We must decarbonise to reduce greenhouse gas generation — UNIDO

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…Recommends strategic approaches to achieving NetZero status

By Gloria Akudoro, Abuja

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) on Thursday, said the solution to the rising status of carbon dioxide “is to redirect our goals towards decarbonising and drastically reduce greenhouse gas generation in Nigeria and the world at large.”

The Representative and Regional Director, UNIDO Regional Office Hub, Dr. Jean Bakale made the disclosure at the opening of the 3-day 16th National Council of Environment held in Abuja with the theme; “Pursuit of Net-Zero Emission: A New Trajectory Towards Global Environment Renaissance.”

Bakale, ably represented by Osuji Otu, said achieving a Net-zero emissions status has become a new ambition of every developed, developing and forward-thinking country in the world as its continuous experience increases climate change.

He said, “Today the sea levels are rising with frequent flooding that is destroying lives and properties worth several millions of dollars, global temperature is rising and wildfires are rampant, food security is greatly affected as farmers are increasingly finding it difficult to predict planting seasons, insecurity is on the increase, affecting food production (eg. in Lake Chad region), and threatening livelihoods of rural communities and lots more.

“Climate change and the unimaginable are beginning to happen. With all these and more, the solution is to decarbonise and drastically reduce greenhouse gas generation.”

Since Nigeria joins the world to work towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the UNIDO Regional Director has therefore outlined seven (7) approaches to achieving NetZero status in Nigeria:

Developing and enforcing policies, regulatory and institutional frameworks; Promoting clean technologies right from start-ups, circular economy, renewable energies and more; Experience and knowledge sharing of best practices with other countries; Signatory and membership of Multilateral Environment Agreements/Conventions/Treaties and its various working groups; Fostering effective and robust partnerships (7)Robust and effective environmental management advocacy.

While reiterating UNIDO commitment towards supporting Nigeria in promoting inclusive sustainable industrial development and achieving a green and sustainable national development, noted that, “Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa, it has the highest population with an advantage of a high percentage of youths. Nigeria does not lack capacity nor does it lack ideas.

Bakale who stressed on UNIDO’s activities of developing industrial policies that are resource-efficient and protective of the natural environment and human health, said they are presently implementing the Nigeria Country Programme which runs from 2018 to 2022 and environmental management is a standalone and important component of this Country Programme.

“Based on the request of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Country Programme will be converted into a Partnership for Country Programme by January 2023.”

In his goodwill message, Country Representative, Food and Agriculture of the United Nations(FAO), Fred Kafeero, ably represented by its Assistant Country Representative, Abubakar Suleiman, said the time is apt as the meeting remains the highest body in Nigeria for appraising policy direction for environment and climate change as well as effectiveness and impacts of strategies and projects delivery.

According to him, the theme is a call for action to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emission and energy transition for Nigeria.

Appreciating the Federal Ministry of Environment for the signing into law of the Climate Change Act by the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, revealed that the Climate Change Act has come at an opportune time and will be necessary for the attainment of the county’s commitment to achieving environmental sustainability goals.

“FAO Nigeria over the last 40 years of establishing its country office in Nigeria has been providing support to government institutions and their partners, within the framework of Nigeria Country Programming Framework (CPF), in the implementation of evidence based gender-responsive policies, strategies and programmes that address food insecurity, malnutrition, natural resources management, climate resilience and integrated disaster management and response systems.

“The current Nigeria’s CPF which guides FAO support to Government of Nigeria and other stakeholders, will be coming to an end this year, and as usual from now through December 2022, FAO would be expanding will reach to include feedback and views from relevant government ministries, department and agency, as well as civil society organizations, development partners, the academic community and the private sector for the formulation of new CPF for Nigeria for 2023-2027,” he stressed.

He assured that FAO Nigeria would always give consideration to supporting special efforts being made by the Government of Nigeria to ensure more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient and more sustainable agrifood systems, for better production, better nutrition, better environment, and better life for all, leaving no one behind.