As a matter of justice, a group of activists has demanded that vulnerable communities be included in the issue of climate change in Nigeria.
This is crucial, according to the body of environmentalists who gathered in Abuja on Saturday, July 22, 2023, to observe this year’s Climate Emergency Day (CED), because only active participation in the international dialogue on climate change can assist affected people in taking action to adapt to the nation’s current ecological challenges.
They asserted that, as part of efforts to close this gap, the International Initiative for the Advancement of SDGs in Africa (IISDG), the Ecocykle Development Foundation (EDF), and the Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP) formed a coalition and brought advocates together to raise public awareness about the causes of climate change and citizens’ roles in addressing them.
Nigeria should be wary of putting climate issues on the back burner when planning its socioeconomic growth, warned Joseph Ibrahim, the Climate Clock’s West African Coordinator, because, according to him, citizens are already feeling the effects.
Ibrahim used the flood that killed more than 603 people in 2022 and farmers’ inability to accurately predict rainfall patterns that are affecting their productivity to demonstrate how vulnerable the population is and the need for immediate action.
“All of these are indicators that we cannot afford to fold our hands and do nothing,” he said.
As a result, the environmental rights advocate urged outstanding citizens’ interest and corresponding political will, both of which are urgently required because there isn’t enough time to address the problem.
According to him, the science behind the Climate Clock reveals that the world has a finite amount of time to stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming, a deadline that, if missed, will turn everyone into an accomplice of delay and devastation rather than the architects of a timely and just transition.
Ibrahim Idris, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Environment, emphasised that it is critical to pay attention to the science of the climate clock because it serves as a constant notice of the need to act quickly to avert the anticipated doom.
Idris, who was represented at the event by Dr. Aliyu Yauri, a deputy director in the Department of Climate Change (DCC), described the CED as a fantastic platform for raising public awareness about climate change activities.
“It is significant to highlight the Climate Clock to signal that it is time for action,” he said.
The PS explained that the federal government has implemented a number of interventions, including revising the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), as part of measures to reduce emissions because Nigeria is a signatory to the United Nations Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Aliyu Sadiq, the co-founder of EDF and Nigeria’s Country Coordinator of the Climate Clock, pointed out that the clock serves as a reminder to people around the world that time is a finite resource and that there is a pressing need for increased public awareness of the effects of climate change.
He continued by saying that Nigeria could not be an exception given the need for this awareness on a global scale. According to him, the CED is a great chance to educate everyone about climate change and what they can do to help resolve the crisis.
The eco-champion acknowledged that Nigeria is currently facing a number of difficulties that must be resolved as quickly as possible.
“The clock is ticking down to irreversible; the crisis is becoming more visible as flooding and drought occur, revealing that climate change is real and the time to act is now,” he submitted.
By Etta Michael Bisong, Abuja