Integrate climate change discourse into national development agenda- experts

Integrate climate change discourse into national development agenda- experts

By Tosin Kolade
A gathering of experts on Wednesday urged the urgent integration of climate change discussions into Nigeria’s national development agenda.

The experts said this at a policy Dialogue on ‘Nigeria, Climate Change, and the Green Economy’, organised by Agora Policy, MacArthur Foundation and other partners in Abuja.

Mr Waziri Adio, the Founder of Agora Policy, decried the insufficient attention given to climate change in Nigeria’s policy agenda and public discourse.

He underscored the need for urgent, intentional, and bold action, categorising climate change as the most existential threat facing the nation.

He acknowledged the efforts of those actively addressing climate change concerns but lamented the prevailing national attitude marked by denial and indifference.

Highlighting the existing burdens of climatic shifts, including rising temperatures, irregular rainfall patterns, and increased threats of desertification and gully erosion, Adio stressed their deep, negative impacts.

This, he said affected critical sectors like food production, water resources, health, and infrastructure.

Adio, however called for a transformative perspective, positioning climate change as the central development challenge for Nigeria.

He said there was the need for an all-of-society approach, involving political authorities, policy experts, and ordinary citizens, each playing distinct roles to address the pressing climate crisis.

Dr Kole Shettima, the Nigeria Office Director of the MacArthur Foundation, outlined the organisation’s commitment to providing access to energy, particularly in rural and low-income communities.

Shettima emphasised that climate change affects different populations disproportionately, with the poor and disadvantaged being more severely impacted.

Mr Shubham Chaudhuri, the Country Director of the World Bank, called for more coordinated action to tackle climate change issues in Nigeria.

He highlighted the World Bank’s support for Nigeria in responding to climate change, with a focus on adaptation and mitigation efforts.

“Climate change adaptation is an overwhelming challenge, issues of rising temperatures, flooding, drought abounds and we must move from policies to action.

“Nigeria must do more to improve access to energy resources so as to promote development, doing this will help all development efforts.

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Prof.

Chukwumerije Okereke, the Director, Centre for Climate Change and Development, emphasised the need for an inclusive, all-of-society approach to address the urgent climate crisis for a sustainable future in Nigeria.

Reviewing the 84-page Agora Policy report titled “Climate Change and Socio-Economic Development in Nigeria’’.

Okereke revealed projections of approximately 460 billion dollars in losses by 2050 due to climate change.

He highlighted the potential need to relocate between 27 and 53 million people by 2050 due to a rise in sea levels caused by global warming.

During a panel discussion, participants urged all stakeholders to explore avenues for integrating climate change considerations into Nigeria’s development plans.

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Edited by Ese E.

Eniola Williams

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