A consortium of civil society organisations (CSOs) comprising the Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st), International Climate Change Development Initiative (ICCDI) and Connected Advocacy (CA) has embarked on an awareness creation campaign on net-zero carbon emission in Nigeria, even as it charged the media on advocacy to achieve stated objectives.
The group also enjoined the federal government to formulate its own low-emission strategies so as to achieve deep emissions cuts in alliance with the Paris Agreement of 2015.
While addressing journalists during a workshop held in Lagos on Tuesday, June 27, 2023, Olumide Idowu of ICCDI said the three organisations are determined to support Nigeria’s low carbon transition and will be implementing the “Raising Awareness on Net Zero in Nigeria” otherwise known as “the RANZ Nigeria Project”.
According to him, the main goal of the project is to “provide information and tools to communities, media, and CSOs to take action for deep emission reductions in Nigeria”.
“The RANZ Nigeria Project among others will be raising awareness about emission reductions and climate change mitigation in Nigeria, building the capacity of local communities, media, and CSOs to understand net zero and engage with climate change mitigation and also to provide feedback from communities, the media, and CSOs to policymakers on mainstreaming community concerns into long-term mitigation strategies for Nigeria,” Idowu opined.
Speaking on behalf of the CSOs, Mr Olumide Idowu, Executive Director, ICCDI, said that the project was aimed at promoting mitigation actions towards Net-Zero emission of Green House Gases (GHG) at community levels.
According to Idowu, Net-Zero is used to describe deep de-carbonisation that should lead to zero GHG emissions and prevent dangerous effects of climate change.
“We believe Net-Zero is a serious issue in Nigeria, and we want to do our part to help address it by raising awareness at grass root levels to inspire locally-led mitigation actions for deep emission reductions,” Idowu said.
He said that the media had a great role to play in raising awareness on the dangers of GHG, and pollutions to the environment through storytelling, documentaries and visualisations on how to achieve Net Zero emissions.
Idowu said that the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released in 2021, which the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, described as a wake-up call to the global community.
He said Guterres described climate crises ‘as a code red for humanity.”
He said that the report underscored the urgency for deep cuts in carbon emission within the next few decades with the aim of averting catastrophic climate change crises.
“Earlier in 2018, the IPCC stated that the world needs to reach net zero by the year 2050, if it is to meet the temperature goal of 1.5 degrees set out in the Paris Climate Agreement adopted in the year 2015.
“The Paris Agreement requires that nations that are parties to the agreement should submit their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and action plan by countries to cut emission and adapt to the impact of climate change within the updates of every five years.
”Many countries including Nigeria have been submitting their NDCs.
“But an aggregation of this NDC, according to the United Nations Environmental Programmes (UNEP) Emission Gap Report of 2022 indicated that NDCs commitments submitted so far are inadequate to achieve the Paris Agreement temperature goal.
“It is therefore incumbent on all stakeholders from both developed and developing countries to redouble their efforts to reduce their carbon emission to meet the Paris Agreement,” Idowu said.
He said that Nigeria was in the process of formulating its own low emission strategy and all stakeholders including CSOs are enjoined to work to support Nigeria on the road to low carbon development.
He said that the three CSOs were at the CSO platform, championing awareness on net zero carbon emission in Nigeria.
The executive director said that the three CSOs in an effort to support Nigeria’s low carbon transition, would be implementing a project on Raising Awareness on Net Zero in Nigeria called RANZ Nigeria Projects.
He said that the main goal of the project was to provide information tools to communities media and CSOs to take action for deep emission reductions in Nigeria.
“The specific objective, however, includes raising awareness about emission reduction and climate change Mitigation in Nigeria.
“Building the capacity of local communities, media, CSOs to understand net zero and engage with climate change mitigation.
“We also want to provide feedback from communities, the media, the CSOs to policymakers on mainstreaming community concerns into long term mitigation strategy for Nigeria.
“Forthcoming net zero activities in Nigeria will include the activities to deliver on the stated goals and objectives,” Idowu said.
He said that there would be community consultation on net zero in Six Geopolitical Zones in Nigeria.
He said that the CSOs would be developing information, education and communication materials to also push the conversation.
He added that the CSOs would be engaging the media, engaging with CSOs in the net zero space and policymakers to make sure that the conversation comes through a great and fulfill awareness to people.
“With the support of development partners, we will be rolling out these activities in collaboration with relevance policymakers, and institutions in Nigeria.
“Within the next six months, we wll be working with the Nigeria Climate Change Council, and some selected states climate change departments across the state and local government in Nigeria,” Idowu said.
While delivering a paper titled “Nigeria’s Long-Term Low-Emission Development Strategy – 2060, Elaboration of Nigeria’s Long-Term Low-Emission Development Strategy (LT-LEDS) an Overview of the LT-LEDS and the Journey So Far (Role of Media)”, Dr. Eugene Itua, CEO, Natural Eco Capital, disclosed that, going by the mandate of the Department of Climate Change (DCC) of the Federal Ministry of Environment, there must be zero emission by 2030 as carbon neutrality is required to minimise the global climate crisis of today.
He said: “Nigeria needs steer development in a climate-resilient and low-greenhouse gas emission path for shared socio-economic prosperity and development plan that promotes sustainable social and economic development while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building a climate-resilient society over the medium to long term.
“Long Term Low Emission Development Strategy otherwise called LT-LEDS is urgently required for Nigeria to steer its development in a climate-resilient and low-greenhouse gas emission path for shared socio-economic prosperity.”
Professor Emmanuel Oladipo of Geography Department of University of Lagos who joined the session remotely believed the concept of Net-Zero means cutting greenhouse emissions to “as close as zero as possible” with any remaining to be absorbed.
He said: “The integrity of net and consistency with sustainable development objectives is very paramount to achieving the set goal of the Paris Agreement.”
In his speech, Mr. Michael Bankole of the Lagos State Ministry of Environment & Water Resources, who maintained that Lagos State is vulnerable to climate change with the emission of over 26,000 carbon dioxide as petrol emits carbon dioxide into the environment, however disclosed that renewable energy is the way to go in dealing with net-zero.
“The Lagos State Secretariat in Alausa is running on gas. Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency LASEPA’s laboratory is running fully on solar while the Blue and the Red Line Rail is running on electricity. All these were done with the aim of cutting down the use of fuel,” Bankole stressed,
In her speech, Ms Titilope Akosa of Centre for 21st Century Issues implored participants at the workshop to ensure prompt reportage of reports propagating net-zero activities in Nigeria.
She said: “We would be working with the media in community consultations on Net Zero in six geopolitical zones of Nigeria, develop Information, Education, and Communication Material (IEC), also engaging with CSOs on Net Zero as well as engagement with policy makers with the support of development partners and climate institutions in Nigeria within the next six months.”
Prince Israel Oreka of Connected Advocacy for Empowerment and Youth Development Initiative also enjoined the participating journalists to ensure they beam their searchlights on stories that centre around net-zero as they are the major mouthpiece of the CSOs in achieving cleaner and safer environment.