45% Reduction in Human-induced Emissions Will Save 255,000 Lives Per Year, Say Stakeholders

45% Reduction in Human-induced Emissions Will Save 255,000 Lives Per Year, Say Stakeholders

Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

Stakeholders in the environment protection space yesterday expressed concern that aside fossil fuel, human-induced or anthropogenic methane emissions have emerged as the new threat to Nigerians.

The groups after a seminar in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, warned that such emissions account for 60 per cent of the methane emissions in the country, and that this causes over 255,000 deaths and 775,000 asthma cases in hospitals.

The groups led by the Environmental Centre for Oil Spills and Gas Flaring (ECOSGF), and African Initiative for Transparency, Accountability and Responsible Leadership (AfriTAL) said they have mapped out plans to fight the menace.

Briefing non-state actors that worked on the plan of abatement of methane emissions, the group said: “In February 2024, TrustAfrica provided a take-off seed fund for the project. It is hoped that as the project progresses, other funding partners will show interest in collaborating with ECOSGF and AfriTAL to achieve this project goals.

“The objective is to cut down at least 255,000 deaths and 775,000 asthma-related hospital cases in one year. This is what a mere 45 per cent reduction of methane emission would achieve,” they said.

Methane (CH4) is said to be the second most significant contributor to emissions after Carbon Dioxide (CO2), which has caused about a 30 per cent rise in global temperatures since the Industrial Revolution.

The stakeholders expressed worry that while contending with and focusing on methane emissions from oil and gas production, little attention is paid to emissions from anthropogenic sources linked to man’s natural activities like farming, waste management, others.

The researchers said methane emissions from food waste, food systems’ emissions, trash, landfills, livestock breeding, and bush burning, contribute about 60 per cent of global emissions, but they don’t have the type of attention carbon dioxide has concerning climate change.

In his opening remarks, at the meeting held in Port Harcourt, the Executive Director at AfriTAL, Louis Ogbeifun, stated that the project would focus on decreasing methane emissions from anthropogenic sources such as human wastes, landfills, the rearing of ruminant animals, rice cultivation, and other agricultural processes.

He noted that, from the information gathered thus far, there is a lack of knowledge about anthropogenic methane and its hazards to human health.

“Nigeria’s methane emissions situation is more precarious because methane emissions from oil and gas activities like gas flares, pipeline vandalism, artisanal refining, others, are already high; hence, civil society must advocate for its curtailment as soon as possible,” he said.

On his part, Edward Obi of ECOSGF, stressed that civil society could do a lot to lessen the impact of global warming.

Other civil society participants at the meeting were: Stakeholder Democracy Network (SDN), Peace Point Development Foundation (PPDF), Centre for Environment and Human Rights (CHERD), We the People (WTP) and others.

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