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Home News War against emissions: ECOSFG, AfriTAL, draw action plan against methane emissions from human sources

War against emissions: ECOSFG, AfriTAL, draw action plan against methane emissions from human sources

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War against emissions: ECOSFG, AfriTAL, draw action plan against methane emissions from human sources

Concerned stakeholders in the environment protection space have expressed alarm that more than fossil fuel, that human-induced or anthropogenic methane emissions, have emerged as the new threat to Nigerians.

Rising from a seminar in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the groups 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.

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

They are said to have worked to get funding to carry out activities to reduce methane from anthropogenic sources, including research and advocacy with civil society organizations (CSOs).

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Briefing a long list of 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 their project goals.

The objective is said to be to cut down at least 255,000 deaths and 775,000 asthma-related hospital cases in one year. This is said to be what a mere 45 per cent reduction of methane emission would achieve, according to the Nigerian stakeholders who quoted Global Methane Assessment.

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.

Methane is indicated as an odorless, colorless, flammable gas that enters the atmosphere via natural sources and human-related (anthropogenic) activities. It is formed from the decay of natural materials in landfills, marshes, septic systems, sewers, pit toilets, compressed dustbins, coal, gas, etc. It is used in manufacturing organic chemicals and as fuel for lighting and heating.

This is said to be the major reason some of the stakeholders showed concerned about the issues associated with methane emissions in Nigeria.

ECOSGF and AfriTAL said they have worked to get funding to carry out activities to reduce methane from anthropogenic sources, including research and advocacy with civil society organizations (CSOs).

Their main worry is 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, etc.

The researchers say 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 seem to have the type of attention carbon dioxide has concerning climate change.

It has been proved that emissions from one landfill are able to overtake emissions from 1.4 million cars.

A report at the end of the conference in Port Harcourt 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 their project goals.”

The main goal of the project is said to be to carry out advocacy on methane emission reduction and utilization in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers states in the Niger Delta. This would be by raising awareness, arming non-state actors and the media to fight the wars, and to maintain the momentum of the methane abatement programme through ongoing advocacy, research, and impact evaluation.

The meeting was held at the Visa Karena Hotels, Port Harcourt, on March 11, 2024, to kickstart the project. In his opening remarks, Louis Brown Ogbeifun, the Executive Director at AfriTAL, 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.

He stressed that Nigeria’s methane emissions situation is more precarious because methane emissions from oil and gas activities like gas flares, pipeline vandalism, artisanal refining, etc., are already high; hence, CSOs must advocate for its curtailment as soon as possible.

He said the task would also include equipping CSOs and the media with knowledge and advocacy tools for “Methane Action; and to encouraging governmental entities to be more proactive in methane abatement as well as increased awareness and interest by farmers and livestock owners on the effect of improperly disposed wastes and their impacts on humans.

A reverend father, Edward Obi of the Environmental Centre for Oil Spillage and Gas Flaring, stressed that CSOs could do a lot to lessen the impact of global warming.

Goodwill messages were given by organizations such as Stakeholder Democracy Network (SDN), Peace Point Development Foundation (PPDF), Centre for Environment and Human Rights (CHERD), and We the People (WTP).

The Civil Society Organizations who overwhelmingly complemented TrustAfrica and the methane abatement partners agreed to carry out a long list of actions including to liaise with the National Council on Climate Change and other climate change actors for the necessary information to assist in birthing the project objectives.

They also agreed to assist in fact-finding, research, and development, conduct field visits, and provide capacity building and technology development to support the campaign.

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