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Redefining Nigeria's Short Term Goals for COP21 Negotiations #Call4Climate

NIGERIA – SEPTEMBER 21st - While climate change is a global phenomenon, it is hitting the world’s poorest regions - and most marginalized communities - the hardest. These changing conditions are impacting human health, economic activity, and are threatening basic human rights including access to water and food security. Climate change is already affecting local communities in low and middle income countries but stories on the negative impacts as well as on the solutions that governments, communities and individuals are implementing often get lost in the global climate change debate.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has revealed through its latest assessment report that global surface temperature change for the end of the 21st century is likely to reach four degree Celsius if no action is taken and as such, it can be unarguably asserted that there is no country in the world that is not seeing firsthand the drastic effects of climate change. There is an heightened need for all countries to commit to substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions which continue to rise, and are now more than 50 percent higher than their 1990 level. Further, global warming is causing long-lasting changes to our climate system, which threatens irreversible consequences if actions are not taken now.

So far in the build up to the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris, the responses of different nations differ. The submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions  (INDCs) has shown that the EU promised to cut emissions by 40% by 2030, Switzerland 50% and even Benin Republic 45%. However, a clairvoyant scrutiny of the list of countries who has submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) will surprisingly reveal that Nigeria is yet to make any declaration on the percentage cut in emissions planned for the post 2020 period when high expectations brooding that the recent Syrian crisis and flooding in Sierra Leone will prompt countries, even the highly industrialized ones into making stronger short-term goals to reduce dangerous greenhouse gasses.

According to Article Two of the United Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which represent its ultimate objective seeks to achieve stabilization of greenhouse concentration in the atmosphere to a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, short and long term goals are instrumental to pushing this to fruition.

Pointed towards this discourse is the compass of various short term goals Nigeria must set in order to engage actively and partake in the global effects to find workable solutions to halt Climate Change. One of those is the transition to an era of Renewable Energy. In the words of Ajobiewe Tolulope "no doubt, it's imperative that Nigeria develops a concise master plan/framework aimed at a complete transition to renewable energy by 2050". Renewable energy will directly help develop policies and strategies to ensuring affordable and sustainable clean energy access to the most vulnerable communities and individuals.

A bold step for Nigeria to reduce its climate change contribution is to institutionalize its development of every efficiency and renewable with appropriate goals and objectives in a bid to increase the use of renewable energy resources in areas where grid extension is too costly and where the opportunities for the use of renewable is economically needed.

Additionally, the Nigerian government need not to subsidies for fossil fuels as it impedes the pace of the transition renewable energy use. Likewise, market transformation mechanisms similar to that of adopted in the developed countries which will encourage more rapid development of its energy efficiency and renewable energy potential should be established for execution.

Also as part of its short term goals, Nigeria must invest in efforts to raise awareness and integrate measures into national policies and strategies designed to limit the existing impacts of Climate change. The suggestion that oil-producing countries should be compensated for their projected income losses on the event of legally binding agreement COP21 is aimed at, will assist their economy diversification attempt should be vigorously argued and canvassed. Nigeria can only be sure that it's interest is protected in the emergent global reduction strategy if it increase its level of participation in climate awareness. With attention focused on 100 percent renewable in foreseeable time, this will also help in preparation to limit the increase in global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels in order to prevent the worst impacts of Climate change.

As analysts suggest, it will require a concerted effort, through set realistic short term and long term goals and sincere commitment, at the UN talks in December to ensure that the current levels of emissions reductions are not locked in until 2030, opening up a window for increased action in 2025. However, for Nigeria to participate actively at the COP21 negotiations, redefining her short term goals remain a significant factor.

By Prince Olanrewaju Gideon Seun |

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Redefining Nigeria's Short Term Goals for COP21 Negotiations #Call4Climate Reviewed by Olumide Idowu on Monday, September 21, 2015 Rating: 5
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