Sylvester Idowu in Warri
The Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria(ERA/FoEN), Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo, has stressed the need for Nigeria be committed towards switching from petroleum to renewable energy sources.
He also advised the federal government to end gas flaring, reduce the rate of deforestation and the impact of climate change.
He said this during a one-day environmental education workshop for teachers from Edo, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa States, which was held in Warri, Delta State.
According to him, “in Nigeria the problem of environmental degradation from persistent gas flaring and frequent oil spills continue to pollute the environment,” adding that Nigeria’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 20 per cent unconditionally may not be realised if government fails to invest in renewable energy research and development.
Ojo, noted that the use of fossil fuel was contributing significantly to climate change caused by carbon emissions released into the atmosphere and leading to rising earth temperature. He stressed the need to change to renewable energy, “to save our environment.”
“To action the Paris Agreement 2015 and keep development pathway within 1.50 degrees, there is the need to cut carbon emissions. Nigeria’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 20 per cent unconditionally may not be realised if government fails to invest in renewable energy research and development”, he warned.
The Executive Director of ERA, therefore called for Nigeria to make a commitment to switch from petroleum to renewable energy sources, end gas flaring, reduce the rate of deforestation and the impact on climate change.
In furtherance of the NGOs campaign for a change to renewable energy source, Ojo said the ERA decided to train teachers across the Niger Delta on benefits of new energy as against petroleum which has impacted negatively on the environment who will in turn impact the knowledge on their students.
He stressed that teachers take up the task of organising and leading in discussions on environmental issues with their students as part of the environmental education in secondary schools.
Going further, he stated: “For the teachers to be effective in imparting the young ones, basic knowledge of these environmental issues is required in the teaching of renewable energy in communities and secondary schools.”
He disclosed the ERA/FoEN has trained over 200 teachers, “on environmental issues and awareness raising to reach over 10,000 students so as to prepare the youths for energy revolution that is currently gathering momentum on a global scale.”
Ojo, averred that, “weaning Nigeria’s economy from fossil fuels dependence and embracing renewable energy is a monumental challenge and one that we cannot afford to shy away from.”