Increasing investment in climate action now will reap important benefits for Nigeria, creating new jobs and revitalizing rural areas, experts have said. They spoke during the launch of Climate Action Africa (CMA) Labs, a research lab dedicated to driving climate research, commercialization, testing, and validation of innovative solutions.
The experts included the Director, of Climate Legal, and Adjunct Senior Lecturer, University of Cape Town, Olivia Rumble; Lecturer, of the Department of Meteorology & Climate Science, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Dr. Michael Ochei; Programme Coordinator & Senior Conservation Manager, Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Folake Salawu; Project Assistant, She Leads Climate Action, Jiata Ekele, and Sustainability Expert, Nneka Ukay.
They welcomed the launch of the hub as an important and strategic move.
Speaking during the panel session, Olivia Rumble stressed the need for Nigeria to embrace urgent climate action in a way that achieves both climate and development objectives. Olivia Rumble, a climate change legal and policy expert, whose work focuses on national climate change legislative developments, underlines that efforts remain insufficient to address climate change. To keep this goal alive, she indicated that it was critical for industry stakeholders to work with the government to strengthen its climate action plans. She called on the government to revisit its climate plans to address the climate emergency.
Lecturer, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Dr. Michael Ochei, maintained that scaling up climate adaptation would impact agricultural productivity. To help scale up the climate resilience of agrifood value chains, he urged for more efforts to enhance climate action.
Co-Founder, Climate Action Africa, Grace Oluchi, said the organization has established a digital service platform to address the problems of climate change, review problems from different perspectives, and design new approaches for solving challenges. She reiterated that the negative impacts of climate crises across the country underscored the need to build resilience through a combination of measures, including adaptation strategies and policy actions. To address the nation’s vulnerability to climate change, she said Climate Action Africa embarked on several interventions as well as highlighting its significant effects on the economy through media advocacy campaigns. Given the projected increase in the intensity and frequency of climate effects, she noted that it was imperative for infrastructure investments to counter climate effects.
Project Assistant, She Leads Climate Action, Jiata Ekele, indicated that Nigeria faces the risks of climate change effects, highlighting the importance of developing resilience. She urged for a coordinated response that will effectively address climate change.
Sustainability Expert, Nneka Ukay, outlined the need for capacity building and enhancing national partnerships for the effective management and response to climate-related issues. She called on organizations to collaborate towards building institutional capacity to undertake enhanced climate planning through effective cross-sectoral coordination. She said private sector actors can play a stronger role as financiers, innovators, and strengthen market linkages and be providers of climate-friendly goods and services.
As Nigeria makes a transition to a decarbonized and circular industry, Programme Coordinator & Senior Conservation Manager, Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Folake Salawu, indicated that it offers significant opportunities in terms of economic growth and access to new markets. She said the launch of CMA Labs provides a historic window of opportunity to create innovative, green products and attract the deployment of new technologies. Besides enhancing capacities to identify and increase access to climate finance and investment, she said the priorities for the sector should include supporting knowledge and capacity-building, as well as developing policy support and dialogue. According to her, universities could share their experiences and training and research facilities. She emphasized the need for a transformation of institutions and services and for dialogue and collaboration between ministries, policymakers, and implementers within the sector.