President Muhammadu Buhari has declared the resolve of the Nigerian government to ensure implementation of policies that will address climate change.
He says Nigeria will emerge as one of the world’s best examples of how reducing emissions could benefit the environment and the economy.
In his speech at the 22nd Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) taking place in Marrakech, Morocco, President Buhari outlined the plan of the administration towards aligning with the global objectives on climate change and ensuring inclusive growth and environmental sustainability.
“In Nigeria, we are launching a strategic plan for the implementation of our Intended Nationally Determined Contributions and we have equally embraced the issuance of green bonds as an innovative means and alternative way of raising climate finance both locally and internationally.
“We cannot afford to wait until 2020. We are already making far reaching changes to all sectors of our economy including through: Substantially increasing the use of climate smart agriculture, diversification of our energy mix through renewable and efficient gas power, creating a more efficient, cleaner and lower-carbon oil and gas sector especially through a gas to energy programme and initiating the implementation of the clean-up of the Ogoni-Land in the Niger-Delta region,” he said.
President Buhari also announced Nigeria’s ambitious but achievable commitment to ‘green growth’.
“We have reflected our determination for green growth in my country’s ambitious Intended Nationally Determined Contribution. We have also announced our plans to reduce emissions by 20% by the year 2030, with the intention of raising this target to 45%, with the support of the international community. This is one of Africa’s most ambitious Intended Nationally Determined Contributions – covering all emissions from all parts of the economy,” he told the gathering.
President Buhari also affirmed that Nigeria had no choice but to key into the global action on climate change.
“In Nigeria for instance, the impact is being felt by the more than 2.1 million people displaced by devastating floods that the country has continued to suffer since 2012. If not addressed by 2050, the human and financial cost would be colossal. For us in Nigeria, the larger dimension of the challenge goes beyond emission rights. Survival rights are also at stake,” he explained.
The Nigerian President equally reminded the gathering of the agreement at the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly that climate threats and security threats go hand in hand and called for concerted efforts on them.
“The Lake Chad Basin for example, has shrunk to a mere 10% of its original size, and this has seriously affected the livelihood of over five million people and contributed to the growth of insecurity in the region, including the emergence of Boko Haram as a terrorist group. Hence the urgent need to resuscitate Lake Chad.
“In this regard, I seize this opportunity to express gratitude and appreciation to those who have responded to our call and to encourage other well-meaning partners to join in our efforts to revive the Lake Chad Basin,” President Buhari said.
He expressed the readiness of Nigeria to join hands for the change that the whole world is working towards.
“We, therefore, stand ready to engage in meaningful partnerships to tackle the menace, and call on our neighbours and developing partners to fulfil their financial obligations in support of efforts to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change,” the President declared.
He also called on world leaders to recommit themselves to the achievement of the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement which they collectively signed in 2015 for the benefit of this and future generations.
“Nigeria has submitted its instrument of ratification for the new global agenda on climate change. We urge others to do the same in order to make the world a safe place,” he added.