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Enugu Governor Unveils a Bold Vision for a Green and Sustainable Future

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Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State has outlined a bold strategy for climate change and sustainable development in the state.

Mbah made the announcement during his speech to commemorate the one-year anniversary of his administration.

In a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Climate Policy and Sustainable Development, Chukwumerije Okereke, it was stated that the administration is well aware of climate change’s devastating impact on economic growth and livelihoods and was determined to tackle in line with his vision to reduce poverty and deliver people-focused governance in Enugu State.

He stated that Enugu state, under his leadership, recognises the critical need for a strong climate policy that would pave the way for a clean energy transition, ignite green innovation, strengthen climate resilience, and promote sustainable economic growth for the state, assuring a brighter, greener future for everybody.

To this end he said his government was determined to draw from domestic and international funds to implement ambitious climate policy.

He disclosed that the government was already on the brink of securing grant from the African Climate Foundation and the European Climate Foundation to assist with the design of a science-based climate policy and action plan for the state.

“The climate policy and action plan will serve as a road map for a variety of exciting initiatives, including a major climate education and awareness programme, climate finance mobilisation, and a transformative clean cooking programme to protect our women from the health risks associated with open firewood cooking,” said the Governor.

Continuing he stated that his administration was committed to “a grand tree planting exercise to rejuvenate our degraded ecosystems, sequester carbon, and beautify Enugu State, setting the stage for a vibrant and sustainable future.”

Mbah said that as part of his climate, urban redevelopment and greener city programme that his administration intends to restore the coal city to its former glory by planting countless trees and improving the state’s air quality, thereby limiting the impact of climate change.

The governor noted that the beauty, splendour, and orderliness seen in Western countries were not the result of wishful thinking, but of meticulous and painstaking planning and commitment, and that his government is prepared to change the narrative with its urban renewal and regeneration policies.

“It is amusing that we often nostalgically recall the good old days and fawn over the mind-blowing aesthetics of Western cities, yet do little to promote orderly urban planning and instil the strong sense of civic obligation that prevailed in the good old days – or that exists in Western cities.

“The beauty and orderliness that we see in Western capitals and cities were not wished for. These qualities are based on meticulous planning, adherence to the law, and sacrifice.

“The Central Terminal and Enugu New City may appear to be long, difficult walk for some. But they will eventually result in smooth, graceful steps critical to Enugu’s rise to its rightful place among the world’s top cities,” the governor stated.

Mbah remarked that Enugu New City was envisioned as Nigeria’s main investment destination.

“The Enugu New City, located on a corridor that connects the South-East, South-South, and North-Central areas, and just a 15-minute drive from the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, heralds the advent of a new universe of opportunity.

“This lively, interconnected city powered by manufacturing, trade, and tourism would have facilities equivalent to those seen in world-class cities, ranging from amusement parks to industrial parks.

In line with his ambition for urban renewal, Mbah noted that his administration has already brought in sophisticated infrastructure to manage the state’s waste.

“As the Special Adviser to the Governor on Climate Policy and Sustainable Development, I am excited to be working alongside the governor and helping to bring his vision for innovative and transformative governance to live in an area as critical and broad as climate change and sustainable development.

“As a Professor of Climate Policy and Governance, I am aware that effective climate and sustainable development policies require long term thinking, boldness, innovation, and a consultative approach to governance, but these are qualities, which the governor possess in abundance.

“One thing that excites me is that the government understands that climate change action is not just a burden that must be borne with gritted teeth, but also an opportunity to boost economic growth, create green jobs and increase the quality of life and environment in the state.

“It is this proactive and integrated approach of combining environmental sustainability with socioeconomic development that underscores Governor Mbah’s visionary leadership for Enugu State and sets him as an example for others to follow.”