Climate

COP26: Bayelsa, worst hit by climate change – Diri

Kuwekuzi Aigbe

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said the state was one of the most affected by climate change in Nigeria due to the high degree of carbon emissions and environmental degradation.

Governor Diri stated this on Thursday in his office in Government House, Yenagoa, when a consultancy firm, Ecologistics Integrated Services, presented a report on the state’s participation at the 26th session of the Conference of Parties (COP26) at Glasgow, Scotland.

He said the world was transiting from oil to cleaner energy, and that all concerned should be part of the process so that the state would not be left behind.

He also called on environmental activists to partner with the government to attract the needed resources for the development of the state.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, the governor explained that Bayelsa participated at COP26 as one of the most affected states by climate change and the conference provided an opportunity to take its challenges to the global platform.

Governor Diri noted that the state was blessed with abundant resources that needed to be harnessed through partnership and collaborations.

He thanked the consultants for making a comprehensive report on the state’s participation at the conference, adding that the government would work with them to explore other areas to improve its economy.

He said: “Bayelsa State is one of the most affected by climate change in Nigeria. Bayelsa is at the epicenter in terms of climate change. Our people and environment have been affected.

“Recently, we had one of the worst oil spills in the world in the Nembe community.

That explains what people are suffering in the state. For us, that was an opportunity to take our issues to the world.

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“Let me use this opportunity to call on our environmental activists to be part of this process and ensure that we are not left out in this transition we are about to experience. Particularly for those of us from this state, oil is about to finish and we are transiting to cleaner energy.

Join hands with the state government and see what Bayelsa will make out of this transition in terms of the partnership, technical know-how, and attracting the finances out there for our state.”

In his remarks, the President of Ecologistics, Dr. Paul Abolo, commended the governor for his interest in climate change action.

Dr. Abolo stated that the action of the governor showed the quality of leadership in the state, saying that no state government in Nigeria had engaged in climate change action as Bayelsa did.

He said the state has keyed into a critical part of the climate change action, which is how developing countries could access funds such as grants, loans, and others from developed countries to cushion the effects of climate change.

While thanking the governor for leading the team to the conference, Abolo said the action showed the state has taken the lead in the climate change action that other states are expected to follow.

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