Buhari signs Paris Agreement •Says Nigeria is committed to reducing greenhouse emission

Ahead of November’s summit in Marrakesh, Morocco, the Paris Agreement on climate change has inched closer to coming into force, as many countries, including Nigeria has joined the deal at the recently concluded 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA71).

President Muhammadu Buhari said his signing of the agreement demonstrated Nigeria’s commitment to global effort to reverse effects of the negative trend.

The president said this while addressing the opening of the meeting on ‘Taking Climate Action for Sustainable Development’ in New York, co-hosted by Nigeria and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as one of the side events of the UNGA71.

In a statement issued by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the president, Mr Femi Adesina, he said that President Buhari had shortly before this event, signed the Paris Agreement, where he expressed Nigeria’s commitment to reducing “Green House Gas Emissions unconditionally by 20 per cent and conditionally by 45 per cent,” which is in line with Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contributions.”

Describing the signing as historic, President Buhari also expressed confidence that with support from development partners, Nigeria will meet the above targets. The president also pledged to ensure the ratification of the Paris Agreement before the 22nd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Marrakesh, Morocco in November 2016, stressing that it was to demonstrate his personal dedication to the process of implementing the agreement that he was hosting the side event on ‘Taking Climate Action Towards Sustainable Development.’

President Buhari, who said he was privileged to have been part of the Paris Agreement, expressed appreciation to what he called “the genuine efforts by President Francois Hollande of France in drawing global attention to reviving the Lake Chad Basin,” and for galvanising the political will that led to the global consensus in reaching the Paris Agreement.

President Buhari said “the country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement is articulated through its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that strive to build a climate resilient society across the diverse terrain of Nigeria. We have instituted an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change to govern implementation of my country’s NDCs, thereby ensuring a strong cross-sectoral approach, coherence and synergy for Climate Action.”

President Buhari, while admitting that implementing the roadmap will not be easy in the face of dwindling national revenues, however, indicated that both internal and external resources would be mobilised to meet Nigeria’s targets, adding that the 2017 budget will reflect Nigeria’s efforts to accord priority to realising its NDCs.

“In addition, we are set to launch our first ever Green Bonds in the first quarter of 2017 to fund a pipeline of projects all targeted at reducing emissions towards a greener economy,” he said.

While urging global support to transit to a low-carbon climate resilient economy, the President specifically reminded industrialised nations “to play their role and deliver on their commitments on access to climate finance and technology transfer and help with capacity-building,” adding that, “Expectations are high for their leaders to deliver $100 billion per year by 2020 in support of developing countries to take climate action, thus keeping the promise to billions of people.”