FG’ll continue to support global efforts to address climate change – Minister

Minister of Environment Dr Mahmood Abubakar
Access Bank Plc

Minister of Environment Dr Mahmood Abubakar said on Friday in Abuja that Nigeria would continue to play significant role in global efforts at addressing climate change.

Abubakar made this known in a statement issued by Mr Saghir el Mohammed, the Director Press in the ministry.

According to the minister said this while addressing a Ministerial High-Level Segment at the climate change conference (COP25) in Madrid, Spain.

He said it had become obvious that the challenges of climate change were enormous even though Nigeria was already engaged in sustainable joint and collaborative efforts toward tackling the problems.

He quoted the minister as saying that Nigeria was facing social, economic, and environmental consequences of climate change due to its dependence on climate-sensitive resources.

“Climate change impacts are already threatening the survival and livelihoods of our people.

“The devastating loss of range and croplands to desertification each year in the northern part of Nigeria, loss of forest cover, and sea-level rise in the coastline are stark reminders of our vulnerability to climate change,” he said.

The minister said that President Muhammadu Buhari had put in place advanced policies and initiatives aimed at mitigating significant challenges occasioned by climate change.

According to him, some of the initiatives are, reviving the Lake Chad, increasing forest cover, deploying smart renewable energy solutions, as well as halting and reversing desertification.

Others include land degradation, flooding, ocean surge, gender mainstreaming and the engagement of youths in climate governance.

“Nigeria has embraced issuances of Green Bond to raise finance for the implementation of a green project, which has helped the government to fundamentally reorient its financial flows within the economy through the federal budget and capital market.

“It is hoped that the issuance of the third Sovereign Green Bond recently launched will triple Nigeria’s Green House Gas (GHG) emission reductions, stimulate more economic growth, and catalyse investment in social programmes,” the minister said.

Abubakar reiterated the unwavering commitment of Nigeria to fulfilling its obligation under the Paris Agreement and actualisation of goals of its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

On expectations of Nigeria from the conference, he said that Nigeria had fully aligned itself with the call by the African Group of Climate Change Negotiators (AGN), an alliance of African member states.

The AGN represents the region in the international climate change negotiations with a common and unified voice.

The group often faces significant barriers to effective participation in climate change negotiations, which in part is due to a lack of strategic and technical assistance on complex negotiating issues tailored to the interests and priorities of Africa.

As a result, the ability of African countries to constructively contribute and influence the UNFCCC process is hindered.

The group, according to Abubakar, plans to take advantage of COP-25 currently ongoing in Madrid to expeditiously and as a matter of priority, conclude negotiations on the special needs and circumstances of Africa.

He stated that Nigeria expects to see the conclusion of the review of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage as well as the agreement on Article 6 on market mechanism.

He added that Nigeria would expect full implementation of a long-term climate agenda, mobilisation of 100 billion dollars by 2020, and refining of the technical aspects of the transparency framework.

The minister also said that it was Nigeria’s expectation to see capacity building, adaptation and decision on Gender Action Plans, as well as the adoption of quick resolutions, amongst other things, at the end of the conference.

“Nigeria also wishes that all outstanding issues pertaining to the Paris Agreement Rulebook carried over from COP24 would be operationalised and strengthened to ensure a sustainable future for our people and planet.”