Nigeria Trains Over 60 Negotiators Ahead Of COP26

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DCC Negotiators
The Minister of State for Environment, Barr. Sharon Ikeazor (fourth from right) flanked by ministry officials and participants of negotiators’ training workshop in Abuja.

Nigeria has trained over 60 negotiators to be a part of the negotiations at the 26th session of the Conference of Parties (COP26) which begins in a few weeks in Glasgow, Scotland.

Speaking at the opening session of a one-day negotiators’ training workshop today in Abuja, the Minister of State for Environment, Barr. Sharon Ikeazor, who will lead the Nigerian delegation, said the training is aimed at improving the skills and knowledge of delegates from different sectors on the international climate change decision-making process to help them engage effectively at the conference.

“The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Recall that the overall objective of the Paris Agreement created in 2015 is to limit global warming below 2°C, preferably 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels.

“This agreement has essentially brought all countries together in a common effort to combat climate change and adapt to its effects. As Africans, we must negotiate for financial and technical support for developing countries in need of this.  Further, we must impress on the developed countries to support developing countries in their mitigation and adaptation efforts because they are largely responsible for the losses and costs associated with climate change,” she said.

Ikeazor said COP26 will provide an opportunity for Nigeria to showcase her efforts on climate action, seeing as the nation will soon launch her Adaptation Communication outcomes, her long-term Vision 2050 which is the first chapter of Nigeria’s long-term strategy.

She further said the nation will be showcasing her revised NDC which has huge international recognition, stating that Nigeria’s Gender Action Plan, the second biannual update report, Nigeria’s first National Inventory Report, as well as the Third National Communication, among others.

The minister urged delegates to approach the convention with a strong, unified voice and the mindset of presenting Nigeria’s climate change concerns and needs.

“The negotiation outcomes at COP26 must favour Africa and other developing countries. [If this must happen, we must] focus on making finance more accessible and faster to Africa and other developing countries, developed nations must pledge to boost non-financial efforts in climate change adaptation, such as education and [there must be] a re-commitment of climate finance in line with the revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

“We need a unifying negotiation vision that sets out clear rules, inspires action and promotes raised ambition, based on the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances. We have no time for limitless negotiations. A completed commitment will unleash the potential of the Paris Agreement, build trust and make clear that countries are serious about addressing climate change.

“Delegates, this brings me to my final point which is finance. We need concerted resource mobilisation and investment to successfully combat climate change. We need transformative climate action in seven key economic areas – power, agriculture, transport, water, industry, oil and gas and waste,” she added.

Earlier, the acting director, department climate change, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Halima Bawa-Bwari, restated Nigeria’s commitment to integrating the elements of this global agreement and the NDC into her national developmental efforts, expressing hope the training will concretise position and practical strategies in successful participation at COP 26.

“I hope this training will achieve its overall objectives, to equip delegates on points for a good change negotiation and put into practice key skills such as public speaking, use of diplomatic language, and strategizing. The workshop provided the space to also be critical of the level of preparation of Nigeria when it attends COP,” she said.

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