The Lagos State Government on Wednesday reiterated that the time has come for all to take the issue of mitigation, adaptation and climate finance more seriously in the quest to tackle climate change.
Speaking during a Climate Change Technical Committee meeting held at Protea Hotel, Ikeja, the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources Mr. Tunji Bello said all ministerial departments and agencies must work collaboratively to achieve desired purposes.
He added that the technical committee meeting is about fashioning out a position paper for the state as it develops strategies that would contribute to Lagos state emission reduction and improve air quality.
Bello said Climate Change is real and the current warming trend is of particular significance because it is unequivocally the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and is proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over the years.
He added that it is undeniable that human activities have warmed the atmosphere, ocean, and land while the rapid change in the atmosphere and others have occurred.
He stressed that the above scenario is true for Lagos State because from air pollution to waste management, transportation to energy, all the indices are not encouraging.
The Commissioner stated further that Human activities that are not sustainable are constantly perpetrated thus increasing the State’s Emission profile stressing that, the State Government cannot afford to pay lip service to the fight against this devastating phenomenon.
Quoting Rt Hon Alok Sharma, President of COP 26,“We can now say with credibility that we have kept 1.5 degrees alive. But, its pulse is weak and it will only survive if we keep our promises and translate commitments into rapid action”. This is a clarion call for us all to kick–start the process of putting Lagos on a sure-footing environmentally and climate-protected, he said.
He said the socio-economic and infrastructural development must be done with climate change in mind adding that several studies have revealed that the State must vigorously pursue adaptation and mitigation projects to stop the tide of environmental pollution arising from the Business-as-Usual (BUA) syndrome.
He reiterated that climate change cuts across thematic sectors which fall under everyone’s ministerial responsibilities and everyone must project their actions, activities, and programmes through a common platform via the secretariat for reportage.
He explained that the committee which consists of Permanent Secretaries as well as Heads of Agencies is expected to bring to fore issues and concerns related to the impacts of climate change on human well-being and the Environment to the secretariat adding that the Ministries of the Environment and Water Resources and other Ministries should not be seen as competing with one another.
The Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Service, Omobolaji Gaji said it has become necessary to Mainstream the climate change projects and programmes into Lagos State developmental plans.
He urged heads of MDAs to set up Climate Change Department in their various Ministries adding that it was important to encourage information sharing and synergy amongst MDAs saying this would encourage easy implementation of the Lagos Climate Action Plan.
He said the time is now for all to close rank and allow prosperity to talk well of everyone’s efforts on issues on climate change as these efforts will shape the future moving towards the 2050 landmark.
In his presentation, the Head Climate Change Department in the Ministry of the Environment, Mr. Micheal Bankole highlighted that as at 2015 the total emission in Lagos State was estimated to be 26 million Gigatonnes of carbon-infused in the atmosphere saying stationery energy contributed 55%, Transportation 20%, while Waste Contributes 25%.
He mentioned that the rise in the carbon emissions could be attributed to Rapid Population Growth, Sea-level Rise as well as increased Green House Gas(GHG) adding that these have caused infrastructural stress, flooding and the recent heatwave being experienced.
He said the Climate Action Plan builds on earlier Climate Change strategies for Lagos State to deliver a package of measures that when fully implemented will set Lagos on a pathway towards Caron neutrality by 2050.
This year’s Climate Change Technical Committee attended policy decision-makers from Government, members of the Academia and Non – Governmental Organizations as well as Civil Society Organisations.
Director (Public Affairs) MOE &WR
April 26, 2022