Increasing investment in climate action now will reap important benefits for Nigeria, creating new jobs and revitalizing rural areas, climate experts revealed.
This was the centre of discussion at 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, Climate Legal, and Adjunct Senior Lecturer, University of Cape Town, Olivia Rumble; Lecturer, 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.
Delivering the opening remarks, 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.
The co-founder reiterated 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, Grace 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.
Speaking during the panel session, 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.
Olivia stressed the need for Nigeria to embrace urgent climate action in a way that achieves both climate and development objectives.
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.
Olivia called on the government to revisit its climate plans to address the climate emergency.
Dr. Michael Ochei, Lecturer at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, 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.
Also speaking during the panel session, Jiata Ekele, Project Assistant, She Leads Climate Action, 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.
The moderator of the event, Nneka Ukay, a Sustainability Expert outlined the need for capacity building and enhancing national partnerships for the effective management and response to climate-related issues.
Nneka 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, Folake Salawu, Programme Coordinator & Senior Conservation Manager, at Nigerian Conservation Foundation, indicated that it offers significant opportunities in terms of economic growth and access to new markets.
Folake 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. Folake emphasized the need for a transformation of institutions and services for dialogue and collaboration between ministries, policymakers, and implementers within the sector.
The experts commended the establishment of CMA Labs as an important and strategic move.