OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
5th June, 2021
Dear President Muhammadu Buhari.
Your Excellency, 5th June, the world is commemorating the World Environment Day (WED), a day set aside to draw global attention to the need for state and non-state actors to take deliberate actions to promote a sustainable environment. Mr. President, while we acknowledge efforts made by your government over the years to promote a safe environment, it is important that we bring to your attention, the global climate emergency, which poses a fundamental threat to people, places and patterns with a wide range of adverse environmental impacts that threaten the continued existence of humans across nations of the Earth.
We aware that Nigeria has made strategic commitments since the nation became a party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1994, rectifying the Kyoto Protocol in 2004. Also in November 2015, Your Excellency approved the Nigerian Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) and recently, The Revised National Climate Change Policy on the 2nd of June 2021.
Mr. President, we acknowledge your show of willingness to drive Nigeria’s commitment towards the success of the Paris Agreement. However, as a Nation we have often developed brilliant and well thought out policies with vigor, but seem to be wanting, lacking dexterity and will power in the full implementation of such policies. In the past, we have had committees set up and policy blue prints developed which eventually were either implemented half way or completely abandoned. A Gaelic Proverb says: “There is no greater fraud than a promise not kept”. NDC represents promises by the Nigerian Government over 5 years ago on 26th November 2015 as our contribution towards Global Climate Recovery. Unfortunately, both conditional and unconditional commitments are yet to be implemented up to 35% in terms of emissions reduction, end to gas flaring by 2030, reforestation, climate smart agriculture, 30% energy efficiency by 2030, off-grid solar commitments among others.
Increasingly, we are experiencing temperature rise, irregular rainfall, sea level rise, flooding, draught, desert encroachment, land degradation and extinction of biodiversity in our clime yet we seem to still perceive the climate emergency alarm as a global North doctrine or a fairy tale.
Scientists have consistently warned that we will experience many more climate disasters should we fail to take appropriate action.
Mr. President, the extreme weather events we have witnessed and warnings by scientists have necessitated that we take even more deliberate action. It is on the basis of the mentioned issues that we make the following demands:
That Your Excellency,
1) Mandates and monitors implementation of emissions control and enforcement polices of the National Environmental Standards and Regulatory Agency (NESREA), the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) among other such institutions of government
2) –Takes action to implement the end to gas flaring target of 2030.
3) Creates the enabling environment for investment in the production, importation and use of electric cars.
4) Enforces partial ban on wood trade and advance towards a total ban in 2030. This will reduce loss of biodiversity in our nation
5) Sets up an agency to implement continuous and organized tree planting programs, protection of our forest reserves and enforcement of the ban on wood trade.
6) Takes action to monitor infrastructural development, adjusted to suit current climatic realities, stir environment friendly housing development, insist on smart city housing across the country.
7) Takes action to ensure that smart and effective agricultural methods are fully introduced to gradually replace old low yield methods
8) Creates an enabling environment for full & heavy investment in solar energy
9) Green Economic Development: With the set-up of Nigeria circular economy working group, that Your Excellency commences the implementation of recommendations which will stir up all inclusive green growth.
10) Promotes massive climate education to increase individual contribution towards climate recovery.
Mr. President, we look forward to your matching your words with action by implementing the actions which Nigeria has committed to as enshrined in the agreements and policy documents on environment.
In conclusion, we join the Nigerian Government and our comrades across the World in solidarity with Democratic Republic of Congo on the recent devastating volcanic eruption of Mount Nyiragongo. This indeed, is a tough reminder of the impact of climate disasters looming across the world should we fail to take proactive actions to limit global warming.
Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of our highest consideration.
For: Extinction Rebellion (XR) Nigeria