Climate change: Circular economy must be intentional – Expert
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The Team lead (Environment & Community), Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Lagos Regional Office, Lucy Okeke, has said that there is a need for government across board to take responsibility in promoting a circular economy if society must tackle climate change and its impacts.
Circular economy as a model of production and consumption involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible to prevent wastage, and environmental degradation.
Okeke who spoke at a hybrid programme organised on Sunday in Lagos by THE DAWN PROJECT, themed, ‘Recycle for Sustainability; Making a difference in our climate and our lives,’ said that it was important for the general public, governments and schools to be intentional about circular economy.
She said, “As a country and as a people, we need to start thinking; we need to start evaluating where we are, where we need to be, where we want to go, and what we need to do as far as the environment is concerned.
She advocated the adoption of a circular economy “as opposed to the linear economy where we produce, use, and discard. The circular economy is about keeping our products in use for a very long time.”
“We have to be innovative, we have to be deliberate, we have to be creative and intentional. Government must continue to take responsibility to create sustainable policies that would drive business to eliminate waste. The civil society needs to advocate sustainable actions and more sustainable businesses on a continuous basis. As individuals, we need to think green.
“The education sector is not left out. They need to include sustainability as part of syllabus from primary to tertiary education,” Okeke added.
In his own remark, the Head of Prosperity, British Deputy High Commission, Lagos, Kris Kamponi, called for sustainable alternatives to carbon-fuelled vehicles by proposing cycling. He also counselled on the need to make use of greener energy such as the wind.
Also, the Director of Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainability, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, noted that there was a need for the public to think and act in line with converting plastic wastes into income generation; that is, converting ‘waste to wealth.’
Other speakers at the programme were the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi and the British Deputy High Commissioner, Ben Llewellyn-Jones Obey. Others present were the convener, Dr Pamela Ajayi; the Chairman, Punch Nigeria Limited, Mrs Angela Emuwa, Stanley Mbe, and Mr Desmond Majekodunmi.
Prizes and medals were also presented to winners of the competitions held to raise awareness about the environment using the arts. The competition featured schoolchildren and students from high schools in Lagos and other states, as well as students from higher institutions across the country.