The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in part two of its Sixth Assessment report that was released on Monday, February 28, 2022, classified Nigeria as one of the hotspot countries that will be badly affected by the negative impacts of climate change.
Food and water security, extreme weather disasters, as well as decline in people’s physical and mental health are examples of the challenges that many Nigerians will experience. And these incidents are expected to increase, findings from the IPCC report warned, if urgent actions are not taken to reduce emissions and minimise their damages.
What are some of these pressing steps, a lot of people may ask? One of them is adaptation mechanisms.
Investment in adaptation certainly reduces the numerous threats posed by climate change if well integrated into national development plans, and it also mitigates accumulating risk and compounding cost.
Although, this approach may not serve as magic bullet or total “surrender” to the crisis, says Michael Terungwa, head of the Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP), but it will fundamentally increase local knowledge and help humans best plan on how to organise their societies.
Speaking at a press conference held on Friday, March 4, 2022, in Abuja to discuss the implications of the IPCC report on Nigeria’s socio-economic and sustainable growth, he canvassed that stakeholders’ views should be captured in the formulation of adaptation policy and practice to keep track of its successes and failures.
Such plan must act with clarity, focus and ambition to foster early action. It must prioritise the green and energy transition agenda to free Nigeria from coal and other dirty energy sources, and increase investments in technology to enhance smart agricultural practices, and deepened understanding on early warning systems to curb the doomsday predictions by the IPCC study.
“Any further delay in concerted anticipatory global action on adaptation and mitigation,” he warned, “will miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a loveable and sustainable future for all.”
Professor Hassan Shuaib, director of environmental studies at the University of Abuja, believes that Nigeria must double its efforts in building the resilience of its citizens to tackle the impending dangers of climate change.
He highlighted the significance of environmental awareness, which he recommended to accelerate public knowledge on the various mitigation and adaptation systems to combat climate change.
For him, unless man sees this problem as self-inflicted and get rid of it permanently, it will continue to disrupt and threaten sustainable living. Therefore, he urged the government to focus on policies that promote green and clean energy initiatives to stem the spread of this monster and its catastrophic effects.
GIFSEP and its partners 350 Africa, Citizens Climate International, and Centre for Environmental Studies of the University of Abuja, want the government to implement the Climate Change Act by establishing a council as contained in the document to address the issues raised in the IPCC report and also advance the nation’s Just Transition programme.
By Etta Michael Bisong, Abuja