By Glory Abraham/Vivian Emoni

The Global Initiative for Food Security Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP), Coal Free Nigeria and 350Africa.org on Wednesday called for urgent action to alleviate the environmental crisis across the country.

GIFSEP’s Executive Director, Mr. Michael Terungwa, made the call during a three-day NGO-organized workshop in Abuja.

Terungwa said the aim of the workshop was to raise awareness about the impact of coal mining and climate change in Nigeria as well as Africa as a whole.

According to him, the energy transition and other environmental crises require urgent attention to reduce energy-related carbon emissions in order to limit climate change.

“Decarburizing the power sector requires urgent action not just in Nigeria but globally.

“Measures are needed to mitigate the effects of climate change, renewable energy and energy efficiency measures can potentially achieve 90% of the required carbon reduction,” he said.

The executive director said that the energy transition is a pathway towards the transformation of the energy sector from fossil fuel to zero carbon in a specific period of time.

He said the energy transition would be enabled by information technology, smart technology, policy framework and market instruments.

The GIFSEP program manager, Mr Joseph Ibrahim, said the organizations had done research on coal mining and found that it was harmful to health.

Ibrahim said the organizations also discovered three states that are currently mining coal in Nigeria, including Kogi, Gombe and Benue states.

According to him, the NGOs conducted community sensitization called Community Resilience Building and created a Village Savings and Loans Program (VSLS), for women in the communities.

350Africa.org Africa Regional Campaigner, Ms. Charity Migwi, said Africa needs climate finance to shift from using coal to renewable energy.

Migwi said the organizations are collaborating to raise awareness of the energy transition plan, adding that this is part of the workshop’s objective.

She said the workshop aimed to discuss and understand how the principles of a just transition could be applicable in the Nigerian setting.

She encouraged Nigerians to embrace the renewable energy system, adding that the energy transition plan was a situation where the use of fossil fuels would be phased out for renewable energy.

“We want to live in a healthy and safe environment, which the renewable energy system will provide. We all want sustainable food systems, productive agriculture.

“So those are the things that really drive most of our campaigns. I thought the campaign would benefit not just Nigeria but as a continent,” she said.

The regional organizer of 350Africa.org. Ms. Rukiya Khamis, said most communities do not have access to energy, adding that there was a need to build a resilient agricultural environment.

Khamis said the aim of the organization is to build an African movement to fight climate change, adding that the organization uses the grassroots to run grassroots campaigns in all corners of the globe. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Isaac Aregbesola

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