The management of climate change in post-COVID-19 Nigeria was at the front burner during a webinar dialogue hosted by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), where environmental experts from different parts of the world shared thought on policy options for Nigeria in developing low-carbon resilient climate.
The webinar dialogue was facilitated under the auspices of the Resource and Environmental Policy Research Centre (REPRC), University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN); Environment for Development (EfD) Initiative, Nigeria in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Setting the tone of the discourse, the Minister of State for Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, said that the dialogue, tagged “Managing Climate Change in Post-COVID-19 Nigeria: Policy Options for Low-Carbon Climate Resilient Development,” was apt and that it came at a time the government was working towards meeting its obligations with the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) as pledged in the Paris Agreement of 2016.
She added that part of the government’s efforts at achieving the NDC obligation include issuing of green bonds in December 2017, large scale installation of solar power and the target towards ending gas flaring in 2030 with the approval of gas flare prevention and waste pollution regulation in 2018.
The minister, who noted that although the government’s efforts towards achieving its NDC mandate was hampered by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, however, expressed optimism that the outcome of the dialogue would support efforts by the ministry to revising the NDC and adjust the post- COVID-19 economic sustainability plan of the Federal Government.
Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Charles Igwe, in his remarks, harped on the need to develop actionable policy directions that would guide environmental issues in the country, saying that the UNN was keen on assisting the country in building a safe environment during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That is why we established the Resource and Environmental Policy Research Centre to provide policy direction through quality research,” he added.
Igwe, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Administration, Prof. Pat Okpoko hinted the university through the Faculty of Environmental Sciences and other centres was open to partner national and international bodies towards achieving a green environment for the country.
On his part, the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Lealem Berhanu Dinku, said the UNDP was committed to assisting the Federal Government to recover from the impact of COVID-19 through the development of appropriate recovery plan, which would focus on governance, social protection, green economy and digital disruption.
While lauding the approval of the National Action Plan on Gender and Climate Change by the Federal Executive Council, Dinku said the UNDP would support the implementation of the plan, which he expressed optimism would lead to a green economy future for Nigeria