As FG assures action on climate change
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
An international nongovernmental organization, Global Rights Nigeria, yesterday, expressed worry over Nigeria’s vulnerability to climate change via mining activities across the country.
This was expressed by the Country Director, Global Rights Nigeria, Abiodun Baiyewu, Abiodun Baiyewu, in an address of welcome during the launch of ‘Climate Change and Mining in Nigeria Policy Brief’.
According to Baiyewu the document will enhance need information and necessary recommendations towards an improved legal framework to achieve a sustained regulatory process that governs the mining sector in Nigeria.
She also added that it has become imperative to build climate adaptative and resilient capabilities for the sector, which she said shethe document unveils the brewing issues surrounding the tensions between the nation’s climate change commitment, and its aspiration to develop its mining sector to mitigate energy poverty in the country, and its much-needed economic growth.
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She said: “Environmental pollution from coal mining that is already devastating coal mining host communities in Gombe and Kogi States.
“It is evident that mining in general will increase this vulnerability. Its entire mining value chain is in need of a futuristic stress test”
“In 2014, Nigeria’s total Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG) were 492.44 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e), totaling 1.01 percent of global GHG emissions
“This means that the Greenhouse gas emissions per person per year is less than 2 tons compared to the global average of over 6 tonnes.”
Meanwhile, the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by Special Assistant to the Vice President on Rule of Law, Dr Waziri-Azi, at the launch in a goodwill message assured of government’s action to address the danger posed by mining activities in the country.
He also pointed out that climate change impact in the nation’s mining is sector is troubling, and spoke on possible ways to address tge trend, which also has been a front burner in issue in most discussions over the years on how to tackle the menace.
“Mining is currently responsible for 4 to 7 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions globally. Making the mining sector, one of the major emitters of greenhouse gases.”
“This simply shows that, when we do not take care of the planet, it fights back and this is evident in the increased number of wildfires, tropical rain storms, flooding, and extreme heat, experienced around the world.
“Which is why today provides an opportunity to reframe conversations around climate change and particularly around mining.
“We may all recall that this past April, Mr. President participated at the United States’ Climate Change Summit at which Mr. President assured the international community of Nigeria’s preparedness to galvanize action to address climate change”
“As leading producers of natural gas Nigeria remains committed to the global movement to achieving net-zero emissions, which will be done through a pathway that is just, equitable and inclusive. As this will ensure that we are able to achieve our aspirations towards becoming an industrialised nation”, he stated.
As climax of the launch of the Policy Brief document, Global Rights Nigeria premiered a documentary titled “Footprints” – the hallmark Documentary of Global Rights’ 10 years of impact in Nigeria’s mining sector.
She (Baiyewu) explained essence of “Footprints”, which according to her is the first compilations on mining host communities and their perspective into issues of environmental degradation, sociopolitical and economic struggles in the midst of abundance.
“This documentary trails Global Rights work and impact in mining host communities in Nigeria”, she said.
However, panelists also in same vein extensively emphasize on how best the Federal Government could scale up it commitments toward tackling impact of climate change in the mning industry.