The Director, Climate Change, Ministry of the Environment, Dr. Yerima Tarfa, has warned that climate change has a deadlier effect on humanity when compared with ravaging disease, Coronavirus.
In the words of Tarfa, the negative impact of climate change lingers longer than coronavirus, adding that it leaves permanent damages on the environment.
He urged that climate change should be managed properly even as the world battles COVID-19, to avoid further deterioration of the environment.
Tarfa, who made this known in Abuja on Tuesday at the Inception Phase Workshop on Nigeria Climate Change Response Programme, organised by the Ministry of the Environment, said the Nigerian Government has commenced activities to meet up with the commitment it signed at the Paris Agreement.
Tarfa said that Nigeria pledged to reduce its emissions unconditionally by 20 per cent.
Quoting him: “This Workshop was earlier planned to hold in March 2020 but for COVID-19.
“It is correctly stated in prevailing situations that COVID-19 is awful, but climate change could be worse.
“Climate change could cause as bad damages and losses as COVID-19, but spread over a much longer period in an irreversible manner.
“Hence, it has become more imperative to recover from the global pandemic without compromising our efforts to combat climate change and its major causes.”
Giving further explanations on the significance of the workshop, Tarfa said it will empower members of the Technical Working Group with useful input and he also used the opportunity to urge the government, as well as other actors, to make decisions that are eco-friendly.
He said: “With these workshops, we hope to constitute the Working Groups and secure continuous strong commitment and contributions from members of the Technical Working Groups to provide valuable input and technical assistance in areas of strategic importance to NCCRP.
“As we are all aware, good governance is a critical component for managing environmental sustainability and meeting any commitment.
“Decisions on issues that impact the environment involve many actors, including government, business and civil society at national and international levels.
“International environmental governance body can provide frameworks, knowledge and financing for better environmental stewardship, but it takes a prepared nation to be able to take the provided support to achieve results.
“I am confident of your support.”
According to the Director, Nigeria’s commitment to combat climate change menace is evident in the signing of the Paris Agreement, which gives room for vigorous plans and activities towards meeting this very important global commitment.
Speaking on the Paris Agreement, Tarfa said Nigeria, in a document known as Nationally Determined Contribution, committed to reducing its emission by 20 per cent and 45 per cent with international support.
He said the European Union has helped build capacity and put institutional structure and legal framework in place.
According to him, the project, which is supposed to stretch to year 2030, has recorded a tangible amount of successes, adding that the government, through the areas of transportation and energy generation has ensured a reduction in the use of unhealthy emission.
The European Union Team Leader and Head of Section, Economic Development and Energy, Kathryn Mulvad Thomsen, while addressing the attendees of the workshop, lauded Nigeria for its effort to reduce gas emission as pledged.
According to Thomsen: “Nigeria has shown political commitment to tackling climate change and has set ambitious commitment to unconditional green house gas emission reduction of 20 per cent and 44 per cent condition.
“That is why the European Commission and the European Union have decided to support Nigeria in meeting its pledges.”
She further said the EU attaches significance to helping vulnerable countries achieve their aim.