Prof. Soludo Urged To Secure $20 Million Climate Change Adaptation Funds For Anambra State
Climate activists marched to the Anambra state’s government office in Awka to demand action on climate change from the executive governor of the state, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo.
The Climate Change Awareness March was organized by the Peace Advocacy and Sustainable Development Outreach (PASDO) to commemorate the upcoming 2022 World Environment Day tagged “Only One Earth”. The World Environment Day is celebrated on the 5th of June every year.
Speaking with Chidimma Uwakwe, the organizing secretary of the rally, it was learnt that the objective of the outreach was to draw the attention of the Governor and encourage him to take climate change adaptation seriously.
In her words, “it is sad that Anambra state suffers the worst impacts of climate change in Nigeria and Africa, but doesn’t make efforts to access international climate change adaptation funds to help it tackle the problems. That is what we want to change.
We have the guest climate change expert with us who is billed to deliver a lecture to the honorable commissioner later”.
On behalf of the Commissioner for Environment, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Dr. Emman Ude-Akpeh, welcomed the activists at the premises of the Jerome Udoji State Secretariat Awka, and commended them for the noble thought of bringing such an important issue to the attention of the government.
The organization held a climate change education session with the Anambra State Commissioner for Environment, Engr. Felix Odimegwu.
Delivering the lecture in the commissioner’s office, Elochukwu Ezenekwe, a climate change expert with over 12 years of experience in climate change research and advocacy, touched on the phenomenon of climate change, how it can be tackled and how its negative impacts cut across the work of most of the government ministries in Anambra state.
He also discussed the concept of climate justice and went in-depth on Climate Change Adaptation Funds which developing countries can access to help them tackle the impacts of climate change that they suffer.
Workings of the international carbon credit and emissions trading systems was also looked into, particularly how it can earn the state government some very good funds due to the ongoing Clean Up exercise and the proposed planting of one million tree seedlings.
He encouraged the governor to set a target of securing up to $20million in climate change adaptation funds for the people of Anambra State during his tenure.
In Elochukwu Ezenekwe’s words, “this is something we can do. The Governor should not be scared to set an ambitious target and challenge the experts to work”.
In case of paucity of funds to hire the right human capital, Elochukwu Ezenekwe, who incidentally is from Anambra State, hinted on the option of volunteering, a gesture that could avail Anambra state the opportunity to leverage on his wealth of experience acquired through years of handling climate change-related assignments for a number of international organizations, including the world’s largest climate change research body – the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Responding to the lecture, the Commissioner for Environment, Engr. Felix Odimegwu, thanked the experts for the visit, while expressing surprise about some revelations made.
In the words of the commissioner, “I know about climate change. It is something that is affecting everyone and it is a big issue internationally. We have a Climate Change Desk in the Ministry and I have had several discussions with the staff.
But this is the first time I am hearing about the adaptation funds. I didn’t know such funds exist but I will like to make my own investigations”.
The commissioner for environment agreed with the expert on the need for Anambra State to be up and doing in going after such opportunities.
“We need to change from being passive, from waiting for these things to come to us; we need to start going after these funds and opportunities wherever they are”.
Engr. Felix Odimegwu is expected to transmit to the Governor, the document submitted by the organization with a three-point request for the Governor.