The 6th Session of the Development Dialogue on Climate Change (the 3rd in 2016) held and was hosted at the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), South West Nigeria on May 5, 2016. It was organized by the Carbon Exchange Trade in Collaboration with FUTA, SMEFUNDS, New Nigeria Foundation and Noaz International. This was a local action in line with the United Nation' Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)'s Climate Action in global intensification of knowledge and capacity through advocacy on climate change. It is also for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Nigeria made a tremendous development promise by her commitment during the World Climate Change Conference last year in Paris, France, to reaching 30% inclusion of clean energy mixes in her energy basket by 2030. The speech of President Muhammadu Buhari at Paris COP21 was a significant policy impetus for the new direction the economy is meant to steer over that period.
Coming back from COP21, Nigeria's critical actors in climate change, renewable energy, energy efficiency and carbon emission reduction had continued to mobilize stakeholders to awaken to the significance of the policy direction of Nigeria, in line with global movement towards the low-emission economic development. The institutional stakeholders under the aegis of the African Roundtable on Climate Change, the Carbon Exchange Trade, New Nigeria Foundation and Nigeria-German Business Association has consistently sought to excite the application of knowledge, creation of awareness and deployment of projects in this area through regular meetings of experts with government, business and civil society interests.
The next major event towards the attainment of global goal in climate change mitigation is the signing of the Paris Agreement document reached in December 2015 by all 195 heads of governments of the world on April 22, 2016. The time to push for assent to the agreement is not just for ceremony, but as a landmark towards attaining.
In view of the need to create awareness on the debilitating effect of Climate Change on national economies and how to mitigate its effect especially in the country, the Africa Roundtable on Climate Change under its Climate Action Forum in Nigeria, a Coalition of local action groups host regular Development Dialogues on Climate Change, Renewable Energy and Carbon Emission Reduction. Under this collaboration, the Centre for Research and Development (CERAD) of the Federal University of Technology, Akure hosted this May 2016 dialogue to raise interest for growing climate change knowledge and interest among the academic and research community in Nigeria. It was designed to enable academic institutions to endow research and projects on Climate mitigation/ adaptation including climate smart agriculture, renewable energy as well as carbon emission and landscape resilience.
The Development Dialogue is part of the activities of the activities of the Africa Roundtable on Climate Change and Carbon Exchange Trade hosted to build capacity within Nigeria's local economy, for climate change mitigation, adaptation and access to climate finance. It is also a measured effort to achieve structural resilience for the Nigerian economy and physical ecosystem particularly in relation to projects in sustainable landscapes and cities, bio-diversity preservation, renewable energy, energy efficiency, environmental screening and monitoring, and value chain development.
The objectives of the Dialogue included
a. A Review and Statement on current local and global dynamics in climate change including the signing of the Paris Agreement and its implication;
b. Educate stakeholders on the economic and business project opportunities inherent in the climate change movement.
c. It is also meant to highlight opportunities open to interested academics and practitioners in policy and research.
d. Create template for knowledge and capacity building on carbon emission, carbon pricing and carbon offset earning potentials.
Climate Change, Renewable Energy and Carbon Emission Reduction - the focus of the Development Dialogue - are issues of global concern that continue to generate a number of very deep interest and thought provoking discussions around the world, especially in the academia, and nonprofit sector, resulting in pragmatic solutions and very holistic approaches.
The Development Dialogue was another constructive response to the global phenomenon of Climate Change as it brought together in one place, exceptional and foremost thought leaders in the field, who dealt pragmatically with the topics of the discourse as well as other environmental sustainability enthusiasts who shared quite unique and impressive viewpoints, moving forward.
The theme of the Dialogue, "Climate Change: Cross-Sector Scaling of Mitigation and Adaptation Initiatives In Nigeria", provided sessions for presentations and a panel of discussion. The import of the theme is a highlight of the need to implement and achieve the milestones of the SDGs and particularly the next climate change impact review of post-Paris Agreement endorsement and implementation, which is due in 2025.
