Skip to main content

After COP 21, What Next Nigeria?

Ajobiewe Tolulope Odigwe
Ibadan, Nigeria
In the buildup to COP 21 much admonition came from climate trackers, essayists and policy makers. These sets of people took the time to carefully educate and enlighten people on the impending dangers of climate change, they also helped people understand how and why climate issues affect their lives. In-fact they provided a collection of practical and instructive articles. Yes! These people championed the course of environmental protection and sustainability by the act of writing and storytelling. 

At this time, negotiations are still on-going. Talks and deliberations have also taken the center stage in Paris at the COP 21, with Heads of states and representatives pledging their undying commitments towards curbing the threats of climate change. Suffice to say they have gathered together to chart a new course in the drive to bequeath a sustainable environment to generations to come. But even at this point, there is the need to remind ourselves that COP 21 is far from over even when the curtains are drawn on the 11th of December 2015. Like Joshua Wiese rightly said, it is only a single step in a long journey. 

To warm the hearts of climate trackers in Nigeria, Seun Akioye of The Nation reported that “Nigeria is taking the lead in the African negotiating team by pushing for strong measures to help developing countries combat and build resilience against the effects of climate change on the continent.” In his reportage, Nigeria’s lead negotiator, Dr. Adeoye Adejuwon stated that the country has a strong voice in Africa and has taken a leadership role in the negotiations for the final draft of agreements which would determine the success of the climate change talks in Paris. Adejuwon further added that Nigeria has made an unconditional offer to end greenhouse gas emission by 20% by the year 2030. But if given the required assistance, Nigeria will reduce emissions by 45% in the same year. 

Therefore as we laud this stride and effort by the Federal Government of Nigeria, one must also be halted in the tracks of praise, commendation and thanksgiving, but call and clamor for an implementation plan just like negotiators in Paris have done. It is not enough that COP 21 is adjudged the biggest gathering of Heads of State ever. The most important thing is, after this gathering what comes onboard?  Will Nigeria wait for foreign aid/assistance before it sets the ball rolling after Paris climate talks? Will the government at all levels demonstrate a high level of commitment towards the actualization of the agreements in Paris? How exactly will Nigeria go about fulfilling the pledges contained in her INDC? Is this the time we need to incorporate into the national budget funds to accommodate tackling climate change? Should Nigerians push yet for another bill in the Senate to keep leaders on their toes as regards to climate change? These among many others are the big questions that comes to mind at this point. 

To clear the air, we all must also understand that time and again emphasis has been laid on the fact that Nigeria is signatory to numerous conventions and treaties in the quest and call to preserve and conserve the environment. Aside that, there are also several laws that have been enacted to this effect; Is it the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; the Nigerian Management Act on Environment (Draft) 2000; the Land Use Act 1986; Harmful Waste (Special Criminal Provisions) Act; Environmental Assessment Act?  All of these are many among the laws on environmental protection in the country. In a nut shell, the laws are there, the policies are in engraved somewhere, the strategies are also clearly written and documented. This makes one concur with Yahaya Othman’s position, when he posited that “It is trite that laws are formulated to govern current realities in the society. However, it is sad to say that environmental issues that have bedeviled the country and the incessant disregard on environmental safety standards have gone unabated. This is largely due to the lethargy of regulatory bodies in enforcing these regulations.” 

If his words are anything to go buy, it is then evident that the problem is not in the laws, in the desire for more laws, or even in Nigeria’s INDC, rather in their enforcement and implementation. Therefore, task ahead of us calls not for dillydallying on the stage of action, the malady of travelling through the vicious cycle of negligence, nonchalance, or the misappropriation of funds and resources. All of these must stop. Therefore, to answer the query posed at the beginning of this piece, After Cop 21, it is expedient that Nigeria swings into action immediately if its plan to develop gas power plants at gas flare sites to end gas flaring by 2030, 2 percent year energy efficiency (30 percent by 2030), off-grid solar Photovoltaic (Pv) of 13,000 MW, efficient gas generators, and climate smart agriculture and reforestation, does not all end up as mere papered declarations.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Call For African Youth Activists

What is an “Ignite Activist”? ­ An Ignite Activist is a high powered​ and ambitious young African individual. They are patriotic about their own country and the African continent as a whole. They are keen to speak out, share their opinions or experiences, and are always ready to defend the well-being of the African Youth! As vocal youth activists, they strive to not only lead the conversation on African Youth, but to ignite young Africans into Change-makers!
About Our Youth Activism Program ­ For a period of up to 6 months, corresponding youth activists will be engaged under the leadership and guidance of our International Panel. While there will be a formal set of activities, youth activists will have the liberty to call upon fellow members towards a particular cause, post and share articles or video messages to make themselves and their views heard! After 6 months of voluntary service, these members will be accorded with Alumni status and receive adequate recognition for their selfle…

Bisharo Ali Hussein (Somalia) - African Youth Role Model Series

Bisharo Ali Hussein is a Kenyan-Somali activist and outspoken champion for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in Somalia. She channels her activism through her career as a Protection Officer for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Galkayo, Somalia and also served as an African Youth Activist of Ignite The Youth from 2015 to 2016. As an Ignite The Youth activist she shared on the youth experiences of conflict in her country and “Ensuring Access to Education for all”. Her most spirited campaigns however were part of her Women’s Rights agenda; which focused on demanding an end to Female Genital Mutilation and early marriage, and her advocacy for Gender Equality; arguing for gender-biased inheritance laws to change. Bisharo is currently pursuing her Postgraduate Diploma in ‘International Gender Studies’ at the University of Iceland.
Almost 2 years after serving as a corresponding activist for Ignite The Youth, Bisharo insists that Somali women remain one of the most vulnerable groups in…

The African Youth Commission [PROFILE]

"From Internet Community to One Governed by a Constitution"
The African Youth Commission (AYC) was founded in November 2013, as the African Union Youth Working Group (AUYWG), at a Youth Consultation on Agenda 2063 in Tunis,Tunisia. From 2013 to 2015 the AUYWG collaborated via an active mailing list, for the 2 years of online interaction the network invited numerous African Youth Leaders in the continent and diaspora. The working group later changed into a Commission as the cause of the network evolved by consensus to create a youth mirror to the African Union Commission. 
"The main objective of establishing the Commission is to organize all young people in Africa and Diaspora...to support the work of African youth, Youth structures (Pan African Youth Union & Youth Division of the African Union Commission) in their quest to effective service delivery and advocacy activities on the African Youth Charter..." - AYC
At this point the Commission proceeded to draft its o…