Human causes of climate change in Nigeria: Can youth activists turn the tide of inaction?

Human causes of climate change

Human causes of climate change in Nigeria: Can youth activists turn the tide of inaction?

Although there are numerous reasons for climate change, human activities have a significant impact on the outcome. Climate change is a primary global concern that has emerged as one of the most critical challenges of the twenty-first century.


Its global effects are being felt, affecting ecosystems, weather patterns, and economies. Nigeria, a country rich in natural resources and cultural variety, is one of the countries at the epicenter of the environmental crisis. The country’s vulnerability to the negative consequences of climate change is exacerbated by its reliance on agriculture, fragile coastal villages, and rapidly developing metropolitan areas. While we agree that there are natural causes, we also must acknowledge that there are human causes of climate change.


The causes of climate change can be traced back to human activities that emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide and methane. These gases trap heat, causing global temperatures to rise—a phenomenon known as global warming.


Human activities such as deforestation, industrial emissions, and the use of fossil fuels all contribute considerably to the emission of these greenhouse gases in Nigeria, as they do in many other countries of the world.


While many might not know it, the raising of animals also contributes to altering the climate and the earth’s temperature. This adds massive amounts of greenhouse gases to those already present in the atmosphere, amplifying the greenhouse effect and contributing to global warming.


Climate change caused by humans is currently rising at a rate of 0.2°C every decade—a temperature increase of 2°C over pre-industrial levels. As a result, the international community has recognized the importance of keeping warming well below 2°C and pursuing measures to keep it below 1.5°C.


Nigerian youth stand against climate change.


In Nigeria, where youth make up a major proportion of the population, young activists have stepped forward to raise awareness about the effects of climate change on their country. These activists are working to stem the tide of inaction and secure a sustainable future for their country by organizing protests and campaigns and embracing social media as a potent tool for mobilization. We have more youth climate activists now than before all driving towards necessary actions.


Recognizing that human causes contribute significantly to climate change, these youngsters are playing a critical role in driving mitigation measures. Can these passionate individuals, however, effectively challenge the status quo and advocate for genuine change? Can their efforts help Nigeria chart a more sustainable path and inspire global action to combat climate change?


Young individuals enjoy Kelo Uchendu became involved in climate advocacy after visiting the Niger Delta and asking why acid rain was so prevalent there compared to other parts of Nigeria.


This prompted him to do his own investigation, during which he discovered not only that gas flaring during oil extraction was the problem, but also about other issues such as ocean acidification, which pointed to the effects of climate change on Nigerian communities.


Kelo Uchendu’s activism is centered on education, and he wants climate change to be incorporated into the curriculum. As a result of his activism, he founded Gray2Green, an organization dedicated to mobilizing young people to campaign for sustainable climate policies.


On August 12, youth from four communities in Kajuru LGA of Kaduna planted 1,000 trees in support of measures to combat climate change. The “Greens Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World” exercise was supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and took place in the communities of Idon, Iburu, Kajuru, and Kasuwan Magani.


According to Jonathan Peter, a youth mobilizer at Kajuru LGA, the communities have been impacted by deforestation, and tree planting is one of the green skills required to battle the effects of climate change. In three months, the trees will be planted in all the LGA’s political wards, according to Peter. This initiative is a part of youth activism to combat climate change.


On the eve of the 2023 International Youth Day, The Nigerian Youths in Politics, a non-governmental organization (NGO), asked governments at all levels to create a conducive climate for a just transition to a green economy. Youth activists are emerging as a proactive force amid governments’ delay in prioritizing climate action. But, so far, have their actions had any results?


There are many young climate change activists out there doing fantastic things, hoping that one day the government will listen to the need for climate change reforms and legislation. Youth like Adenike Oladosu, who began the Nigerian school strike for climate, Azeez Abubakar, who is leading local climate action in Nigeria and across Africa to challenge the status quo and many others.


While their efforts to raise awareness, advocate for policy reforms, and encourage sustainable behaviors can all help to alter the tide of inaction. Addressing climate change, on the other hand, necessitates a collaborative effort involving governments, corporations, civic society, and people of all ages. Young people’s involvement is critical for inspiring action and holding decision-makers accountable for achieving a more sustainable future.

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