Monday, October 19, 2015 6:56 am
Ambassador Stephane Gompertz, France’s Ambassador for Climate Change, has called for a robust participation from Nigeria at the climate change conference in Paris to protect the city of Lagos.
Gompertz raised the spectre of rising temperature and rising sea level, which can lead to the wiping out of the coastal city of Lagos.
The Frenchman said Nigeria has a lot to gain from the 21st Conference of Parties (COP) 21, which is scheduled to hold from Nov. 30 to Dec.11 in Paris.
The French envoy raised an alarm over the rising global temperatures, saying further rise could put the whole world in jeopardy.
COP 21, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aims to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate and to keep global warming below 2°C.
Gompertz warned: “If we don’t reach an agreement in Paris, it is likely that temperature will continue to rise rapidly.
“We’ve seen example and there are other examples that Nigeria seashore being wiped away. I have seen that in Senegal as well. In Senegal, I had examples of Beaches, touristic villages which have just disappeared, replaced and taken over by the sea,” he said.
“Hence, the international panel on climate change found out that if temperature rises by four degrees by the end of the century, the average sea level could rise by one metre before the end of the century.
“Now Nigeria has a coast and you know what it means. Lagos could be wiped out.
“I mean, what I think the interest of Nigeria should be is to keep Lagos and the people living there and other coastline.
“We’ve seen example and there are other examples that Nigeria seashore being wiped away. I have seen that in Senegal as well.
“In Senegal, I had examples of Beaches, touristic villages which have just disappeared, replaced and taken over by the sea,” he said.
Gompertz also noted the effect of climate change on the northern states, emphasising the need for Nigeria to contribute to the success of the panel.
The envoy noted that the same threat applies to deforestation in the North. So I won’t say Nigeria has direct immediate interest but this is a long-term interest for its entire population.
He pointed out that Nigeria, like all countries, especially African countries, should show keen interest in the success of Paris conference.
According to him, the idea of COP 21 is that we all share the same objective and we are confronted by the same threat.
He emphasised that all of us, with different degrees, obviously should make efforts to contribute to that panel.
Gompertz also reminded stakeholders on the need to bury their differences by “turning our difference to responsibility.”
“There is no Plan “B” as Ban Ki-moon says. Therefore, if we succeed, we will all succeed together. If we fail, we will all fail together,” he said