As State hosts 9th Climate Change Summit
Lagos State Government on Tuesday convened the 9th edition of the Climate Change Summit, advocating higher investment by everyone in the realization of the Climate Action Plan.
This position was espoused by the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu who spoke through his Deputy, Dr Kadri Obafemi Hamzat at the Continental Hotel, VI, said the State Action Plan launched last year has started reaping great and impactful rewards, saying that Government, has instituted several adaptation programmes to ensure that citizens are shielded from the effects of Climate Change.
“In just a year, the Lagos Climate Action Plan has started to reap great rewards, an example of such is the recently awarded grant to Lagos State Waterways Authority to improve the State’s ferry services to provide a multi-model transport network for Lagos thereby reducing commuters and greenhouse gas emissions associated with on-road transportation” he emphasized.
Sanwo-Olu said the State understands the symbiosis between the effects of climate change and the persistence of violence against women and as such has identified several adaptation initiatives to address gender-specific impacts.
“We are in constant discussion with our development partners and donor organizations to find solutions and ways to better adapt to climate impacts especially as it affects women, children, and people with disabilities in terms of provision of water; food security; energy and healthcare services,” he said.
He added that the collaboration cannot go far without the engagement and tangible actions of the private sector because they are critical players in the climate action space, saying the two parties can mobilize public and private sector finance to drive the net-zero transition.
The Governor implored participants to look critically into sectors such as Waste, Transportation, Energy, Housing and Food systems for the proper economic dimension, meeting global environmental and social standards and ecosystem restoration targets.
According to him: “Global climate change is not a future problem. It is affecting every country in every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities and countries dearly”.
He cited the example of the United Kingdom which has been experiencing increased temperature, resulting into wildfires across the country with attendant loss of several farmlands, homes and livelihood of individuals, adding that wildfires in California, the United States of America and other terrible natural disasters happening in China, India, Turkey and Australia, are indications that climate change impact knows no boundaries.
He reiterated that Lagos being a littoral state is often inundated by flash floods due to an increase in sea level rise but soon disappears after few hours as compared to other affected States in the Nation.
He reaffirmed that both the public and private sectors in Lagos must adopt the Lagos Climate Action Plan with the aim of incorporating plan, programme and actions that will set Lagos on a pathway for carbon neutrality and increased adaptation for her populace.
He said that Climate action and sustainability have to be integrated at the heart of growth strategies, investment plans and institutional structures to facilitate the flow of public and private finance.
“As a frontline State, we are always looking at making things better. That is why my government will be supporting the Youth also to drive this Change. The Youth have a central role of driving innovative climate technologies to adapt to the impacts of climate change” he noted.
He revealed that this year’s event is featuring for the first time a Poster Competition for innovate solutions to tackle the impacts of Climate Change adding that come year 2023 at the 10th Lagos International Climate Change Summit, there is expectation that we will celebrate several grand innovative solutions to adapt to climate impacts.
According to him, The times ahead requires accelerating investments in sustainable infrastructure, supported by clear strategies and programme, this will be the central driver of the new growth approach.
Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resoures, Tunji Bello in his welcome address said this event over the years has served as a conveyor of opinions and suggestions on how to manage our planet against the deadly impact of Climate Change with special attention to our dear Lagos.
He said it has become more expedient for all parties, government, leaders of thought, organized private sector, and individuals to embark on deliberate and consistent efforts to combat the Climate Change crisis.
“There is a need for accelerated development and adoption of innovative climate technologies, likewise business models and financial mechanisms to support green economic growth,” he said.
He said the theme for this year’s summit “Integrating Climate Actions in Lagos State Development: Investment Opportunities and Trade-offs’’ demonstrates governments commitment to Climate Action and how new vistas of opportunities can be opened.
He said Government recognizes the impact of the organized private sector on economic growth in Lagos and the commitment of the Government to mainstream climate action in the next phase of the developmental agenda of Lagos State saying, it is an affirmative action in support of the role of the private sector in mitigating the effects of climate change.
He disclosed that, Lagos is the only State in the Country that has developed and commenced the implementation of her Climate Action Plan in Nigeria adding that the Plan highlighted 26 initiatives across adaptation and mitigation actions to advance a sustainable low carbon economy to achieve net zero by Year 2050.
He also disclosed that the State Government through the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources has signed up to the £15m UKAID Climate Action Implementation Programme, which will support cities to accelerate the implementation from their Climate Action Plans (CAPs).
He emphasized that Lagos State is at an advanced stage of completing work on the Lagos Climate Adaptation and Resilient Plan (CARP) as the State prepares for the forthcoming Conference of Parties 27 (COP 27) in Egypt in November.
He added that this document will project the state’s need on the adaptation level and also serves as one of the bargaining documents for collaboration and support from International Donor Agencies and investors.
He noted that Climate Actions require significant investments and it is also a known fact that the economic cost of Climate Change far exceeds the cost of action adding that the Ministry is forward-looking with her collaborative efforts with the private sector in order to maximise the inherent benefits of climate action.
The 9th Lagos State Climate Change Summit which had in attendance Investors, Academia, Scientist, Environmental enthusiasts, Climate Change analysts, Students and other Stakeholders continues on Wednesday.