Presidency Orders Projects for Flood Management, Resuscitation of Shrinking Lake Chad… Fuel Subsidy Removal Saves 42,800 Tons of Carbon Dioxide Emissions Daily- VP

The Presidency has directed the National Council on Climate Change to immediately develop a Comprehensive Climate Change Adaptation Project for Flood Management in Nigeria, and find a way to resuscitating the shrinking Lake Chad.

This is even as the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima revealed that the removal of oil subsidy has led to 30% reduction in daily fuel consumption, amounting to about 20 million litres, which is equivalent to an estimated daily saving of 42,800 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2e) emissions.

Speaking at a one-day workshop on unpacking the outcome of 58th Sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima lamented that climate change is perhaps the biggest challenge facing humanity today, noting that even as a developing nation in the global south, Nigeria is gravely impacted by the negative effects of climate change.

The Vice President who was represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Senator Ibrahim Hassan, said: “For instance, Nigeria is ranked as one of the ten most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change in the world. This is despite our negligible contribution to overall global carbon emissions responsible for climate change. In fact, Africa as a whole, accounts for less than 4% of total global carbon emissions.

“For me and a lot of the people that come from the North Eastern part of Nigeria, we bear the scars of climate change effects and have had to live with its impacts, such as drought and desertification, disruption of rainfall patterns, leading to sandstorms, severe floods, destruction of farmlands, infrastructure and human settlements. These and many more occur in other parts of the country too.”

He added that: “We are all living witnesses to ravaging floods of last year (2022) which held the country to a standstill for days. The World Bank’s Global Rapid post-disaster Damage Estimation (GRADE) assessment put the total direct economic damage to infrastructure be about US$7 billion. This is equivalent to 1.6% of Nigeria’s estimated 2021 (GDP), not including loss of over 600 lives. For Nigeria, that was climate change at its worst.

“Consequently, and in order to avert future occurrences of such severe floods, the National Council on Climate Change is hereby directed to develop a Comprehensive Climate Change Adaptation Project for Flood Management in Nigeria. The Project should include resuscitation of the Lake Chad Basin.”

The Vice President said: “The plan for decarbonizing our energy systems highlights the key role that natural gas will play in transitioning our economy across sectors. The data and evidence show that Nigeria can continue to use gas until 2040 without detracting from the goals of the Paris agreement. Nevertheless, we are rapidly advancing the development and deployment of renewables through various programs such as the $550million Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) supported by the World Bank which is promoting the use of solar mini-grid and solar home systems across Nigeria. There is also the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority(NSIA) managed project jointly financed by Kano State and the Federal Government, which completed a 10MW solar plant, the largest in the country.”

He said: “Another intervention is the Energizing Education Programme, implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency which is delivering clean energy to Federal Universities and Teaching Hospitals across the country. Furthermore, government is also subsidizing clean energy for rural women through the Rural Women Energy Security(RUWES) project and Rural Energy Access Project (REAP). Other schemes include the Clean Energy Transportation Scheme (CETS) and National Clean Cooking Scheme (NCCS) which promote the deployment of CNG powered buses in major Nigerian cities and clean cooking in communities and boarding schools respectively.”

He noted that: “At the onset of this administration, H. E. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, took the bold step of bring to an end petrol subsidy. Preliminary analysis conducted by the National Council on Climate Change on the co-benefits of fuel subsidy removal indicate that there has been about 30% reduction in daily fuel consumption, amounting to about 20 million liters, equivalent to an estimated daily saving of 42,800 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2e) emissions. When projected over a period of one year, it amounts to over 15 million tons of CO2e saved, representing about 40% GHG reduction from the baseline projection of 45 million metric tons of total GHG CO2eq by 2030. This places Nigeria on course to achieving our NDC targets ahead of time.”

The Vice President disclosed that: “Our vision and expectations for COP 28 will include increased climate action on many fronts, particularly increased and available climate finance. We note with concern, the lack of progress on the mobilization of the $100 billion meant for adaptation financing by 2020 pledged by western countries since 2009 at COP15. The Loss and Damage agreement which provided hope for many low-income countries bearing the brunt of climate change, must be finalized in Dubai; Just Energy Transition where we expect discussions to focus incentivizing and enabling emerging economies to transit sustainably in accordance to their national priorities, capacities, and based on greater financial support must also be finalized, taking cognizance of the need to include more favourable terms for developing countries, along with technology transfer.

“Our intention is to lead the ECOWAS sub region by example, leveraging on our accomplishments in championing the cause for regional climate actions at every international forum held over the years. The 2023 Africa Climate Week and Africa Climate Summit, both holding next month in Nairobi, Kenya, will provide platforms to reiterate the call for continued partnership, unity, cooperation and genuine collective efforts towards tackling the challenges of climate change. Our shared destiny as a global community is ultimately dependent on the successes we are able to achieve together.”

The Director General of the National Council on Climate Change, Salisu Dahiru said the workshop is very important in order for stakeholders to put head together to plan strategies for the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference which will be holding from 30 November to 12 December 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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