The Lagos State Government and the United States of America Consulate in Nigeria on Tuesday committed to greater collaboration toward air quality monitoring and measuring to reduce pollution and combat the effect of climate change.
The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, and the Acting Consular General of the American Consulate, Brandon Hudspeth expressed the commitment at a high-level meeting between the State officials and the Consulate at Alausa, Ikeja.
Speaking at the event, Tunji Bello said Lagos was in dire need of larger collaboration especially in human capacity building to combat the climate change menace across the state.
He said the State Government in its quest to tackle climate change in 2008 commenced a Climate Change Conference which took place till date till 2015 when it had a break before recommencing in 2021.
He explained that part of the resolutions of past conferences was the creation of Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency for continuous tree planting across Lagos in order to mitigate the effects of climate change adding that the Bus Rapid Transportation (BRT) scheme was introduced to reduce emission on transport because the BRT mode of transportation can convey more people at a time.
He stated that with the population at about 24 million in Lagos, it is obvious that human activities have warmed the atmosphere, ocean, and land adding that the Government is trying to put various measures in place so that human activities must be carried out with climate change in mind.
The Acting U. S. Consul General, Mr. Brandon Hudspeth, said the Consulate was elated with the various activities developed by the Lagos State Government to combat Climate change adding that they are ready to partner and give technical expertise to further raise awareness about air pollution.
He added that the U. S Consulate in Nigeria has ensured all its building in Nigeria has been operating on zero carbon emission saying that this was part of their contribution to combat air pollution.
In her presentation, the General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency(LASEPA) Dr. Dolapo Fasawe Stated that Lagos State’s expectation for the partnership was to create adequate awareness about Air quality, Dangers of Air Pollution, and ways to mitigate the effect of Air pollution against Climate change.
She added that scientists have long proven that air pollution exposure could lead series of negative health impacts, saying that higher ozone brought about steeper increases in depressive symptoms across adolescent development, a pattern that was not observed for other forms of psychopathology symptoms.
She further explained that Air is supposed to be transparent, odorless, and colourless adding that once it is smoking, the air has become polluted and dangerous to human health.
She informed that Lagos State Government has installed six Air Quality Monitoring Station in strategic locations across the State adding that henceforth the State Government would commence the enforcement of arrest of vehicles and machinery contributing to carbon emission.
In his presentation, the Head of Climate Change and Environmental Planning Department in the Ministry of the Environment, Mr. Micheal Bankole highlighted that as of 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, and increased Green House Gas(GHG) among other contributors adding that these have caused a reduction in Air quality, infrastructural stress, flooding various health challenges.
He said Lagos State has been working on various strategies that when fully implemented will set Lagos on a pathway towards Cabon neutrality by 2050.
Director (Public Affairs) MOE &WR
May 10, 2022