Climate Change: Tinubu Calls For Support For Small Island Developing States

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The Minister of Environment, Balarabe Lawal.
The Minister of Environment, Balarabe Lawal.

Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu has called on the global community to aid Small Island Developing States (SIDS) with their environmental issues.

Tinubu made this plea at the fourth Nations International Conference on Small Island Developing States on Wednesday in Antigua and Barbuda.

“We must support the sustainable development of small island nations facing unique and severe challenges,” he said.

Represented by Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, Balarabe Lawal, President Tinubu highlighted that SIDS are in the frontline of the global environmental crisis due to climate change and other issues like pollution and biodiversity loss. Despite minimal contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, he emphasised that these nations are disproportionately affected by climate change impacts such as rising sea levels and extreme weather events, posing threats to millions in the region. Tinubu stressed the need for innovative adaptation strategies and strong international support to enhance resilience in these vulnerable islands.

In terms of bilateral ties, Tinubu promised Nigeria’s cooperation with SIDS in combating climate change and boosting their economies.

“Nigeria stands with SIDS and is dedicated to global efforts to mitigate climate impacts and promote sustainable development. We should work closely with SIDS, focus on climate-resilient infrastructure like sea defenses and early warning systems, and prioritize sustainable industries diversification. Collaboration with financial institutions and the private sector is crucial to mobilize resources for their economic stability,” he added.

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne inaugurated the conference as president and emphasised the challenges faced by small island developing States and the specific help they require to unfold their potential.

Small island nations are particularly vulnerable to climate change due to their isolation, limited resources and delicate ecosystems.

The discharge of untreated wastewater into coastal waters has caused significant harm to their ecosystems and coral reefs.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement on climate change were largely influenced by the efforts and leadership of small island developing States to combat these challenges.

Silas Akpe
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