Opening Remarks: Prof 'Biyi Daramola, Vice Chancellor, FUTA
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adebiyi Daramola said the Development Dialogue was critical and tailor-designed to bridge the gap between theory and practical application of knowledge on the issue. He said it was also to ensure that the society is educated and positively impacted with research output from Universities and Research Institutes. Professor Daramola said the theme: "Climate Change, Cross sector scaling of mitigation and Adaptation Initiatives in Nigeria" will encourage a continued process of capacity building within Nigeria's local economy generally and academic institutions in particular. Besides, the overall advantage will be seen in climate change mitigation, adaptation and finance which are critical to building both economic, social and environmental resilience, scaling clean projects in sustainable landscapes and cities, biodiversity preservation as well as renewable energy, energy efficiency, environmental screening and monitoring and value-chain development.
Chairman's Remarks: Prof. Olufemi Ajibola, New Nigeria Foundation
The Chairman of the Session and Managing Director of New Nigeria Foundation, Lagos, Professor Olufemi Ajibola said issues on Climate Change are relatively new therefore there is need to create increased public awareness. He said an alternative to oil is imminent giving the drop in oil prices globally. He said it is unacceptable for the country to overlook the opportunities of the new energy solutions, so it is imperative to harness alternative resources in solving the problems of the country. Professor Ajibola commended FUTA for producing first class scholars, stating that her products in NNF are good ambassadors of the Institution.
Also speaking, the Director of CERAD, Professor Ayorinde Olufayo was optimistic that the dialogue would provide linkage to Global Climate Change and Renewable Energy and create technologies for ecosystem that will aid livelihood resilience for rural communities.
The audience including academic staff of FUTA
Context of Dialogue - Innocent Azih, Director, Carbon Exchange Trade, Lagos
To set the tone of the dialogue, Mr. Azih's said the presentation "Mitigation and Adaptation Initiatives for Sustainable Economic Development" introduces the Dialogue.
Innocent Azih, Director, Carbon Exchange Trade, Lagos
He relived the genesis of climate change movement while examining the general impacts this global phenomenon has continued to have, some of which included floods in coastal areas, drought in dryer regions, storms, health discomforts, low productivity agriculture, transportation challenges, economic hardships and very many others.
In a very detailed manner, he explored the past and present global temperature due to climate change with the year 2015 reported to have been the hottest year in human history and a projection that 2016 would be hotter.
Diving down to the more specific issues, Mr Azih critically discussed the sector impacts of Climate Change, beginning with Agriculture and Food Security to other (key) sectors like Transportation, Industrial Production and Manufacturing and even oil and gas. He said there were many sources of carbon emission including Industries, Buildings, Transport systems and Agriculture. These sectors contribute to the negative impacts, such as flood, drought, health discomforts, low productivity in agriculture, economic sub-optimality and land degradation. He noted that the weakening value of financial assets, increased pressure on water resources and physical asset failure all attest to the adverse effects of climate on Agriculture, oil and gas, manufacturing and transportation sectors of the economy.
Senior academic staff and administrators listening with interest
To this end, Mr. Azih said mitigation of Climate Change will be achieved through policy measures that involve emphasize scaling of climate friendly products and technologies, climate regulations, low-emission transportation and building construction as well as adaptation practices such as Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) and stable long term financing for new Green House Gas (GHG) mitigation technologies.
For agriculture and food security, it was pointed out that crop production is increasingly threatened by climate change and worsening environmental conditions, even as droughts, floods and poor soil continue to contribute to low food production. As a necessary consequence, over 800 million people are hungry in the world (according to FAO report) and hunger overhang of 300 million people will still remain especially in Sub Sahara Africa. Furthermore, increased pressures on water resources may cause operational problems for companies relying on water for productions as changing rainfall, water shortages, poor water quality, drought and flooding will increase water demands.
There is also ample evidence that damage is being experienced by transportation infrastructure through higher storm surges above historical climate predictor in infrastructure design. Also, severe heat waves and sea level rise amplify storm surges in coastal areas while roads, railways and seaports are vulnerable to sea level rise.
