CLIMATE CHANGE POSES CHALLENGE TO BASIC GOVERNANCE
Climate Change is without doubt one of the most critical challenges ever to face humanity and is a very serious issue in terms of basic governance.
This submission was made by Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola while addressing the 2nd Lagos State Summit on Climate Change 2010 at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island.
Speaking on the theme, Trans-Boundary Effects of Climate Change: Sharing best practices in Mitigation and Adaptation Measures, Governor Fashola noted that the world had recognized that Climate Change is not solely an environmental problem but that of economic, security and survival issue that will dominate global policy for long.
He stressed that the cost of not reacting to the dangers of climate change far outweighed the cost of taking action. Hence, mitigation and adaptation strategies must become a priority for government and leaders. His words: 'We as governors certainly cannot afford to ignore the effect of encroaching desertification in the north, nor the gully erosion in the South East and flooding and coastal erosion in the South West as well as its impact on transport, industry, food and health security. We cannot wait for all the risks we face to materialize before we act to address them.
We have found out that when we act early and plan ahead, addressing climate change also offers us opportunities to improve our states in a wide variety of ways. Climate change is a huge challenge to basic governance. It is now unarguable that global economy will be adversely affected, if nothing is done to reverse or mitigate this slide towards the loss of our planet.'
The summit which was attended by governors and representatives of Kaduna, Borno, Niger, Ondo, Abia and Edo states, according to Governor Fashola, sought to provide a forum to raise awareness on climate change challenges within the six geo-political zones of the country as well as make climate change issue a priority in development policies and programmes.
'I hope that the summit would increase awareness and the need to act locally in order to act globally. We must therefore, as governors, act now and we must act together in the interest of our existence and that of future generations,' he appealed.
Drawing attention to the dangers of climate change in Lagos, the guovernor noted that climate change is no longer an abstraction or primarily an environmental issue, as Lagos which is less than two metres above sea level has been experiencing flash flood, which makes most areas impassable.
'Lagos wealthiest area, Victoria Island, would be underwater in the event of severe sea level rise and many of our poorest people live in informal homes built literally at the water's edge. Because of urbanization, Lagos State has really been at the receiving end of climate change with places like Baruwa and Alimosho experiencing pollution of their ground water by fuel,' he stated.