Nigeria, France Partner To Strengthen Co-operation On Climate Action

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The country director, French Development Agency, Mr. Xavier Muron, Minister of State for Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, and the national project leader, Deep Decarbonisation Project Nigeria, Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke when the duo paid a courtesy call on the minister in her office in Abuja.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has entered a collaborative agreement with its French counterpart to strengthen their cooperation to promote climate action and the low carbon economic development in Nigeria.

This agreement was reached when the new country director of the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Dévelopment, AFD), Mr. Xavier Muron, paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of State for Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, at her office in Abuja. 

Muron said the visit was to discuss AFD strategies and priorities for climate action in Nigeria, in the light of the just-concluded COP26 and the commitment of Nigeria in this regard. 

Also, he explained that the meeting was intended to provide an opportunity to discuss the upcoming launch of the Nigeria Deep Decarbonisation Project (DDP Nigeria) scheduled to hold in Abuja in the coming week. 

The country director noted that AFD was already funding and collaborating with the ministry on several high-impact projects in the areas of waste management, biodiversity conservation, urban development, power transmission, and off-grid capacity development. Some of these, he said, are already ongoing while some are in the pipeline.

Muron said he was especially excited about the Nigeria Deep Decarbonisation Project which is a national research and capacity-building project for the implementation of a Deep Decarbonization Pathway Programme (DDPP) in Nigeria funded by the AFD, with the International Relation and Sustainable Development Institute (IDDRI) as the programme coordinator. 

The project, done in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment under a framework established through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Federal Government and the AFD signed in December 2020. The key objective of the DPP Nigeria is to mobilise and reinforce the capacities of local teams of experts and researchers in Nigeria to be able to produce country studies analysing decarbonisation scenarios and low-emission development pathways. DDP is being led by the Center of Climate Change and Development at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi, with researchers from several universities across the country participating as research fellows. 

The national project leader, DDP Nigeria, Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, who is the director of the centre in the university said he was excited that the DDP Nigeria will build the capacity of Nigeria to develop scenarios, produce robust quantitative models that can help guide Nigeria’s long-term, low emission development. 

In her response, Ikeazor thanked the AFD for their visit and for their pipeline of funded projects to help Nigeria tackle climate change and related environmental challenges. 

She said the ministry is determined to tackle the myriads of challenges posed by climate change with the support of both national and international cooperation. 

The minister said it was evident through the ambitious NDC recently submitted by Nigeria that drastic measures are required in the areas of climate mitigation, as well as efforts to enhance the adaptive capacity of Nigeria to protect the country from the negative impact of climate change. 

Ikeazor said the ministry is fully aware of the imperative of energy transition for the country and is already working in close collaboration with other relevant ministries and agencies to facilitate the financing and implementation of the Energy Transition Plan of the government.

The minister noted that while the production of country studies analysing pathways for low-emission development strategies for Nigeria has always been a critical component of the national climate policy, generating context-relevant, long-term climate scenarios and modelling for Nigeria has become even more imperative in the light of the newly submitted NDC and the net-zero carbon pledge made by the president at COP26 in Glasgow.

A statement by the ministry’s director of press, Saghir el Mohammed, said the minister expressed optimism that the analysis that will be done under the NDD project will complement the work done in the Energy Transition Plan so that the country will have a rich menu of options for pursuing her decarbonisation agenda with a clear understanding of the implications the various decarbonisation options and pathways.

Ikeazor said she was looking forward to hosting the participants in the launch to present the DDP project to the larger community of stakeholders to ensure wider project ownership as well as to begin the conversation on the scenarios and modelling options that can help Nigeria achieve her stated long-term climate objectives including the goal of net-zero emission by 2060.

She announced the commitment of Nigeria to achieve the goal of net-zero emission by 2060 and disclosed that a Federal Executive Council memo is being prepared for a sustainable National Energy Transition Plan for the country. 

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