President Buhari Signs Paris Agreement; says Nigeria Will Reverse Effects of Climate Change

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his signing of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change has demonstrated Nigeria’s commitment to a global effort to reverse the effects of the negative trend.

The President said this while addressing the opening of the meeting on Taking Climate Action for Sustainable Development in New York, co-hosted by Nigeria and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as one of the Side Events of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA71). President Buhari, had shortly before this event, signed the Paris Agreement, where he committed Nigeria to reducing “Green House Gas Emissions unconditionally by 20 per cent and conditionally by 45 per cent” in line with Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contributions.” Describing the signing as historic, he had also expressed confidence that with support from development partners, Nigeria will meet the above targets. The President also promised to ensure the ratification of the Paris Agreement before the 22nd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Marrakesh, Morocco in November 2016. He stressed that it was to demonstrate his personal dedication to the process of implementing the Agreement that he was hosting the side event on Taking Climate Action Towards Sustainable Development. President Buhari, who said he was privileged to have been part of the Paris Agreement, expressed appreciation to what he called “the genuine efforts by President Francois Hollande of France in drawing global attention to reviving the Lake Chad Basin,” and for galvanizing the political will that led to the global consensus in reaching the Paris Agreement.

The Nigerian President said his country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement is articulated through its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) “that strive to build a climate resilient society across the diverse terrain of Nigeria. We have instituted an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change to govern implementation of my country’s NDCs, thereby ensuring a strong cross-sectoral approach, coherence and synergy for Climate Action.” President Buhari, while admitting that implementing the Roadmap will not be easy in the face of dwindling national revenues, however, indicated that both internal and external resources would be mobilized to meet Nigeria’s targets, adding that the 2017 Budget will reflect Nigeria’s efforts to accord priority to realizing its NDCs. “In addition, we are set to launch our first ever Green Bonds in the first quarter of 2017 to fund a pipeline of projects all targeted at reducing emissions towards a greener economy,” he said. While urging global support to transit to a low-carbon climate resilient economy, the President specifically reminded industrialized nations “to play their role and deliver on their commitments on access to climate finance and technology transfer and help with capacity-building,” adding that, “Expectations are high for their leaders to deliver US$100 billion per year by 2020 in support of developing countries to take climate action, thus keeping the promise to billions of people.” President Buhari, who thanked the Presidents of Chad, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo and Niger for attending the event, also called on the international community to “give special recognition to the plight of Lake Chad and support our effort to resuscitate the livelihoods of over 5 million people in the region. This will reinforce our efforts to reintegrate the thousands of Boko Haram victims and returning Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).” The President noted that the Niger Delta region is a unique biodiversity rich in coastal environment that is highly prone to adverse environmental changes occasioned by climate change, such as sea level rise, coastal erosion, exacerbated by poverty and many decades of oil pollution leading to loss of livelihoods and ecosystems. He added however, that “through an integrated approach, implementation of the NDCs, and our efforts to clean up Ogoniland, we will improve livelihoods, protect the environment and take climate action, and ensure the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

FEMI ADESINA Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity)

Buhari Urges Greater Global Cooperation Against Climate Change

President Muhammadu Buhari has called for greater global cooperation against the devastating effects of climate change to avert disaster for the human race in the 21st century.

Addressing the opening of the 2016 World Future Energy Summit on Monday in Abu Dhabi, President Buhari reaffirmed Nigeria’s readiness to work with the United Arab Emirates and the rest of the world in a collective effort to mitigate the effects of climate change.

“Africa is already suffering from the consequences of climate change, which includes recurrent drought and floods. In Nigeria, the drastic drying up of the Lake Chad to just about 10% of its original size, has negatively impacted on the livelihood of millions of people and contributed in making the region a hot bed of insurgency.

“Desert encroachment in Niger (Republic), our northern neighbour and in far northern Nigeria, at the rate of several hundred meters per annum, has impacted on the existence of man, animal and vegetation, threatening to alter the whole ecological balance of the sub-region.

“In the middle and southern part of Nigeria, land erosion threatens farming, forestry, town and village peripheries and in some areas major highways. Constant and abrupt alteration between floods and droughts prove that climate change is real and therefore a global approach and cooperation to combat its effects are vital, if the human race is not to face disaster in the 21st century,” he told participants at the summit.

Noting that the summit was taking place soon after the United Nations Conference on Climate Change held in Paris late last year, the President praised the United Arab Emirates for consistently supporting international action on climate change.

“We see Abu Dhabi as a dependable partner in the collective effort to manage climate risks, including the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Thank you Abu Dhabi, for consistently continuing to support international action in this sphere.

“We appreciate your immense contributions worth hundreds of millions of dollars in energy aid to developing countries,” he said.

President Buhari is expected back in the country on Tuesday, January 19, 2016.

Credit: Channelstv