Participants Seek Action on Global Warming at Conference on Carbon Emission
Participants at a three-day International Conference on Carbon Emission, held at Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, have unequivocally called for strict control of the release of dangerous gases into the air to curtail the effects of global warming.
The conference with the theme, ‘Carbon Capture, Storage and Utilization: A means to Mitigating Global Climate Change’, covered a wide area of subjects on climate change, its causes, effects and ways to ameliorate the effects.
Dr. Michael Daramola, a Senior Lecturer at the School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, who was the Keynote Speaker at the event, exposed the debilitating effects of climate change on the atmospheric compositions of the earth.
He expressed regrets that man has aided the depletion of the ozone layer, which is meant to protect all living organisms from the direct and damaging effects of the sun.
The keynote speaker, who described carbon dioxide as a colourless and odourless gas vital to life on earth, pointed out that carbon emissions are the biggest contributors to climate change and ozone layer depletion. However, technology, he said, has greatly increased the production of these gases to levels that threaten human existence.
“These carbon emissions happen through various human activities, which include industrial activities, transportation, urbanisation, deforestation, oil production and combustion. The largest emitter of carbon is China, followed closely by the United States, with India coming third place. Some of the effects of the emissions include, pollution and climate change, which leads to increases in temperature and global warming,” Daramola stated.
In order to mitigate these effects, he suggested the adoption of certain strategies, which include conservation and energy efficiency, renewable energy, nuclear energy and coal-to-gas substitution among others.
The Head, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Oluseyi Ajayi, who represented the Vice-Chancellor at the event, commended the organisers for packaging what he termed a “life-changing programme”.
He posited that climate change must be put in the Nigerian context in order to bring home the implications of its effects on the country.
“Various attempts at reducing the incidents of climate change phenomenon have not yielded the expected results or gathered needed momentum. This is because of the following: Nigeria is faced with enormous challenges that borders on economic, social and developmental issues; and also, there is no legal mechanism targeted towards climate change in Nigeria. However, there are policy frameworks like the national strategic plan of action on climate in Nigeria (NASPA-CCN). It points out areas of vulnerability to climate change such as energy, water resources, agric, health, biodiversity etc.,” said Ajayi.
Also, he lamented that attempts to legalise the fight against anthropogenic issues of climate change in Nigeria have not been successful. “For instance, the national Climate Change Commission Bill has not been passed to law six years after. But some existing laws that could curb the incidents of climate change include: Associated Gas Reinjection Act, 2004 (as amended), Hydrocarbons oil refinery Act 2004 (as amended) and National Environmental Standards and Regulation Agency (NESRA) Act 2007, which includes regulations on control of bush burning and vehicular emissions. These laws, as good as they are, lack adequate enforcement and need reforms to be able to meet with today's challenges,” Ajayi stated.
The Head, Department of Chemical Engineering, Dr. Vincent Efeovbokhan, in his remarks, acknowledged the Chancellor of Covenant University for not only creating an enabling environment but is also “developing our capacity to think and make contributions toward solving the social-economic problems bedevilling mankind”.
Efeovbokhan urged participants at the conference to pay close attention to the lecture as the issues affect all men living today. He explained that carbon dioxide, one of the greenhouse gases, has been identified as the main pollutant responsible for global warming.
“The negative effects of global warming, including distorted rainfall pattern, desertification, natural fires in our forests, rise in sea levels, flooding, road accidents or air crashes, destruction of farm land and villages/cities along low level coastal areas, heat waves, drought to mention but a few; and that makes the seminar topic a front burner any day.
“These disastrous effects know no colour, race, region or nationality. The effects are global. Hence, mitigating the effect of climate change due to carbon release into the atmosphere should be the collective responsibility of all,” he said.
Also at the conference were the Director, Centre for Lifelong Learning, Dr. Dayo Odukoya; members of the Chemical Engineering Department and the College of Engineering.