March 4, 2020

Climate change: FG, UNDP commence dialogue on job creation

climate change, Nigeria

By Chris Ochayi

A national dialogue aimed at creating massive job opportunities through the implementation of the Paris agreement on climate change, has commenced by the Federal Government.

Speaking in Abuja at a two-day national dialogue on assessing social and employment impacts of Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs, policy, Director, Climate change at the Ministry of Environment, Yerima Peter Tarfa, said a major focus would be on agricultural sector development.

Tarfa noted that the discuss was to access the impact of the implementation of the just transition in Nigeria towards job creation across the five priority sectors of the Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs.

Noting that there is opportunity in climate change, Mr. Tarfa said the programme said the Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs have five sector areas, where massive jobs would be created.

He said, “First and foremost the agricultural sector, now when we talk about climate smart agriculture and small holder farmers, the implementation of climate change will give an opportunity for them to boost their harvest and thereby creating job opportunities for the small holder farmers in a climate smart way of agricultural practices.

“So we need to quantify that, we need to bring this information forward to the small holder farmers, we also need to use our extension workers to bring this information across to this small holder farmers through the ministry of agriculture in the respective state.

“When it comes to area of power, energy we are also encouraging household solar power system which in itself is gaining traction in the country and is creating a lot of employment opportunity too for small entrepreneurs.

“In fact it’s one of the key areas we are thinking that the Nigerian youth can innovatively come into it and bring up opportunities for job creation. If you go into the area of transport too this is also a very critical area, we have a lot of smaller KEKE-NAPEP, KEKE-Maruwa, all these type of means of transportations are using carbon intensive energy sources.

“But we want to encourage a shift towards a low carbon trajectory, whereby you can use either ethanol or LPG with less emissions and creating also a lot of jobs.

“The experts are here that came from across the world, sent by the UN organisations to interface with us. So today is just a beginning of a dialogue to create a forum where experts across the country will make contributions and it will help us really in creating jobs across the value chain of Nigeria.

Tarfa said, on the opportunity in climate change that, “In fact when I first joined the climate change discussions, I was told that the whole discussions is around bread and butter that is how the opportunities that are in it will lead to achieving even the sustainable development goals.

“You know goal 13 is focusing on climate change but if you look invariably all other goals one way or the other have a connection with goal 13. And similarly also, last week we had a one week section that was really looking at the mainstreaming of issues of climate change into the revised Economic Recovery Plan, ERGP.”

On estimated number of jobs that climate change can actually provide for the country, he said,  “It’s a tool now which we are introducing. So it is this tool now when we implement it accordingly it will now be able to tell us that this sector will create this quantum of jobs.”

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On her part, Climate Policy Analyst with United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, Sangji Lee said the UNDP was providing support for more than 100 countries in enhancing their naturally determined contribution which is called NDCs and which is used to call it as national climate actions.

She noted that, “As part of our climate promise to our recipient countries we are also providing the tool. Which is a micro economic tool to measure whether the social and impediment impacts of the NDCs policies.

“So if you look at specific sectors, for example agriculture, with the tool, the countries could measure how many jobs will be created through the smart agriculture, who will be affected, does it create jobs for youth and female?

“And it can also look at other social dimensions like income disparity, gender equality, so those are the things we are bringing to the Nigerian government.”

On funding, Lee explained that, this is all the technical supports that we are providing, which actually requires a bit of resources because we have to bring in the international experts like the data modular to come and teach micro economic module.

“So we will provide the micro economic module to the government which the government could use for the entire time, so it is very sustainable in that aspect. So it is not a one-time assessment that they can replicate it a couple of times.

“We are not speaking from the number of economics, because we are providing a policy support, because we are from the NDC policy team.

“So we are helping the government to design the right set of policies that could really enhance opportunities and climate investment in creating more jobs which is decent and qualified.”