International Federation of Red Cross, IFRC, the largest humanitarian network is seeking partnership with Nigerian private sector and government to tackle climate change and mitigate the risks associated with the global challenge in Nigeria.
In recent time, Climate Change has become a contemporary issue as there is increasing shift in weather patterns as a result of gas emissions and cutting down of trees, a development threatening human life, causing disasters such as air pollution, erosion, scarcity of food and migration.
Speaking at a one-day stakeholders’ forum on ‘ Moving Beyond Green: A Dialogue on accelerated Climate Change Action’, Bhupinder Tomar, Head of Delegation of IFRC said flooding for instance has impacted many communities and many have lost their lives and what we are saying is that the impact of climate change is here and people are suffering from the impact.
He said actors like the Red Cross who traditionally respond to these disasters cannot do it alone. “We need support from partners like government, and many other operators in the private sector to assist communities and strengthen their resilience”.
According to him, IFRC which supports local Red Cross and Red Crescent action in more than 192 countries including Nigeria intends to raise the awareness of climate change and its impact towards combating it.
The global body is also calling for larger investments to increase the resilience of the people not just to respond to crisis but become proactive. “For every dollar spend in preparedness and resilience, we get about 7-14 dollars in return but every dollar we did not spend, we spend about $30 in response to crisis and disaster .The private and government need therefore to start investing into the preparedness in Nigeria and Africa”, he said.
With understanding that the private sector is driven by profit, Bhumpinder appealed to them to invest in mitigating the effect of climate change from CSR and commercial perspective as the impact of climate change can rob off also on business.
IFRC has been addressing the challenges under three strategic goals. This include People anticipate, respond to and quickly recover from crisis; People lead safe, healthy and dignified lives and have opportunities to thrive; and People mobilise for inclusive and peaceful communities/
In her speech, Ifeyinwa Ejindu of Coca Cola Nigeria who underscored the dialogue needed to create frameworks that will expedite climate change action agreed that Climate action is a global concern that will require significant resources and efforts. “That is why we are convinced that collective action is required to make transformative change. No one company will be able to do it alone. It is complex, dynamic and requires dimensional mitigation and initiatives to properly tackle it”, she said.
Ifeyinwa said Cocal Cola’s approach to addressing climate change has accelerated in recent years, in keeping with the scale and urgency of the issue. “We have been investing in solutions which have enabled us to make significant advancements in our focus areas of energy use reduction, water use reduction, emissions reduction, and waste generation reduction”.
Chigozie Ejimogu, sustainability manager of Verod Capital said there is need to increase the scale of dialogue to bring in more key stakeholders to understand the challenges of climate change and begin to have reorientation.
Appreciating IFRC for its anticipatory actions, Ejimogu said awareness of the issue is important and this can be mainstreamed into schools curricular to address the challenges from the grassroots.
Also speaking, Abubakar Kende Secretary General of Nigerian Red Cross recognised various private sector and government but challenged the private sector to take environment in consideration as they drive for profit.
Other speakers including Somachi Chris- Asoluka, Director Partnership and Communication of Tony Elumelu Foundation; Lolita Ejiofor, General Manager of Abbey Mortgage Bank, Temitope Ande of She Farmers Initiative at the forum emphasised the need for stakeholders cooperation in tackling the menace.