By Oyinkan Somrin
The Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers (NSChE), a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Lagos/Ogun State chapter at a recent public lecture raised fresh concern on the dependency on fossil fuels and how it has continued to dominate the global energy mix.
At the event which was held at Ralph Alabi Centre, Ogba-Agege with the theme “‘Decarbonizing the World’s Energy Sources: The Chemical Engineer’s Role’, the guest speaker and General Manager of Safety and Environment at Shell Companies in Nigeria, Engr. (Mrs.) Elozino Olaniyan, said the global energy mix is dominated by fossil fuels such as oil, coal, gas and the likes, saying it still accounts for more than 80% of energy consumption.
Engr. Olaniyan who emphasised the need to meet the increasing world energy demand without increasing emissions in the atmosphere which can result in irreversible climate conditions acknowledged that progress has since been made just as the global consumption of energy increased by 3.8 folds while low carbon sources have more than doubled.
She advocated that “Alternative sources/renewable technology need to be more competitive and efficient than fossil fuels to overtake them, unfortunately, cost, applicability and accessibility are not made for the common man.”
To embrace emission reduction, Engr. Olaniyan suggested three strategies such as avoiding or creating carbon emissions wherever possible, reduction in emissions that cannot be avoided and compensating for the emissions one cannot avoid or reducing to zero.
According to her, the energy transition will require realism, vision and collaboration, saying the challenge presents an opportunity for chemical engineers to research and development, technological and proffer solutions that align with the emission reduction strategies and contribute to national development and create a sustainable business that meets the needs of an energy-starved population.
Speaking at the event, former General Manager of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Engr. Theophilus Oguntala said the issues bordering on global emission remain one of the most crucial issues facing the world today and that global warming must be avoided to avert the looming danger.
“Carbon dioxide is a gas that plays a major role in balancing our ecosystem. Unfortunately, when in excess, it combines with other gases in the atmosphere to create the greenhouse effect. Scientists have determined that the greenhouse effect is the cause of global warming, a phenomenon that has been proven to cause far-ranging environmental and health damage to our delicate planet,” he stated
He called for the involvement of all concerned to proffer solutions to climate change, saying “It is the responsibility of every one of us to contribute to reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere to the bearable level.”
Chairman, Lagos/Ogun Chapter, Dr. K. F. K. Oyedeko said the lecture could not have come at a better time than this period as it was selected carefully in time with the prevailing climate change.
He expressed appreciation to the guest lecturer, Engr. (Mrs.) Elozino Olaniyan, and urged every Nigerian to see issues about climate change challenge as a motivation to greater excellence. (independence)