Nigeria leads Africa in reducing Green House Gas emission

Godwin Ukaa, New York

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change at one of the side events of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, USA.

The President made a commitment to the world of fulfilling the unconditional reduction of the Green House Gas Emissions by twenty percent and conditionally by forty-five percent.

This is in line with Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contributions.

President Buhari said that the clean-up of Ogoniland will improve livelihoods, protect the environment, take climate action, and ensure the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“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),” he noted.

Green Bond

He explained that Nigeria is now set to float its first ever, Green Bond to fund a pip line of projects targeted at a greener economy in the first quarter of 2017, the move that received a loud ovation.

The bond is targeted at achieving a greener economy and reducing emissions as the world unites to fight climate change.

“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,” President Buhari said at a meeting on Taking Climate Action for Sustainable Development in New York, co-hosted by Nigeria and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on the sidelines of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)”

The Nigerian President who said that both internal and external resources would be mobilised to meet country’s targets, admitted to the challenges in the implementation of the Roadmap in the  face of dwindling national revenues. He however added that the 2017 Budget will reflect Nigeria’s efforts to accord priority to realising its NDCs.

Nigeria has joined other African countries like Niger in the league of countries to sign the Paris agreement. The Paris agreement which comes into full force in 2020 is a global action plan for governments of the world to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels; limit the increase of 1.5°C to reduce risks and impacts of climate change, amongst others.

President Buhari promised to see to the ratification of the Paris Agreement before the 22nd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Marrakesh, Morocco, which comes up in November 2016.

Calling for global support to transit to a low-carbon climate resilient economy, the President specifically reminded industrialised nations: “to play their role and deliver on commitments on access to climate finance and technology transfer and help with
adding that, “Expectations are high for their leaders to deliver US$100 billion per year by 2020 in support ofdeveloping countries to take climate action, thus keeping the promise to billions of people.”

President Buhari, who thanked the President of Niger for attending the event, called on the international community to “give special recognition to the plight of Lake Chad and support government’s 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.

His counterpart from the Republic of Niger, President Mahamadou Issoufou, said his country has since started off processes to ratify the agreement as well as mitigations and regulations that will see to the reduction of carbon.

He charged other African countries to mobilise all other stakeholders and fight climate change to reduce the effects on the global climate.

The Panelists at the side event respectively commended Nigeria’s move in the clean-up of the Ogoni oil spill, noting that this would be the biggest clean-up ever in the world.

Nigeria’s minister of environment Amina Mohammed also noted that the Paris agreement could only be successful when all strata of the society join hands to work towards a healthy global environment.