The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has unveiled the state Climate Change Action Plan to develop a strategy to combat the challenges of climate change in the state.
Speaking at the commencement of the two-day Lagos State eighth Climate Change Summit held in Victoria Island, the governor said the document reflects the targets and goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, adding that the state has a rich assemblage of projects being undertaken to address the climate change and fast-track the attainment of zero carbon goal.
Sanwo-Olu stressed that public transport reform is planned to reduce the number of private vehicles on the roads, by providing efficient alternatives in the form of low-emission buses and rail transport, adding that owners of private vehicles are encouraged to shift to low-emission versions as well.
He explained that composting, recycling, waste-to-energy initiatives are just a few of the strategies the government is focusing on improving the quality of waste management.
The governor added that there are significant opportunities to roll out off-grid solar systems for public schools, hospitals and other government facilities in the energy sector.
Sanwo-Olu also urged individual homes to move from fossil fuel generators to solar systems, saying multiple seemingly-modest interventions successfully implemented across a wide variety of sectors will add up to substantial positive impact in terms of climate change adaptation and mitigation.
According to him, "It has, therefore, become imperative that we address the pertinent issue of climate change because of its pivotal impact on key economic areas like agriculture, health, sustainable socio-economic development, as well as enduring peace and security in our society."
He said the updated Climate Action Plan revealed that the three main areas of threat to zero-carbon ambitions in Lagos State are energy, waste and transport, which are the focus at the summit.
The governor emphasised that this year's climate change summit is a greater call to action as the world is at a point where climate change is no longer a theoretical threat, but a real phenomenon playing out before everyone.
He said according to Geospatial World, the year 2020 was adjudged to be the worst year in terms of climate change, saying the world experienced a series of extreme climate events such as deadly flash floods in Jakarta, Indonesia; Storm Gloria in Spain, and a drought in Chile.
Sanwp-Olu said the foundation laid by his predecessors, under whom the work of developing a Climate Action Plan and launching a climate change summit began, have been successful in building on the strong legacy of the past which includes the annual tree planting exercise.
He noted that the goal now is to extend the awareness to the entire populace to imbibe the culture of climate awareness in their homes, workplaces and lifestyles.
The governor said four days ago, precisely on World Environment Day, the
United Nations Secretary General reiterated the fact that the world faces an environmental emergency, which may lead to deprivation of food, water and other necessary resources needed to survive.
Sanwo-Olu said Lagos is the first state in Nigeria to have developed a Climate Action Plan to help achieve an emission-neutral city by 2050, adding that the emergence of this updated plan establishes Lagos as a national leader.