GOVERNOR of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has described the ravaging climate change as the biggest war of our time, stressing that “no war in human history has claimed as many lives as climate change has.”
Fashola stated this at the ongoing 5th Climate Change Summit in Lagos, with the theme: Vulnerability and adaptability to climate change in Nigeria: Lagos State transportation, housing and infrastructural sectors in focus.”
Fashola added “it is a war we need to fight together and I am sure that if we fight together, the human civilisation will win, climate change is not new, what is new is our knowledge about it and what we do about it.”
He, therefore, sought the cooperation of seasoned experts on ways to mitigate the effects of global warming and stressed that the introduction of mass transit buses and replacement of petrol and diesel fueled buses with buses that ran on natural gas was a move geared towards combating the challenge of Climate Change.
He stated that the initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emission had started in the industrial sector where 7Up Bottling Company Plc and Guinness Nigeria Plc had started running their fleet of trucks on natural gas
Governor Fashola also said that the government was adapting to climate change in the housing sector, with the adoption of new housing estate development schemes which involve the use of aluminum and ceramic materials for roofing of houses, so as to eliminate artificial cooling through airconditioning units and conserve energy.
The governor further noted that house designs by government now incorporated concepts of natural lighting, in order to reduce over- dependence on electricity for lighting, especially during the day.
“Similarly, in the infrastructural sector, we have upgraded various existing networks of roads across the state. Work has commenced and still ongoing on expansion and development of new ones. All these efforts are geared towards reduction in travelling time and cutting back carbon emission from vehicles plying our roads,” he said.
The governor emphasised that the state government’s commitment to ensuring the protection of the citizenry from the effects of climate change, led to the construction, lining and dredging of more drainage channels to mitigate the occurrence of flooding.
He also noted that the state government’s efforts in maintaining drainage infrastructure paid off last year, when several parts of the country were heavily flooded, while Lagos State was the least affected.
He said “we must continue to seek ways, through improved technology and policies, to achieve a rapid reduction in greenhouse gases emission, which is the main contributor to global warming and climate change. Our summits would afford us the opportunity to assess our strategies, so far and exchange ideas on how better to deal with the climate change crisis before change moves beyond man’s control.”
Fashola further noted “our ability to create problems for ourselves, as we have with carbon emission, is matched only by our ability to create solutions. So, in the months and years to come, I hope we will continue to work together, not only to prepare for the worst, but to deliver the best and a more sustainable future for all.”
Also speaking, Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello, enumerated the gains of the summit to include promoting and sustaining an infrastructural system which is environmental-friendly and geared towards the reduction of carbon emission.
The commissioner said the summit would further contribute to capacity building and promote understanding and serve as a forum for analysing policy instruments for easy adaptation to climate change and the reduction of Green House Gases emissions, especially as they affect transportation and housing sectors.