Mitigation measures and policies were then considered by the speaker as he posited that climate change recognition now identifies climate friendly products and technologies as well as slow and long term financing from GHG technologies. He also identified carbon pricing as an effective mitigation measure as well as private sector response in the form of clean energy projects such as solar energy and clean cooking technologies.
A Cross Section of the high profile audience
He concluded with climate adaptation measures. According to him, climate smart agriculture seeks sustainable increase in agricultural productivity and incomes, adapting and building resilience and reducing GHG emissions.
The second session was facilitated by Professor Olu Lafe (Director, Center for Renewable Energy, FUTA) whose presentation was on "Research Readiness For Local Action In Climate Change".
The Speaker, Prof. Olurinde Lafe spoke on issues that relate and prepare research and academic community participation in, and capacity provision to stakeholders for local action on Climate Change. He stressed the need for concerted efforts to globally address climate change. He said local actions which include legislation, advocacy and adoption of a clean development mechanism will have great impact in mitigating the effects of Climate Change.
A cross section of the participants in audience
He noted that Nigeria's abundant Renewable Energy sources in the form of solar, wind, biomass, gas / thermal, ocean waves and tides, provide research opportunities for project development in Renewable Energy sources through the use of available energy conversion technologies and waste to energy opportunities. He said great opportunities abound in local action which according to him will solve employment problems and at the same time resolve the energy challenges facing the nation.
He outlined top research and development topics for local action which include: harnessing multiple Renewable Energy sources, distributed energy generation, micro grids, high capacity energy storage, fuel cells and smart building architecture and engineering.
Prof. Olu Lafe, Director Centre for Renewable Technologies (CRET) FUTA
Exploring the Clean Development Mechanism, the presenter highlighted areas in which Clean Development Mechanism can help developing countries like Nigeria. These include cleaning up the environment, generating clean energy and earning of "hard currency " to underwrite the development. 'In making CDM work, renewable energy, energy efficiency and fuel switching were largely identified', he said.
Interestingly, the speaker showed with evidence that Nigeria has all the sources of renewable energy such as solar, wind, biomass, biofuel, hydro power, geothermal and ocean waves but that lack of commitment and political will are the major obstructions to tapping into the enormous opportunities in these sources of renewable energy.
He examined seven top research and development topics for local action. These include:
At the end of the presentation, questions were taken from the audience on both presentations and they were fully answered by the two speakers.
Comments from participants
Topic: Scaling mitigation and adaptation measures as intervention projects across sectors of the Nigerian economy
Moderator: Innocent Azih, Director, Carbon Exchange
Prof. Ayo Olufayo, Director, CERAD, FUTA
Dr. Dara Akala, Director of Programmes, Partnership in the Niger Delta,
Dr. Olufemi Olarewaju, Director, Sustainability School, Lagos
Panelists shared expert opinions on various issues of climate change, renewable energy and carbon emission reductions.
Panelists explained how Climate Change issues relate to one another, including Renewable Energy, Carbon Emission, Policy, Projects, Energy Efficiency, Environmental Preservation and Circular Economy. They acknowledged that Knowledge on Renewable energy projects and schemes were still on the low level in Nigeria, and called on the government and private sector to work together to scale this up.
The panelists called for risk assessment and policy response measures to climate change across all sectors particularly for implementation in major thrusts of energy, agriculture and forestry, water, coastal habitation, transportation, health and culture and tourism and ICT. This process should benefit from prioritizing integrated Climate mitigation and adaptation into her sectoral development strategies.
The session identified Capacity is critical to both developing responsive policy and execution of appropriate projects and identified the academic community as particularly requisite in contributing to scaling Nigeria's mitigation and adaptation projects. To this end, Capacity Building was widely required to obviate the continued low capacity (in understanding and knowledge) still persisting which sustains a inability to create and implement mitigation/ adaptation projects in the Nigerian economy
Panelists: (L-R) Dr. Dara Akala (speaking), Dr. Femi Olarewaju and Prof Ayo Olufayo
The Dialogue Chairman, Prof Ajibola, in closing chaired the General Conversation segment.
Want to send us a message? Please, kindly fill the form below