Any ardent news watcher will
observe that the world climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark has one resounding
theme – climate change is happening, it is accelerating and its current pace is
breath taking. Although, in times past, there have been series of climate
change issues: this one is peculiar in that, it is caused largely by humankind,
Induced by the world emission of greenhouse gases, since the dawn of the
industrial revolution.

These green house gases are
responsible for global warming which loosely is often used synonymous with
climate change, the effect of climate change has no border across the globe and
compelling evidence shows that equivocal action must be taken now.

This is true in the face of
devastating recent climate events like the tropical cyclone in Myanmar and the
Caribbean, wide spread flooding in India and china, and drought in Africa that
laid waste productive land, natural resources and even human capital. We need
to be aware that resent data released by the United Nation’s Center for human
settlement confirm that almost 40 percent of the world populations is less than
60 miles from the coast and these populations are mostly in the cities.

In addition, it was noted that
100 million people lived less than one meter above sea level thus making them
vulnerable to coastal erosion and rising sea levels. Salt-water contamination
and where potentially more storms that are power full are found. This means
that if sea level rises by just one meter, many coastal mega cities with
population of more than 10 million people will be affected of which Lagos is
not an exception.

A number of arguments and
counter arguments have emerged in recent years as concerned the extent of
contribution of various nations to climate change, with the United State
topping the list. A world forum that was held in 1997 at Kyoto, Japan
deliberated on issues and ways by which the effects can be mitigated, this
outcome was the churning of Kyoto Protocol, which employs all the Annex 1
countries to cut down their carbon emission by six percent from considerable
level and in addition, they should support the developing nations in coping
with the effects of climate change.

Very few nations if any, meet
the Kyoto target of reducing carbon dioxide emission, six percent below sea
levels hence, there was the need for the Copenhagen round table to redress the
short falls. The Copenhagen talk was watershed in that, it gave climate change
a human face by strengthening increased focus on women, youth and the very poor
especially in the developing countries. It recognizes that the poorer countries
global environment change represents a fundamental development challenge that
can undermine all recent development gained, and increased human poverty and
vulnerability if not well managed.

It is no coincidence that global
climate change has become a leading international developmental issue; this is
because the fate of humanity is hanging on this balance. African countries, in
coping with climate change are beseted with many challenges. Top among these is
poverty, weak institutional frame work, Lack of political will, inconsistencies
in government policies and illiteracy.

For instance, recent finding
indicates that approximately 64 percent of the population in Africa and South
Asia still lives below US$2 per day. In Nigeria, it was estimated by the United
Nation Development Program (UNDP), 2005, that 70.8 percent of the population
are living on one dollar per day while 92.4 percent lived on two dollars a day
from 1990-2005 in the UNDP’s Human poverty Index. HPL Classification, Nigerian
was ranked 80, with adult illiteracy level pegged at 30.9, percent that is made
up of citizens who were between 15 years and above from 1995-2005, with this,
it becomes relatively difficult for an average Nigerian to feed let alone be
aware of the challenges posed by climate change.

Although it has been argued
that Nigerian as an African nation has little contribution to greenhouse gas
buildup. This does not exonerate her from the consequences. Remember the
African adage that says, if heaven is going to fall, it is going to fall on
everybody. When the consequences of Climate Change becomes aggravated we are
all going to bear the burden irrespective of who the culprit is, it is a known
fact that at present. Nigerian has little or no capacity to address the
challenges.

This can be seen from many
disasters that have happened over the years in Nigeria. We are all living
witness that when calamity occurs, the institutions set-up like the Nigeria
Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) has little or no capacity to cope with
them. We must not leave our future to fate. we all have responsibilities
although different, but common towards ensuring that we do not waste ourselves
or mortgage our future to what we can’t correct, posterity will not forgive us
if out of our own  negligence we alter
the ability of them in meeting their own needs   

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Open chat