The Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, has said that the new agreement reached at the recently concluded Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP 21) held in Paris, France will offer a brighter future for Nigeria, Africa and the entire world.
This was contained in a Press Statement released from the Publicity Department of the Ministry on Tuesday December 22, 2015 in subsidiary to the COP 21 Conference which hosted nearly 200 countries to commit to a new legally binding deal to address climate change. The Statement inferred that the Minister, who played a pivotal role in the COP 21 Conference negotiations noted that the conference was a watershed moment for humanity, indicating that participating countries agreed to drive their decisions into positive reality.
According to the release, the agreement will provide the framework for delivery of the ambitious emission reductions that the world requires as well as accord importance to keeping average global temperature below two degree Celsius (2.00 C). Adding, it confirmed that the developed countries will have to continue with increasing their financial support for developing countries as the world sets to embark on the transition.
“We now have a once – in – a lifetime opportunity to change the way we do things and Nigeria will be at the forefront in demonstrating what initiatives can work. We have established that Nigeria is willing and eager to take a regional lead by announcing a bold and courageous Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) that will ensure that our economy continues to grow and our carbon emissions reduce,” the Minister stated.
She further explained that Nigeria has indicated willingness to work with its neighbours in the Lake Chad Basin towards restoring the once fertile land and the well – stocked fisheries, so that peace and security can return. The Minister also said that the Nigeria Government has demonstrated its values for international partnerships, saying the discussions she held with the representatives of the World Bank, the African Development Bank and bilateral partners in the last two weeks will pave the way to substantial new funds accruing to Nigeria in the coming years to support its plans.
She cautioned that to deliver an agenda for change, the nation’s climate plans must align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Nigeria can have a more ambitious, robust and effective approach to tackling inequality and addressing the challenges of climate change. He opined that by building on the agreement coming out of the COP 21 process, Nigeria can look forward to a healthier, wealthier and brighter future for all Africans.
“The Paris agreement has created a veritable global platform for President Buhari’s bold change agenda which focuses on a new roadmap with emphasis on green and inclusive growth at its heart,” the Minister added.
“Nigeria’s ambitious INDCs aim at reducing emissions by 20% by the year 2030 with support from the international community. This can also act as catalyst to achieving economic diversification and supporting the restructuring of the economy in a way that will facilitate inclusive growth with vast opportunities. “
Other benefits identified were: substantial increase in the use of climate smart agriculture through irrigation systems, climate resilient crops and broader Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices. The statement also indicated that given the climate risks that Nigeria faces, this is the only way in which the Government’s ambitious Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA) can be delivered. It opined that this will diversify the energy mix with emphasis on renewable energy and efficient gas power. Adding, Nigeria plans to develop around 13 GW off-grid solar power, delivering energy access to the poorest communities in a cheaper, healthier manner with less emission.
“The INDCs aim to create a more efficient, lower carbon oil and gas sector. By ending gas flaring and using the gas for commercial purposes, including power generation, we could generate as much as $7.5 billion worth of benefits,” it stated.
It will provide for greener, more resilient and pleasant cities to live in as Nigerian cities are now adopting global best practices with low carbon transport solutions. For example, a bus rapid transit system is already in operation in Lagos and more can be done to promote an urban transit solution that both reduces emissions and unblocks congestion, providing a huge stimulant to productivity.”
Amina Mohammed emphasized that these opportunities will not reduce emissions and improve climate resilience, maintaining that the approach will unlock economic opportunities. She revealed that the World Bank has estimated that far from increasing costs on the Nigerian economy, a combination of low carbon activities could provide a boost to the economy as much as add 2% to her GDP.
While urging the international community to support and assist Nigeria with financing, technology and capacity building, she enjoined the private sector and civil society to partner with Government to unlock the opportunities provided by this historic agreement. She expressed belief that working together, Nigerians would be able to commit themselves to actions that will serve as a springboard to Nigeria’s new climate economy.
She recalled that Nigeria like many other nations went to COP21 with a new voice and high expectations of adopting a legally binding agreement that can equitably promote climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience based on effective means of implementation through adequate financing, technology transfer, capacity building and a sound compliance verification strategy.
“Nigeria strongly indicated at the conference that developed countries had the responsibility of taking the lead in emission reductions and fulfilling the obligations to provide finance, technology and capacity to developing countries in support of their own mitigation and adaptation initiatives. The Federal Ministry of Environment will strive to empower people, take climate action and protect the environment,” the statement stressed. [FME]
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