Climate change: Circular economy must be intentional – Expert

Team Leader (Environment & Community), Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Lagos Regional Office, Lucy Okeke has said that if society needs to tackle climate change and its Effects.

The circular economy as a production and consumption model involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible to avoid waste and environmental degradation.

Okeke, speaking at a hybrid program hosted by THE DAWN PROJECT in Lagos on Sunday, themed “Recycle for Sustainability; Making a difference in our climate and our lives,” said that it is important for the general public, governments and schools to consciously advocate for the circular economy.

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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 in relation to the environment.

She advocated adopting a circular economy “as opposed to the linear economy where we produce, use and discard. Circular economy is about keeping our products in use for a very long time.”

“We have to be innovative, we have to be aware, we have to be creative and purposeful. Government must continue to take responsibility to create sustainable policies that push businesses to avoid waste. Civil society must continuously advocate for sustainable action and more sustainable companies. As individuals, we need to think green.

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“The education sector is not left out. They need to include sustainability as part of the curriculum from elementary school through higher education,” Okeke added.

In his own remarks, Kris Kamponi, Head of Prosperity, British Deputy High Commission, Lagos, called for sustainable alternatives to carbon-powered vehicles by proposing cycling. He also discussed the need to use greener energy such as wind.

Also, Coca-Cola Nigeria’s Director of Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, noted that the public must think and act in line with the conversion of plastic waste into income generation; that is, turning “waste into riches.”

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Other speakers on the program included Lagos State Health Commissioner Professor Akin Abayomi and UK Deputy High Commissioner Ben Llewellyn-Jones Obey. Other attendees were the organizer Dr. Pamela Ajayi; the Chairman, Punch Nigeria Limited, Ms Angela Emuwa, Stanley Mbe and Mr Desmond Majekodunmi.

Prizes and medals were also presented to the winners of competitions held to raise awareness of the environment through art. The competition was attended by students from high schools in Lagos and other states, as well as students from colleges across the country.

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