Poor attitude to climate change in Nigeria

It is no longer news that the globe is presently being faced with a challenge that can be considered the greatest challenge of all in the history of mankind. The challenge of climate change and its possible impact on the globe and humanity poses a huge danger to the continuous existence of the human race if not immediately arrested and addressed.

Scientists have warned that climate change is real and it has significantly contributed to the increased natural disasters experienced in recent decades, ranging from storm surges, Tsunamis, flooding, and other weather-related problems. The 2018 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed the average global challenge warming to be at 1°C with an increasing rate of about 0.1°C per year. The global warming is moving by the current rate to an estimate of 1.5°C by the year 2030 and if not addressed, will reach 2°C by 2050 and towards the end of the century, say 2100.

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At this point, it would be capable of wrecking the greatest and unquantifiable disasters that are better imagined than experienced. Many groups have since proposed new green deals that entail zero-net emission and production as a damage control mechanism. While several countries and continents across the globe have recognised the looming danger and kick-started debates, campaigns and actions to combat it, it is of notable remark that Africa, being the second largest and populous continent of the world is yet to actively join in the climate change discussion and according to the United Nations Fact Sheet On Climate Change, Africa is ranked to be the most vulnerable continent to the impacts of climate change.

Definitely, one cannot afford to overlook the contributions of Africa to the global challenge of climate change since the effect of climate change does not spare any geographical territory or boundary. Remarkably, youths and students across Europe, American, Asian and Oceanian countries have been at the front stage of the campaign for climate change; 100 countries participated with just two from Africa- Uganda and South Africa. This, itself, reflects the level of awareness and education Africa has about the topic of climate change despite being the most vulnerable to its impact.

It is also worthy of note that the effects of climate change have been more pronounced in Africa. Presently, Africa is experiencing a gradual temperature increase of 0.7°c against the 0.1°c increase per year as stated in the 2018 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Earlier this year, countries in the southern region like Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi experienced a deadly cyclone that claimed about 300 live leaving other thousands of persons displaced. Presently, concerns are growing for the possible impacts of climate change in other African countries, especially in the Sub-Saharan region because of its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean with Nigeria being the closest.

Gradually, the climate change has begun to have effect in Nigeria, especially in Lagos – being one of the coastal cities. Statistically, Nigeria has begun to experience extreme heat with several cases of increased flooding. While all of these effects of climate change still appear to a larger percentage of Nigerians, especially youths and students as a non-existent folktale as a result of under education and lack of awareness, the Nigerian Students For Green (NSG) is taking up the initiative to begin the campaign and awareness with colleges and tertiary institutions as the immediate targets.

Abass Oyeyemi and Olowolafe Dunsin,