Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, has said the bank invested heavily in more than 70 percent of the 36 states in the country by partnering with them to address plastic pollution and ensure excellent waste management in a bid to promote waste recycling.
He disclosed this at an arts exhibition held in Lagos recently to showcase 17 canvases on sustainable climate adaptation solutions towards climate resilience, green economic recovery and low carbon Nigeria.
Mr. Suleiman who was represented by Mrs. Olapeju Ibekwe, CEO of Sterling One Foundation, said the Bank is currently on a beach adoption project across beaches in the country as part of its commitment to a safer environment. He said Sterling Bank adopted Lafia Beach, Alpha Beach and Eleko Beach in Lagos this year and intends to do more, adding that the strategy is to empower the youths and women in those communities to pick up plastic waste and recycle them for money, thereby creating a circular economy.
Also speaking, United Kingdom (UK) Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Ben Llewellyn-Jones said he was delighted to be a part of the effort to strengthen the discourse on tackling climate change in Nigeria. He noted that climate change is a common concern for all countries of the world. According to him, climate change is an urgent and potentially irreversible threat.
Mr. Llewellyn-Jones said, “We are at a critical moment for the future of our planet. Temperatures are rising, storms are raging and crops are failing across the world. Considering the impact of climate change and COVID-19, building back a fairer, greener and more resilient recovery and safer economy should be a big priority of all governments across the globe, including the UK and Nigeria.
“Addressing challenges relating to climate change is at the heart of the UK government’s agenda. We recognise the role that we, as a world leader in fighting climate change, have to use our voice and our influence to champion climate action,” he said.
He added that, “The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties or COP26, which the UK is hosting in Glasgow in just under four weeks from today, is an invitation for all of us to rethink our way of life. And we will use our platform at COP26 to focus this ambition.”
The Deputy High Commissioner said the UK’s strategic framework and narrative for COP26 is centred around the four key goals namely: Mitigation, Adaptation, Finance and Collaboration. The partnership with the Creative Youth Community Development Initiative (CYCDI) has attracted a lot of attention and engagements with the government, creative industries, CSOs, education institutions, private sector players, youth groups and green entrepreneurs.
Mrs. Foluke Michael noted that Naija Climate Now has become imperative because by 2030s, there will be a significant reduction in the rainforest until it can no longer produce enough moisture. Species will be lost and the speed of global warming will increase.
She projected that, “By 2040s, greenhouse gas will be many times more potent than carbon dioxide, thus accelerating the rate of climate change dramatically. By 2050s, as the ocean becomes more acidic due to heat, coral reefs will die around the world and fish populations will crash significantly.”
Mrs. Michael added that by 2080s, global food production will enter a crisis as soils become exhausted by overuse, pollinating insects will disappear and the weather becomes unpredictable and by 2100s, the planet will become four degrees Celsius warmer and large parts of the earth with millions of people rendered homeless and mass extinction everywhere while the Garden of Eden, the planet, will be lost.
She paid tribute to Sir David Attenborough for inspiring them at Solution17 with his documentary, ‘Life on Planet.’ We are mobilising everyone across Nigeria to act for Climate Change through education, creativity, innovation, technology and art in a bid to help them to reach goals pretty quick, she said. She added that the paintings that members of Solution17 developed are divided into four categories: Limiting Global Temp by 1.5 degrees, Climate Adaptation, Climate Finance and Collaborations.
The event was graced by His Royal Majesty, Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan, Oniru of Iruland and Chief Nike Okundaye, Founder and CEO of Nike Art Gallery, among others.