Last week, the Global Environment Facility, an organisation that provides grants for environmental projects, approved N435 million for the implementation of an energy efficiency project in Nigeria. The project, called, "Promoting Energy Efficiency in Residential and Public Sector in Nigeria" is to be implemented over the next 48 months and is designed to improve energy efficiency of electrical equipment including refrigeration appliances, air conditioners, lighting, electric motors, and fans.
The Global Environment Facility funded projects in Nigeria, have emerged out of a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme. At a workshop on the project in Abuja, last Tuesday, Janthomas Hiemstra, the programme's Deputy Country Director of Programmes said that the United Nations Development Programme would work with the Federal Government on the mitigation of climate change. Mr. Hiemstra said that climate change was a "far more complex and hot issue globally; hotter than we can imagine".
Benoit Lebot, the United Nations Development Programme Climate Change/Energy Technical Adviser said that the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Report had identified climate change as the "biggest risk" to development efforts. Mr. Lebot said "the global target is to limit temperature increase to below two degrees celsius."
He said that the challenge was on how to adapt to the situation and "mitigate its impact so that it does not pose a major catastrophe".
What is Nigeria doing about the threat of climate change?
Participants at a Climate Change Business Forum held last week share their views.
Ewah Elari, Director, International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development and coordinator, Nigeria Climate Action Network.
"We need to be able to participate in the market for carbon credits. We need to provide policies and regulation to promote renewable energy, invest in energy efficiency and end gas flaring.
"We need to begin to develop clearer policies on these things. The cost of inaction on climate change is very high. We don't have a choice as a country. It calls for a new way of thinking about our economy.
"Climate change is multi sectoral. Primarily, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Finance, National Planning Commission and NNPC (the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) are all strategic government agencies that should be invovled.
"I think among government, there is a growing momentum to tackle this challenge. But there is a serious lack of resources and a lack of institutional capacity. We still don't have the kind of policies that are needed to address this. The bill to establish the national climate change commission is before the senate. When passed, we hope to have a strong, autonomous and well resourced institution to do policy, coordinate regulation and provide the resources for Nigeria to meet the challenges of climate change".
Felix Dayo, President, Triple E Systems Inc, USA.
"You need somebody at the top who has a vision of what he wants to do. I don't want talks anymore. Rather let's get to work. Talk, talk, talk is about coming together -talking, drinking coffee, eating, going away and nothing happens. Work, work, work is about having a situation where we say we want to do CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) projects.
"For example, in Tanzania, they brought together industries. Before each industry came, they were asked to bring their project ideas. We sat down with them at a forum, we identified X number of projects and we are working with them. We are not the ones doing it. We are guiding them. The process is learning by doing and that's where we should be now in Nigeria. Let's identify projects and move ahead.
"In Tanzania, the Swedish government helped. The Swedish Energy agency put four or five international consultants to help and we are one of the consultants. We put together a programme that involved working on projects that would hit the carbon market at the end of this year. I want Nigeria to start doing that immediately, not just talk, talk, talk. As far as I'm concerned, we've talked so much, since 1990. This is now the time to work."
Ishaku Huzi Mshelia, Partner, Huzi and Associates, legal practioners.
"I authored the Climate Change Bill that is currently in the House. But we heard just this week that representatives have taken out our proposal to have the Ministry of Finance in the proposed National Climate Change Commission. That does not make sense. You need the Ministry of Finance there. We hope we will be able to put the point across again when the bill is up for stakeholder views to be expressed."
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