solid framework for climate action to achieve Nigeria’s short-, medium-, and long-term goals on climate mitigation and adaptation,” the coalition submitted.

It reminded the government that the continuous delay in implementation, especially when some core provisions of the Act are time-bound, would stall the progress the country had made in tackling effects of climate change and all the policies developed to mitigate climate change in Nigeria and across the globe.

The group went further: “We wish to alert Mr President that the government is now almost certain to default on some of the provisions of the Climate Act. The signing of the Act into law automatically triggered Section 19(2) of the Act which mandates that the Federal Ministry of Environment in consultation with the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning must present the pilot carbon budget to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) through the National Council on Climate Change not later than one year from the date of assent to the Bill. That, automatically, means that the pilot carbon budget must be presented on or before November 16, 2022.

“The Federal Ministry of Environment and the Secretariat are also mandated by Section 20 to develop the five-yearly Action Plan for the realisation of the carbon budget. Section 20(2) mandates that the first Action Plan must be ready within one year of assent to the Bill. It is important to note that Section 20(3) mandates that, before the Action Plan is presented to the Council and FEC, it must be made public for eight weeks (culminating 14 days before the date of presentation to the Council) for the public to review.

“Given the long and thorough process needed to decide a carbon budget including through national consultation with the CSO and other stakeholders, we are concerned that the Federal government may fail to set a carbon budget by the date required by the new climate law.

“It seems that the government and its relevant agencies and ministries have abandoned the implementation of the key provisions of the Act. We are worried at the lack of action by the Federal government to implement a law it signed in good faith.”

The coalition warned that the attitude of the government so far in implementing the Climate Change Act will further damage the image of the country in the international arena and more so in climate change community and called on the government to act fast to save the government and the country from impending embarrassment as the COP27 to be hosted in Africa, Egypt is fast approaching.

“This unfortunate event carries the risk of portraying Nigeria as unserious before the international community and a country that makes a pledge without an intention to keep its words.

“A lack of implementation of the climate act will surely damage the image of the country at the global arena, especially as the build up to COP27 in Africa has commenced.

“By maintaining aloof and not acting quickly to implement the Climate Change Act, other countries will make mockery of Nigeria and some may begin to review or withdraw their climate support for Nigeria.

“In these days of climate change struggle, the Nigerian government and relevant ministries and agencies are more than ever needed to act to save our country from the further devastations of climate change. A stitch in time saves nine,” added the group.

During a recent virtual workshop for CSOs and NGOs leaders titled “Understanding and Implementation of Nigeria’s Climate Change Act: Implications for Nigeria’s Net Zero Target” organised by the Society for Planet Prosperity in collaboration with the Centre for Climate Change and Development Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike (CCCD AEFUNAI) and Global Environmental and Climate Conservation Initiative (GECCI), the CSO leaders advocated for the immediate implementation of the Climate Change Act by the government to save the country from further consequences of climate change.

By Chinedu Jude Nwasum

CSOs Blast FG for non-implementation Of Climate Change Act

Civil Society Organizations in the country have condemned the non-implementation of provisions of the Climate Change Act 2021 by Nigeria’s Federal Government.

They expressed dismay at the lack of actions in activating the core provisions of the act, eight months after it was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The leaders of Civil Society Organisations and other experts in climate change sector therefore demanded for immediate implementation of the act by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

According to them, this is to ensure that the country achieve its 2060 net zero ambition and reduce the devastating effects of climate change across  the country.

The Civil Society Organisation leaders made the call on at the weekend during a workshop with the theme “Understanding and Implementation of Nigeria’s Climate Change Act: Implications for Nigeria’s Net Zero Target”.

The virtual workshop was organized by the Society for Planet Prosperity in collaboration with the Centre for Climate Change and Development Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike (CCCD AEFUNAI) and Global Environmental and Climate Conservation Initiative (GECCI).

The CSOs leaders expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s inability to implement the content of the climate change act which had been signed into law since November, 2021.

They wondered what could be the cause for the delay in constituting and setting up the National Council on Climate Change to champion climate action as captured in the Act.

They noted that the continued delay in the implementation of climate change would portray the image of the country bad in the international arena and also give the impression of unseriousness to the issue of climate change mitigation.

Speaking during the virtual event, a member representing Ikwuano/Umuahia North and South Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives and the sponsor of the Climate Change bill before it was passed into law in 2021, Hon. Sam Onuigbo narrated how the devastating effect of climate change in his community spurred him into initiating and sponsoring the climate change bill.

He stressed that if government further delays in implementing the climate change act, it would be setting the country up for more devastating effects of climate change such as flooding and desertification

He argued that the majority of the communal and land clashes in the country were orchestrated by the effect of climate change.

