When Nigeria joined other countries to sign and ratify the Paris Agreement, it signaled a determination to enhance the attainment of Environmental sustainability.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Paris Agreement at the side lines of the 71st United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2016.

The President while signing the agreement, had stated Nigeria’s commitment to reducing “Green House Gas Emissions unconditionally by 20 percent and conditionally by 45 percent”.

Nigeria is a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate (UNFCCC) and like the other 196 parties is obligated to present its Nationally Determined Contributions (IDC) towards global efforts at stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, which is the goals of the convention.

Therefore, the forthcoming Conference of Parties (COP 23) presents an opportunity for the country to reiterate and show its positive action alongside other nations towards advancing the implementation of the Paris agreement.

Fully aware of the enormous funds to the magnitude of $100 billion per annum support for developing nations to take climatic actions, it calls for pragmatic and fool proof presentation at COP 23 and subsequent one’s.

The Department of Climate Change (DCC), Federal Ministry of Environment has been saddled with the responsibilities of preparing the country for a noble outing in Bonn in November.

Recently, DCC organized a stakeholders national preparatory meeting towards a UNFCCC COP 23, where the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Dr Shehu Ahmed, charged intended delegates to defend the interest of the nation in the negotiation.

At the preparatory meeting, Ahmed highlighted some moves by Nigeria’s government towards addressing challenges of climate change.

Ahmed disclosed that the developed IDC sectoral implementation plans is being processed for presentation to the Federal Executive Council for appropriate action.

He also disclosed plans to raise capital the new investments with environmental benefits through the instrumentality of Sovereign Green Bond’s.

Appealing to delegates to COP 23, Ahmed said “Therefore, I want all intended delegates to acquaint themselves of the agenda of the conference and status of the negotiations in all the thematic areas. These must be juxtaposed with our national position to be presented and defended at the conference.”

Recall also, DCC with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) organized a stakeholders follow up workshop towards preparation of Nigeria’s Third National Communication (TNC) to UNFCCC.

TNC serves to capture national inventory of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removal by sinks for GHGs in Nigeria, general description of steps to facilitate adequate adaptation to climate change and measures to mitigate climate in Nigeria.

Presenting an overview of the status of the UNFCCC negotiations towards COP 23, Director, DCC, Dr Yerima Peter Tarfa, listed priorities areas at COP 23 to include technology development and transfer capacity building. Early implementation of the capacity building provisions of the Paris agreement for addressing capacity gaps and challenges of African countries; Global stock take facilitate a comprehensive periodical stock take of the implementation of the Paris Agreement based on best available science and equity.

The Permanent Secretary and Dr. Tarfa agree that political support from the Federal Government has helped to shape Nigerian’s commitment to the Paris agreement and ultimately prepare for positive result at COP 23.

According to Tarfa “Mr President has given the needed political leadership on climate change by the signing of the agreement. He said continually harped on the impact of climate change on Lake Chad and the insecurity in the country occasion by forceful migration from the North-East.”

Tarfa at the recent meeting, identified envisaged challenges from COP 23. This includes negotiations across all Paris agreement provisions, including those under its work program and maintain the political momentum for climate action, i.e, withdrawal of the USA from the Paris agreement. African countries additional task to work with partners and other developing countries for a smooth continuation of the negotiations under the Paris agreement.

Professor Nasiru Idris, Dean, Faculty of Environmental Science Nasarawa State University, Keffi urged the delegation from Nigeria to do everything to ensure the nation is adequately represented.

It is expected that with positive results from the negotiations in COP 23, Nigeria will jump start efforts at lowering emissions and improving environmental performance.



By: Chuks Oyema-Aziken


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