Sahara Group urges enforceable policies to support climate protection in Africa

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‘Environment Day,’ Sahara Group has advocated the need for more stakeholder collaboration in the design and adoption of enforceable policies and regulation that can effectively curb the menace of climate change in Africa.
June 5 of every year is celebrated globally as World Environment Day. The theme for this year is: #BeatAirPollution.
Pearl Uzokwe, director, Governance and Sustainability, Sahara Group, said while it was commendable that some African nations had started implementing several environmental protection policies, the continent requires “holistic and tailored multi-stakeholder cooperation to achieve sustainable milestones.”
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), nine out of 10 people in the world are exposed to polluted air and worse still, air pollution kills 7 million people each year. A new World Bank report found that air pollution costs the global economy more than $5 trillion annually in welfare costs, with the most devastating damage occurring in the developing world.
Africa needs to establish incentives that promote investments in renewable energy, pollution control technologies, energy efficiency and clean production mechanism to combat air pollution effectively, Uzokwe said.
“Quite impressively, we have seen policies targeted at increasing industrial energy efficiency and reducing fuel sulphur content for refined petroleum products (Afri4); increasing investments in public and non-motorized transport systems and improving access to clean cooking and heating fuels. What we need now is a higher level of commitment and cooperation from governments, energy companies, regulators, civil society and other stakeholders to ensure these policies are backed by laws and enforced as appropriate across the continent,” she said.
She said Sahara’s commitment to protecting the environment inspired the recent partnership between Sahara Energy Resources DMCC Dubai and Brooge Petroleum and Gas Investment Co (BPGIC) geared towards setting up an oil refinery with up to 250,000 barrel per day

Imperatives of green bonds to funding climate change activities

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Issues of climate change as again come to the fore as experts advocate that Nigeria needs green bond issuance to fund climate change activities.
The recent Cyclone Idai and Kenneth that hit Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique are direct consequences from devastation of the environment and as such issue of climate change should be overemphasised at this point in time, the experts say.
This was the sum up at the maiden edition of the Access Bank Sustainability Summit (TABSS) held in Lagos, recently.
“Climate change has the potential to create physical, social and economic destruction on an unprecedented extent. Therefore, it is important that we are able to mobilise low carbon finance,” A’isha Usman Mahmood, special adviser to the CBN governor on Sustainable Banking, said.
“Green bond issuance is one of the pathways we need to follow to ensure that we have the ability to generate a model for financing our climate change activities,” Mahmood said.
She stated that the country had initially issued a $10.69 billion bonds and would be issuing another $15 billion bond at the later part of the year by Access Bank.
The CBN will continue to work with Access Bank and other financial institutions to move sustainability agenda and ensure that the country reduce its greenhouse gas emission, she said.
In his keynote address, Herbert Wigwe, group managing director/CEO of Access Bank, said the summit was timely as industry leaders were now recognising the impact of sustainability as a key driver to accelerating development
Wigwe, who was represented by Amaechi Michael Okobi, head of communications of the bank, said the overarching aim of the summit was to provide a platform for consultation on the UNEP-FI Global Responsible Banking Principles in an African context, as well as to discuss the role and