As Nigeria joins global leaders for the Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt, the Minister of Environment, Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi has expressed optimism that the expectations of Nigeria and Africa at COP 27 will be met.
Speaking on the expectations of Nigeria at COP 27 dubbed ‘Africa and Action COP’, Abdullahi, who is also the head of Nigeria’s delegation, stated that Nigeria will push for loss and damage, amongst other issues.
“We are focused on ensuring that we bring the issue of loss and damage to the fore. We are already making progress in this regard because, during the pre-COP engagement the COP 27 president, Sameh Shoukry highlighted flood-related issues, with particular reference to Nigeria and Pakistan, amongst other nations, as one of the key issues on the agenda for discussion. Already, the issues of flood are linked to loss and damage and that is of priority to us as a nation.”
Speaking further, the minister added that the Nigerian delegation will also focus on the African carbon market initiative as it tries to kick-start the framework for carbon trading. He assured that similar attention will be dedicated to debt-for-climate-swap to call the attention of developed countries to the impact of their industrialisation on the developing countries and the need for them to mitigate the impact on Africa and Nigeria.
“In addition, Nigeria as the leader of the PAN African Agency for the Great Green Wall (PAGGGW) will focus on climate finance to support its activities in the Sahel region, particularly in the most endemic northern states described as ‘the front-line states’ where the desert is fast encroaching and, of course, wetlands [are] drying up. These and others are huge issues that will be focused on,” Abdullahi affirmed.
Speaking on unfulfilled promises made to developing countries by the developed countries during past COPs, the minister stated that Nigeria will not take a know-it-all approach but [seek to] align its position with the African agenda that was agreed at the Dakar meeting.
“Part of what we will do is to galvanise the action plan for Africa to push for a positive climate funding action from the developed countries. That is why the Nigeria Energy Transition Plan (NETP) is aligned to ensure that we get the requisite funding for a smooth transition to renewable. Without this, it will be very difficult to deploy infrastructure to support our mini-grid, deployment of solar and support bio-fuel.
“African countries and developing countries indeed understand that funding is important in whatever position COP 27 will take,” Abdullahi said.
On his plan to interface and engage with the private sector and investors ready to support Nigeria’s energy transition plan, the minister said several bilateral meetings and engagements have been arranged to discuss funding from development partners and the private sector. “The intention,” he said “is to capitalise on the GGW accelerator which is a window for financing the activities of the Great Green Wall’s member states”.
To this end, a side meeting has been arranged for sustainable energy for all donors who focus on climate finance, particularly carbon trading. “We are also working with Nigerian private enterprise and other development partners.”
A statement signed by Akintunde Martins for the ministry’s head of press and public relations said the minister went on to assure Nigerians that his team of negotiators will return to the country with strong, dependable and bankable commitment from the development partners.
“We have secured the assurance of the head of the United Nations Sustainable Energy For All, Damilola Ogunbiyi – who is also a Nigerian – that there is a window of about USD400million to support Africa’s carbon market initiative. We are beginning to record achievements even before we started.
“Nigeria negotiators will align with other African countries in recognition of what we agreed in Kigali and at the Africa Minsters’ Conference on Environment (AMCEN) declaration in Dakar, Senegal, to focus on afforestation, climate finance, the need to mitigate desertification and, of course, emphasise on loss and damage. This is important to address some climate challenges Africa is grappling with,” Abdullahi pointed out.