By Jeremiah Kaltungu, Abuja
A global climate change movement, Extinction Rebellion (XR) has called for a multi-dimensional approach by all Nigerian stakeholders towards confronting the climate change menace.
The Coordinator of Abuja chapter of the movement, Mr. Lubem Gena said the call has become necessary as part of efforts to mark this year’s World Environment Day (WED) which according to him has provided another opportunity for everyone to contribute their efforts in the task of bringing about a sustainable strategy that will account for a healthy environment.
While expressing confidence in the ability of XR to continue to mobilize all men of goodwill to tackle the climate emergency during an exclusive chat with our correspondent, Mr. Lubem said he was proud to be part of the process.
He pointed out that even though it appears like there have been some feasible changes in the way and manner issues relating to environment and particularly climate change were handled in the past, it was obvious that more efforts still needs to be injected into the agenda.
According to him, even though the country has enacted the Climate Change Act 2021 and moved a step further by articulating Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), the activities expected on ground are not yet impressive pointing out that it is a great source of concern.
“As the world observe the 2022 World Environment Day (WED) with the theme: ‘Only One Earth’, it is expedient to emphasize that a lot still needs to be done in Nigeria to tackle the tipping points of climate emergencies as well as handle other related environmental issues bedeviling the country.
“It is noteworthy that, Nigeria has enacted the Climate Change Act 2021. The country has also set up a framework for Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) wherein ideas on how to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions, deforestation, environmental degradation among others, activities on the ground doesn’t show any element of seriousness. A large chunk of the appropriate Ministries annual budget is channeled into recurrent expenditure leaving too little to carry out either adaptation or mitigation actions.
“The Petroleum Industry Act 2021 is also another piece of legislative intervention that has a far-reaching component that will hold polluters accountable. This must be fully explored and utilized by the locals, climate change litigators and other relevant ministries, departments, agencies and multiplicity of other stakeholders.
“It is understood that the government alone cannot solve the mirage of problems in this area. All stakeholders ranging from international organizations, national Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Faith Based Organisations (FBOs), Gender Based Organisations (GBOs), Community Based Organisations (CBOs), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Trade Union Congresses (TUCs) amongst others need all hands on deck to take us to the desired level.
“I want to urge the system to sustain the war against polluters such as Shell, Exxon Mobil and several other multi-national oil companies operating in Nigeria. In the recent past, they have been made to bear consequences of their actions and asked to pay heavy fines or compensations for their activities which have led to environmental degradation and loss of biological diversity is the Niger Delta region”, Mr. Lubem emphasized.
The Coordinator while responding to a question said, XR Abuja is contributing greatly towards reforestation, plastic waste war, elimination of open defication, climate education, other forms of advocacies and publicity related activities to ventilate on the extent of damage to the environment.
He enjoined the general public to join XR and contribute their respective energies, expertise and time to salvage the situation.