June 11, 2024

Climate action plan: Lagos, Dutch firm sign deal to provide electricity for 40,000 homes

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

Lagos State Goverment and a Dutch-owned Harvest Waste Consortium have signed a partnership deal to build a waste-to-energy plant that will provide electricity for about 40,000 homes in the state as part of action plans against climate change effects.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, revealed this on Tuesday, at the Flag off of the 3Day 10th Lagos International Climate Change Summit, held in Victoria Island, with the theme: “Accelerating Climate Finance and Championing Local Adaptation Initiatives.”

L-R: Special Adviser on Environment, Mr. Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu; former Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN); former Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Representative of the Lagos Governor and Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Hon. Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tokunbo Wahab and Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Gaji Omobolaji, during the 10th edition of the annual Lagos International Climate Change Summit, held on 11th of June, 2024, at the Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos State.

The Governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, also launched the Lagos Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan (LCARP) and Lagos Climate Change mainstreaming Strategy as part of strategies to reduce emissions and mitigate Climate Change challenges.

He stated that government understands that the issue of climate change is not a distant threat but present reality that requires immediate solutions.

Speaking on the energy partnership deal, Sanwo-Olu, said, “This initiative will divert 2, 250 tons of waste daily from dumpsites and transform it into 60-75 megawatts of electricity.

“Additionally, we have entered into an agreement with the Jospong Group of Companies from Ghana to manage our organic waste stream.”

On reduction of green house emissions, the governor stated, “We saw the implementation of a multi-modal transport system with the rollout of the Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, system-the first of its kind in Nigeria and I dare say, in the West African region.

“This system has significantly improved the health and safety of Lagosians by reducing the number of unregulated mini-buses, optimizing transport fleet, introducing more efficient vehicles, optimizing the public alleviating congestion, and boosting public transportation and significantly reduced carbon emission by 15 per cent.

“In 2015, the comity of nations in Paris, France, reached a landmark agreement to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C, with nations setting their Nationally Determined Contributions.

“Lagos State swiftly responded by developing its second 5-Year Climate Action Plan, outlining goals and strategies for emission reduction and adaptation to achieve the 1.5°C target.

“We have blazed the trail under our transportation policies and initiatives, with the unveiling of the first Nigerian electric car named Hyundai Kona in November 2020.

“By this initiative, we intend to replace 50% of our public transportation fleet with electric vehicles by 2030.

“With strategic partnerships and the
development of charging infrastructure, this transition is moving us closer to our goal of achieving a net-zero carbon footprints by 2050.

“Together, we are pioneering green transportation in Nigeria. The Lagos Mass Rail Transit (LMRT) system’s red and blue lines were launched, marking a new era in public transportoation.

“These rail projects are crucial for reducing our carbon footprint, decreasing vehicular emissions, cutting down travel time, and promoting a sustainable, low-carbon future for Lagos.”

Sanwo-Olu stated that the state government aligns with the urgency for actions in mitigating the effects of climate change and championing adaptation initiatives at the local and international levels.

He said that Lagos today stands on the threshold of history as a state driven not by what some people see as challenges but by what it considers its greatest prospects and attributes.

According to him; as a city of aquatic splendor, Lagos is vulnerable to climate vagaries and stands tall among the committee of nation defying the odds to make appreciable gains.

Earlier, the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab noted that the solution to climate change lies in climate resilient development which involves integrating adaptative measures with actions to reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions in ways that provide wider benefits.

Wahab highlighted that the summit theme aims to explore ways of attracting climate finance into the adaptation space as well as to create livable and resilience infrastructure.

He said from the inaugural summit to the 10th edition, the state had witnessed a transformative shift in global consciousness towards climate action, adding that each summit had been a stepping stone, building upon the achievements of the last, propelled forward by the tireless efforts of countless climate heroes.

Wahab stated that over the past decade, the Lagos International Climate Change summit has served as a platform for dialogue, collaboration, and innovation in addressing climate related issues in the state.

“From promoting renewable energy to implementing sustainable waste management practices, we have made significant strides in integrating Climate Actions in Lagos State Development Investment Opportunities and building resilience in the face of climate variability,” he added.

Wahab noted that amidst the celebration of past achievements, the state is also confronted with the stark realities of the present situation saying the global 6th Assessment Report (AR6) of the IPCC serves as a sobering reminder of the urgency of the situation and the need for immediate action.

He described the present summit, not just a forum for discussion, but a clarion call for action,” saying that everyone must accelerate efforts to mobilize climate finance and channel it towards projects that prioritize local adaptation initiatives.

Speaking on the topic, “Climate change Initiatives; the journey so far,” the former Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola(SAN) said “Climate Change is triggered majorly by human conduct and sometimes natural causes.”

He said the International Climate Change summit, initiated in 2009 has proved its effectiveness, adding that the convocation of the 10th edition of the summit “is a reassertion of the Leadership role Lagos State plays in Climate Change Initiatives.

“Lagos is a place of innovation and not a place of experiment. Most initiatives in Lagos State Environmental sector over the years are targeted at reducing carbon emission and ways to combat climate change.

Fashola, however, stressed the need for effective partnership by international bodies, local organisations, individuals with the state government in funding climate change initiatives.