Home Environment Experts warn of climate change devastation in Nigeria, call for methane reduction.

Experts warn of climate change devastation in Nigeria, call for methane reduction.

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Experts Warn of Climate Change Devastation in Nigeria, Calls For Methane Reduction.

By Uko Okon, Uyo

Environmental experts have issued a dire warning about the catastrophic consequences of climate change in Nigeria, urging immediate action to reduce methane emissions. They noted that human activities contribute 60% of methane emissions, and collective efforts are crucial to achieving the 1.5°C warming pathway and avoiding the worst effects of climate change.

They emphasised the need for methane reduction, particularly in the oil and gas, agriculture, and waste management sectors. The experts advocated technological solutions, behavioral change, and policy implementation to reduce methane emissions.

They emphasised the benefits of methane reduction, including increased life expectancy, better crop yields, and improved livestock health. These were some of their submissions during a round table discussion in Uyo on “Methane Abatement in Nigeria: A Special Focus on Anthropogenic Sources of Methane Emission”.

Our Correspondent reports that the event was jointly organised by the Environmental Centre for Oil Spill and Gas Flaring (ECOSGF), the African Initiative for Transparency Accountability and Responsible Leadership (AfriTAL), and the Peace Point Development Foundation (PPDF) and sponsored by TrustAfrica.

In his paper presentation titled, ‘Methane Abatement in Nigeria: An Assessment of Anthropogenic Methane Emissions and Mitigate Strategies,’ Dr. Soberekon Afiesimama of ECOSGF highlighted that methane had contributed over 30% of global temperature rise since the Industrial Revolution and has 80 times the heat-trapping potential of Carbon dioxide CO2.

He said, “Anthropogenic methane emissions are mainly from three sectors: 35% from fossil fuels, ~42% from agriculture, ~42 %; and 20% from waste. Total methane emission from human activities is between 350 – 390 million tonnes annually. Natural methane emissions come primarily from vegetated wetlands, freshwater systems, natural geological sources, the Arctic, etc. Vegetated wetlands contribute about 83% of natural resources.

“Sources of methane emissions in Nigeria followed the global pattern with the oil and gas sector contributing. Fossil Fuels account for 35% of anthropogenic methane emissions. Oil and Gas: 23% (78 Mt/year), Coal: 12% (41 Mt/year).”

Dr. Afiesimama noted that reducing methane emissions required a combination of technological solutions and behavioral change in the oil and gas sector. “70% of emissions can be decreased using natural gas for power production, vehicle fuel (CNG), and LPG. Eliminating the flaring of associated gases and adopting and implementing regulatory standards in the downstream, midstream, and upstream sectors are also key.”

Afiesimama stated that, for instance, the Agricultural/Waste Management sector could deploy biodigester technology to decrease methane emissions.

He further noted that methane could be captured and used as an energy source. The expert advised against food waste and open burning of waste and called for the adoption of alternate wetting and drying methods for rice cultivation.

He highlighted the benefits of reducing methane emissions, which include an increase in life expectancy, better crop yield, improved livestock lives, and general well-being.

On his part, An International environmental rights expert, Christopher Inyang stressed the importance of a green environment and tree planting to mitigate global warming.

He expressed concern about Nigeria’s ability to meet its methane emission reduction targets amidst ongoing gas flaring, waste mismanagement, and other human-induced activities.

“Global warming causes an international environmental crisis that can affect plants, animals, and human lives.

“It has been agreed that carbon dioxide has been the most significant problem of human lives, and solutions have been developed to see how to manage it, including planting green trees. Why do humans breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide? Plants give out oxygen and take in carbon dioxide, and this synergy will bring about beautiful life.

“How can we situate our discussion on managing energy and decreasing methane emissions when there is a serious gas flaring in Ibeno, Onne? Even as you are standing at the soil of Ibeno, you will feel earth tremor as there’s going to be an earthquake.

“Also, the waste disposal site in Uyo Village Road and other centers provide us with an example of mismanagement of waste, which can lead to methane emission,” he said.

Also speaking, A Professor of Environmental Sciences from Ritman University in Akwa Ibom, Prof.Essien Udosen, frowned at the rate of waste mismanagement and gas flaring, which worsen climate change, and called for deliberate action from both the government and the stakeholders in methane abatement.

“waste accumulation is the worst; when rain falls, it will decompose these things, and you know what it means.

“Methane will be released to the air. Methane is dangerous and contributes more than carbon dioxide in global warming.

“The good thing is that you can capture it and convert it to biogas for cooking or automotive purposes; even the lipids that come out could be used for fertilizing plants,” the Professor observed.

The Coordinator of PPDF, Umo Isua-Iko, urged that returning the environment to the standard nature requested will mitigate climate change in the country.

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