Climate Change: Seplat Set To Plant 5M Trees
In a bid to mitigate the implications of climate change and carbon emission, Seplat Energy Limited has unveiled its “Tree 4 Life Initiative’” which is a commitment to embark on planting five million trees in five years.
The programme tagged “Tree Planting and Carbon Sequestration”would provide food security, reduce biodiversity loss and support the net-zero emission agenda.
Mr Roger Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Seplat Energy Plc. disclosed this at the official launch of the initiative at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre in Abuja.
Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, and Sen. Margery Okadigbo, NNPC Board Chairman are among dignitaries that carried out the official inauguration.
Others are Dr Ambrose Orjiako, Chairman Seplat; Mr Abdurazak Isa, Chairman, Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG); officials from the Ministries of Environment and Agriculture and Rural Development and other dignitaries.
Brown said the tree planting initiative, which has 75 per cent as economic trees, would essentially start with five states including Edo, Delta, Imo and two Northern states in the country.
He said, “We will deliberately engage women, youth and communities for sustainable food production and a sustainable environment through tree planting in their communities and mindset change.
“Plant trees to ensure run Afforestation/Restoration Programmes with a commitment to plant one million trees annually, comprising majorly economic trees.
“This initiative will complement the efforts of the Federal Government and other stakeholders. As a result, we will together positively impact lives while driving socio-economic change.’’ .
He recalled that at the 26th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), President Muhammadu Buhari and more than 100 world leaders committed to ending and reversing deforestation by 2030.
Also, during COP26, Nigeria committed to achieving net-zero by 2060. Barely a week after the conference, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Climate Change Act, 2021 (the Act), which the National Assembly passed in 2021.
Brown added that in the wake of climate action and the drive for energy transition, the industry had the responsibility of evolving to continue providing energy to keep the world running in a sustainable manner.
Therefore, he said, Seplat Energy is working to decarbonise the upstream operations and develop renewable energy capability.
In an address, Dr Ambrose Orjiako, Chairman Seplat, recalled that in 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produced its First Assessment Report with three major conclusions.
Orjiako said the conclusions were that global temperatures had risen by 0.3-0.6C over the last century; that humanity’s emissions were adding to the atmosphere’s natural complement of greenhouse gases, and that addition would be expected to result in warming.
He underscored the need to note that the warnings of the IPCC over 30 years ago, not only have come to pass but were now direr in 2022.
The Seplat Chairman said the February 2022 report showed that climate change impacts are already widespread and more severe to adapt to than expected, thereby stressing the urgency for action on climate change.
According to a report published in January 2020 by Mckinsey, the oil and gas industry, directly or indirectly, accounts for 42 per cent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The report also suggests that if the world is to meet its climate change goals, the industry has a major role to play, as the industry’s operations account for nine per cent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition, it produces the fuels that create another 33 per cent of global emissions.
In the light of the above, he said, Seplat Energy initiated a number of decarbonisation projects, to ensure a significant reduction in carbon footprint, as an energy company.
“We are, therefore, deeply committed to sustainable business practices and strongly determined to play our part in mitigating climate change, by incrementally committing more resources towards developing strategic responses to the climate change challenge.”
The programme aims to restore biodiversity loss, and naturally increase carbon sequestration, in line with SDG 13 on Climate Action, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gasses and fight climate change.
Furthermore, it will boost food security and alleviate poverty through the building, strengthening, and empowering communities to plant economic trees, which will provide food and fight hunger, without destroying the environment (SDG 2 – Zero Hunger).