The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, says the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has adopted measures to mitigate the effects of climate change, which have significantly exacerbated the various security challenges in the country.
Abubakar said this on Tuesday, while delivering a lecture, via zoom, to participants of the Senior Executive Course 45 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos.
This is contained in a statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, in Abuja.
The title of the lecture is, “Industrialisation, Energy, Security and Climate Change: The Role of the Nigerian Air Force”.
The CAS said that even though climate change was not directly responsible for conflicts, it had substantially compounded existing causal agents of conflicts.
He said that the conflicts had subsequently reduce people’s ability to cope thereby creating further conflicts.
“For instance, irregular and extreme weather at Lake Chad is destroying the profitability of traditional fishing and farming, thus reducing the economic prospects of young men in the area thereby making them more susceptible to recruitment by violent extremists.
“The consequence is its negative impact on national security leading to humanitarian crises, terrorism and insurgency,” he said.
Abubakar said that NAF’s kinetic and disaster relief operations as well as green practices and technologies were adopted to mitigate the effects of climate change on national security.
He said that the NAF had continued to create favourable ground situations for surface forces to operate and recover lost territories from terrorists and insurgents through its kinetic operations.
According to him, kinetic efforts have also contributed to degrading the fighting will and capabilities of terrorists, insurgents, bandits, kidnappers and oil thieves thereby creating a safer and more secure environment for economic and industrial activities to thrive.
The air chief said that the NAF had also made deliberate efforts to integrate climate change considerations into its operations and planning.
These, he said, led to NAF participation in the 2021 Global Air Forces on Climate Change organized by the Royal Air Force, United Kingdom.
Abubakar added that the NAF was exploring converting existing vehicle fleets to using zero or low-carbon emission fuels such as compressed natural gas and liquid petroleum gas.
He said that the air force had implemented some projects to improve its environmental performance and reduce its carbon footprint such as installation of solar panels and recycling of wastes as well as enforcement of tree planting in all its units across the country.
“The NAF has established solar panel-based micro grids in the Headquarters and remote bases and installations to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
“The implementation of the innovative paperless system at NAF Headquarters in May 2023, which has conserved about 300 cartons of paper since initiation, is also worthy of note,” the CAS said. (NAN)