Sanwo-Olu launches five-year climate action plan for Lagos

• Targets reduced carbon emission in key sectors

Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, unveiled a five-year Lagos State Climate Action Plan- a policy document that will make the state resilient under challenging climate conditions till 2025 and beyond.

The Second Five-Year Plan 2020-2025 is an updated action document succeeding the 2015 Climate Change Policy and Action Plan adopted by Lagos after the landmark Paris Climate Change Conference, which encapsulated the state’s vision for achieving a zero-carbon Lagos.

The governor performed the launch of the new action plan, a 2-day event themed: “Adapting Health, Energy, Agriculture, Transportation and Waste Infrastructure to the Long Term Impacts of Climate Change in Lagos,” which took place at Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island, and attended by the deputy governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat; Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa and members of the State Executive Council, among others.

Sanwo-Olu, while speaking at the 8th Lagos State International Climate Change Summit organised by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, said the increased impacts of natural disasters felt across the world in the past year showed that climate change was no longer a speculative danger, but a real, phenomenal threat to humanity and safety of the environment.

Sanwo-Olu said, given the state’s topography and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Lagos was vulnerable to adverse events resulting from natural causes.

According to him, this has prompted his administration to update the action plan to facilitate proactive response and clear strategy in mitigating the effects of global warming on the environment and the state economy.

“This summit is an opportunity for us to present the new Lagos State Climate Action Plan to the world. Painstaking effort has gone into it, and we are proud that we have been able to come up with a document that has a robust plan for the environment.

“We have successfully updated the climate change action document adopted by Lagos in 2015 to reflect the targets and goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The final product is the ‘Lagos Climate Action Plan: Second Five-year Plan 2020- 2025.’

“The updated Climate Action Plan reveals three main areas of threat to our zero-carbon ambition in Lagos, which are energy, waste and transport. They account for 90 per cent of our total greenhouse gas emission. We are now more adept at incorporating climate-friendly thinking into everything we do as a government. Our goal is to entrench the action plan across the entire state, and get Lagosians to imbibe the culture of climate-awareness in their homes, workplaces and lifestyles,” the governor said.

The governor said most of the projects being undertaken by his administration were to address climate change and fast-track attainment of the zero-carbon goal in transportation, healthcare, energy, agriculture and waste management, pointing out that his government’s public transport reform sought to reduce the number of personal vehicles on the roads, by providing alternative transportation model in form of low-emission buses and rail connections.

Sanwo-Olu said his administration had adopted composting, recycling and waste-to-energy as part of the strategies to improve the quality of waste management in Lagos.

He disclosed that his government would in the energy sector, be rolling out opportunities in the usage of off-grid solar systems to connect public schools, hospitals, government offices and public facilities, adding that the state was looking into the exploring option of incentives to homes to move from fossil fuel generators to solar systems.

“Lagos has been outstanding in the annual environmental reporting on the global disclosure system by the CDP, an international non-profit that measures the commitments of investors, companies, cities, states and regions to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

“For three consecutive years, Lagos has emerged with a B score, which is well above the African and Global average score. This annual reporting has helped us greatly in understanding where we are and what still needs to be done,” Sanwo-Olu stated.

The governor thanked his predecessors for laying the foundation of developing a climate action plan, paving the way for consolidation by his administration.

The State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, in his remark, said the summit, since its inception in 2009, had become a melting pot for researchers, investors, academicians and stakeholders in the environment and economic sectors to make unified decisions.

The commissioner lauded Governor Sanwo-Olu for bringing back the climate summit, five years after the event was held, even as he said the theme of this summit cannot be more apt than now as a point had been reached where Lagos needed to be intentional on projects and programmes that would be climate change compliant.

“Around the world, Governments and businesses are planning for climate instability. From flood defences to foreign aid, climate change is now part of policy and public discussions.

“The theme of this summit cannot be more apt than now because we have reached a point where Lagos needs to be intentional on projects and programmes that will be climate change compliant,” Bello said.

Consul General of Switzerland Embassy, Thomas Schneider, congratulated Lagos State on the unveiling of the climate change action plan, noting that the effects of environmental problems knew no borders.

The envoy stressed that the call for action must be reinforced, given the significant impacts, which degradation of agricultural land had had on global food security, just as he reiterated the commitment of Switzerland to international conventions and protocols on climate change in its bilateral dealings with Lagos.

With the new document, the state government will be responding to prevailing issues threatening the realisation of zero-carbon ambition, which are energy use, waste management and transport, which account for 90 per cent of total greenhouse gas emission in Lagos.

The summit also focuses on the relationship between climate change and the delivery of critical infrastructure, transportation, agriculture and healthcare sectors.

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Sanwo-Olu launches five-year climate action plan for Lagos

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Sanwo-Olu launches five-year climate action plan for Lagos

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