“Lack of implementation of the Climate Change Act is exacerbating the insecurity challenges in the country. The Federal Government ought to have inaugurated the council before now, so as to demand a report from the Director General of the Council”, he said

Hon. Onuigbo therefore called on the federal government to immediately set the ball rolling by constituting the National Council on Climate Change which would pilot the implementation of the act, if the country can achieve the 2060 net zero projections.

In his presentation, titled “Nigeria’s Climate Change Act (CCA), 2021”, the Director of Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE), Mr. Nnaemeka Oruh, stressed that the Act was made to address climate issues in the country and called for all hands to be on deck to ensure full implementation of the Act.

He called on the relevant government agencies to work fast and ensure the proper implementation of the Act.

In another presentation on the “role of CSOs in implementing and monitoring Nigeria’s CCA”, Barr. Nkiruka Stella Okonkwo – CEO/Founder, Fresh & Young Brains Development Initiative (FBIN)/Alexijan Consults, explored the role of civil society organisations in implementing and monitoring Nigeria’s CCA.

She advocated for CSOs desks in all relevant MDAs and the Council Secretariat as it would assist in ensuring that the CCA is fully implemented.

Barr. Nkiruka also called for a National CSOs conference on Nigeria’s CCA to provide a platform for all CSOs to collaborate and engage in the implementation and monitoring of the CCA.

The virtual workshop, which was attended by about 60 CSOs, was moderated by Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, the Executive Director, Society of Planet Prosperity and Director, Centre for Climate Change and Development Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike.

Why Nigerian youths are calling for urgent implementation of climate act

Climate change is one of the defining issues of our age. Nigeria is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change and this situation calls for an urgent action to reduce the impact of climate change and ensure that the environment continues to benefit present and future generations.

President Buhari did a good thing at COP26 when he announced that Nigeria will seek to achieve net zero emission by 2060. He also did well when he signed the Climate Change Bill into law after the COP26.  However, since then, nothing has been done to implement the Climate Change Act even though the government goes about receiving praises from all over the world for doing a great job in establishing a climate change law.

Therefore, the Global Environmental and Climate Conservation Initiative (GECCI) is joining forces with the Society for Planet and Prosperity (SPP) to educate the Nigerian CSOs on the importance of the Nigerian Climate Act and to moblise CSO leaders to call for the immediate implementation of the Act.

For the past 10 years, GECCI has been actively involved in creating awareness, engaging the Nigerian youths in the sensitisation and mobilisation of the public on the imperatives of positive actions to reverse environmental pollution and global climate change towards achieving a net zero.

Through our community initiative project (which has spread throughout the country in the 36 states of the Federation), we have made significant contributions to creating awareness of climate and environmental change in Nigeria mostly among the Nigerian youths.

We were hoping that the implementation of the net zero target announced by the President during COP26 in Glasgow and the signing of the Climate Chance Act which followed, will help to inspire Nigerian youths, and demonstrate that the government is serious in tackling climate change to protect the earth for future generations.

The Climate Act provides for the establishment of climate coordinators in six regions and 36 states of the country. GECCI believes that this is a good development which will help to ensure the effective mobilisation of CSOs, NGOs, and youths across Nigeria’s six regions to achieve the noble goals of the Nigeria Climate Change Act.

We believe that this will also help to raise public awareness of the Climate Change Act throughout Nigeria to inspire a global popular movement to bring about this urgent implementation. The next phase we saw was grassroots advocacy, sensitisation, and mobilisation of people in the rural communities through town hall meetings, dialogues, core theatre presentations, and focus group discussions.

At the same time, we were excited that the Climate Change Act wanted to facilitate the involvement of the youth and Nigeria’s civil society organisations in the governance of climate change. The Act says that the President will appoint a representative of environment-related civil society organizsations (CSOs) on the recommendation of the Minister responsible for Environment, and the Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change will serve as Secretary. It also expected that the Act will help the education and training of CBOs, FBOs, NGOs, networks, and groups across the six geopolitical zones on the importance of implementing the Climate Change Act.

Finally, we believe that, working under the Secretariat to the National Council on Climate Change, the government will be able to improve the much-desired synergies in implementation of climate change in the country through the promotion of common understanding of the issues, coordination, and sharing of ideas among the various ministries and agencies.

The youth is not happy that several months since the net zero target was announced and climate bill was signed into law, the government has been muted about implementing the law. We are asking, is this another the more you look, the less you see? What is going on? Why should a government sign a bill into law and not put in place urgently measures to implement the law? If the law was not considered important, why was it signed into law in the first place. We are wondering, who are the ones in government that do not want the law to be implemented? What are their reasons?

It is said that it is better to be late than never. Although the government has lots a lot of time, we are calling on the government to implement the climate act without any further delay. Doing so will be good for the country and help to protect our environment and economy from the negative impacts of climate change.

By Abdulhamid Tahir Hamid, Chief Executive Officer, Global Environmental and Climate Conservation Initiative (GECCI)