Waste mgt: Lagos may emerge Africa’s first city to access Carbon Credit

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Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub is emerging Africa’s launch pad for accessing the global Carbon Credit initiative. Should the state make it as expected, it stands the chance of becoming the first city on the continent that will benefit from the fund.

The carbon credit derives from the 1997 Kyoto meeting agreement which encourages countries (mostly highly developed and industrialised) which produce more carbon dioxide than they can absorb, to purchase ‘absorption ability’ from other countries. One carbon credit is estimated to equal one ton of Carbon Dioxide (CO2 equivalent).

Lagos’ gradual move towards qualifying for the credit is as a result of the ability of the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) to effectively manage landfill sites in the state- slowly turning them from waste to wealth generation sites. Three major landfill sites which LAWMA is showcasing, having concluded studies for capturing and utilisation of methane gas for energy production are Olusosun, Abule Egba and Solus.

The carbon credit, which is also associated with United States Global Methane Initiative (GMI), encourages cities around the world to reduce their level of carbon emissions by adopting and implementing integrated waste management approach in line with the resolutions of 1992 Earth Summit in Rio.

The summit’s resolutions which has become a global policy harp on the protection of the atmosphere, water, oceans and dealing with municipal waste through the implementation of sustainable and renewable energy- converting waste into energy sources in order to reduce the amount of toxic gas released into the ozone layer.

Countries, particularly those in the developing world such as Nigeria, are therefore encouraged to embrace the global trends of waste recycling and less as polluting of the air. Under the GMI programme, developed and highly industrialised countries which level of emissions is higher, are encouraged to emulate less industrialised countries which have substantially reduced their level of emissions by adopting and implementing integrated waste management approach for which Lagos has emerged the model for the rest of Africa.

At a workshop in Lagos with the theme “developing successful integrated waste management systems” jointly organised by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and LAWMA, Tunji Bello, the state commissioner for the Environment, stated that the goal was to manage various waste stream in the most effective, cost effective, environmentally safe and beneficial manner.

“The integrated approach therefore envisages a comprehensive system for waste prevention (through re-use and source reduction), recycling, composting and disposal. The city of Lagos has exhibited a unique perspective regarding maintaining its environment to sustain the present and the future,” Bello said.

Ola Oresanya, managing director of LAWMA, also said the organisation, taking into cognisance the need for proper waste management and to maximise the gains of the waste to wealth, has moved away from the traditional end-of-pipe approach for waste management and embraced integrated waste management methods.

Achenyo Idachaba, chief executive of Greennovative Chain Consulting, delivering a paper at the workshop, believed Lagos was on course, and stressed the need for other states and cities to buy into the new trend by harnessing and utilising landfill gases for beneficial purposes.

The workshop drew participants from many African countries who were invited to learn and take a cue from Lagos.

In : Lagos

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