From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, inaugurated the National Council on Climate Change, with a charge to its members to formulate appropriate policies toward achieving green growth and sustainable economic development for Nigeria.
The Council is chaired by the president, with the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as vice chairman. Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum is also a member.
According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in the brief ceremony before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council meeting, Buhari said it marked the commencement of the implementation of the Climate Change Act 2021 and a new chapter in the renewed response to climate change in the country.
He also directed the Attorney General and Minister of Justice in conjunction with the Minister of Environment to initiate appropriate amendments of “noticeable implementation challenges” inherent in the Act.
Highlighting the losses and damages caused by the recent increasing floods in several parts of the country as well in Pakistan, Bangladesh and other parts of East and Southern Africa, the President described climate change as one of the biggest challenges facing humanity.
“It (Climate Change) is complex and dynamic; and requires multidimensional and multi-sectoral initiatives to address its impacts and avert its rapid advance.
“Updated data show increases in sea level rise, heat waves, wild fires, floods, desertification, drying wetlands and many more disruptive climate occurrences.
“The latest Intergovernmental Panel on climate change report warns that rising Green House Gas emissions could soon outstrip the ability of communities to adapt, and the window for taking decisive steps needed to spare our planet from the gravest impacts of climate change is rapidly narrowing.
“We cannot ignore what is happening in our local environment. The increasing re-occurrence of floods in several parts of the country is a wakeup call,” he said, lamenting the loss of lives, damage and destruction of infrastructure such as roads, bridges, schools and agricultural production.
President Buhari, therefore, reiterated the determination of his Administration to strengthen national response to climate change and accelerate the implementation of decisive actions to reduce its impacts on the people and economy.
He reaffirmed that Nigeria is a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is an established international treaty to combat “dangerous human interference with the climate system”, in part by stabilising Green House Gas concentrations in the atmosphere.