A Lagos-based firm, Renner and Renner Training and Consulting Limited, has partnered with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, as adopted by the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2015.
The Paris Agreement established a process for moving the world toward stabilising greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations at a level that would avoid dangerous climate change.
It has been estimated that average temperature will increase by more than 20 degrees centigrade by the end of the 21st Century, and could increase by as much as 30 degrees centigrade by 2050 and even 60 degrees centigrade by 2100. The negative effects of this on the oceans surrounding the African continent are already being felt.
The warning is coming on the heels of the devastating effects of climate change around the world. Presently, many regions are experiencing rising sea levels, warmer waters, increasing ocean acidification, flooding, earthquakes, and pollution.
The agreement, which has been signed by 197 countries, including Nigeria, came into force on October 5, 2016.
A month later, at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Marrakech, Morocco, world leaders formally adopted the Marrakech Action Proclamation, which recommitted parties to full implementation of the Paris Agreement.
By April 2017, of the 143 countries that have so far ratified the agreement, 33 are in Africa, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.
Since the signing of the agreement, several countries have been implementing climate resilience activities that will allow them to adapt to the harsh changes. Beyond ratification, many countries have also fulfilled a key requirement in the agreement by formulating their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
The NDCs are the countries’ individual efforts to achieve climate change goals. In the NDC plan, majority of African countries have stated measures to prioritise climate-proofing development activities, especially in economic sectors such as agriculture and energy.
In line with this, Renner and Renner Training and Consulting Limited, in collaboration with the DPR, held a workshop in Lagos tagged “Special Studies on Global and National Energy Outlook for the Development Guidelines and Standards on Carbon Emission Reduction Monetisation for Oil and Gas Projects.”
The event was well attended by stakeholders in the industry, and various experts took their time to analyse and break the topic into smaller parts, even for the layman’s understanding.
The project director of Renner and Renner Training and Consulting Limited, Ms. Ibby Iyama, said her firm was a frontline management consultancy and human capacity development group with interests in many areas like maritime, information technology, environment, security, and oil and gas, among others. The firm, she noted, partnered with the DPR because of its desire to mitigate increasing carbon emissions in Nigeria.
Iyama said, if the project was pursued vigorously to its logical conclusion, it would promote clean energy production in Nigeria and improve the health and livelihoods of citizens.
She stated that the DPR has done well in terms of local environmental management but it still lagged behind in global management issues, especially climate change. The main culprits, she said, were the oil and gas sectors.
She added that the projects were designed to turn the tide around for the DPR to take a leading position in the oil and gas industry. According to her, the department would focus on request for records, reports and measures from corporations on how CO2 impacts the climate and hold them accountable if the right thing was not being done.
“Climate solutions require a host of changes to business-as-usual practices. Laying out new options can help companies choose the best course that fits their capacity. Stakeholders would soon embark on a journey to the United States, Norway and China to study and understand how those people are tackling carbon emissions and climate change in their respective countries,” Iyama said.
On how to promote industry best practices, she said the petroleum industry was large and diverse on social issues like climate change, and the need for companies to collaborate when their interests and strategies overlap.
“As long as they are not resisting progress or silencing early adopters of climate innovations, industry groups can help develop and promote best practices, especially for those firms less willing or able to lead,” she said.
Jennis Anyanwu, who led senior officials of the DPR to the workshop, showered encomiums on the firm for its initiative and urged the firm to maintain its position as a pacesetter.
He said the fight to have a clean and safe environment was a collective one and expressed optimism that the partnership would expedite effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.
“No doubt, the need to preserve, protect and promote the environment constitutes a headache to many nations and dominate discussions and activities of government and non-government organisations across the globe. This is because the nature and prospects of the future are determined by the safety of the environment and this fact has increased the need for a healthy and functional plan to preserve and protect the environment. All the same, with this good initiative of Renner and Renner Training and Consulting Limited, I’m optimistic that we are on the right path,” he said.