Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa has said that the state is one of the most affected by climate change in Nigeria over effects of oil exploration there.
A statement by Diri’s Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabra, quoted the governor as attributing the development to the high degree of carbon emissions and environmental degradation from oil exploration.
Diri spoke when a consultancy firm, Ecologistics Integrated Services, presented a report on the state’s participation at the 26th session of the Conference of Parties (COP26) at Glasgow, Scotland, which Diri personally attended.
He said the world was shifting from oil to cleaner energy sources, and that all concerned should be part of the process so that the state would not be left behind.
The governor said that the state required multi-sectoral approach to mitigate it.
He also called on environmental activists to partner to attract the needed resources for development of the state.
He explained that Bayelsa participated at COP26 as one of the most affected states by climate change and the conference provided an opportunity to take its challenges to the global platform.
Diri noted that the state was blessed with abundant resources that needed to be harnessed through partnership and collaborations.
He thanked the consultants for making a comprehensive report on the state’s participation at the conference, adding that the government would work with them to explore other areas to improve its economy.
“Bayelsa State is one of the most affected by climate change in Nigeria. Bayelsa is at the epicentre in terms of climate change. Our people and environment have been affected.
“Recently, we had one of the worst oil spills in the world in Nembe community.
“That explains what people are suffering in the state. For us, that was an opportunity to take our issues to the world.
“Let me use this opportunity to call on our environmental activists to be part of this process and ensure that we are not left out in this transition we are about to experience.
“Particularly those of us from this state, oil is about to finish and we are transiting to cleaner energy.
“Join hands with the state government and see what Bayelsa will make out of this transition in terms of partnership, technical know-how and attracting the finances out there for our state.” Diri said.
In his remarks, the President of Ecologistics, Dr Paul Abolo, commended the governor for his interest in the climate change action.
Abolo stated that the action of the governor showed the quality of leadership in the state, saying that no state government in Nigeria had engaged in climate action like Bayelsa did.
He said the state had keyed into a critical part of the climate change action, noting that was how developing countries could access funds.
He listed such funds as grants, loans and others from developed countries to cushion the effects of climate change.
By Nathan Nwakamma