FG backs public participations in climate actions

TO  address the challenges posed by climate change in Nigeria,  the Minister of State for the Environment, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor,   said the Federal Government through her  ministry, would be  collaborating with all stakeholders to  build a sustainable low carbon prosperous economy for the citizens.

Speaking at a webinar on “Public Participation in Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Drafting and Implementation: Experiences Around the World”, organised by  Center for Climate Change and Development, Alex Ekwueme  Federal University, Udufu Alike Ikwo, in collaboration with World Resources Institute, Washington, DC, the minister  told stakeholders that they could make a difference to climate change by their actions.

According to her, climate change posed  a challenge to everyone , adding that the  desire of government was to have  more people interested, involved and participate in climate action.

She pointed out that Ngeria  placed a huge emphasis on the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), being a necessary vehicle for communicating the climate change action of government.

To show its commitment, she stated that the Federal government has set forth an ambitious target to reduce the nation’s emissions unconditionally by 20 per cent  and conditionally by  45 per cent compared to 2010 base line.

According to her, government has consistently said that Nigeria must show leadership in climate action by backing the commitment with  concrete actions.

The minister applauded Professor Chukwumeije Okereke and his team at Alex Ekwueme Federal University for the efforts being made  to promote public participation in the drafting and implementation of Nigeria’s NDC .

Speaking on “Building strong NDC through an “All of Society” approach, Lecturer at  Oxford  University, Dr Thomas Hale, said Paris Agreement has created a new catalytic model that encompassed local governments, business, and civil society, which, according to him,  could play an important role as actors

“An “All of Society” approach can strengthen Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs),’ he said.

He pointed out    that five years of global summits /processes had helped drive a rapid increase in the number of initiatives and commitments.

Speaking on children participation in climate change processes, Jessica Cooke of Plan International,  stated that children and future generations would  have to live with the effects for  long, yet contributed to the problem the least.

According to her, those most affected and marginalized were   largely not included in policy processes, noting  that girls particularly were overlooked.

Listing the problems, she said : “Girls’ education not included in any NDC despite being recognized as a key solution to the crisis; barriers to children’s engagement; limited education on climate policies; no engagement opportunities or tokenistic; climate policy processes are often complicated and exclusive, and unsafe funding.”

Proffering solutions to the challenges,  she urged  stakeholders to recognise and prioritise education, especially girls’ education, make NDCs and other information age and gender responsive, and translate them; provide safe engagement opportunities, conduct consultations with children.

She added: “ Create child councils, advisory groups, children’s parliaments, child-sensitive budgeting and finance.

By investing in girls’ education, she said countries would be  simultaneously investing in a just transition to a fairer world grounded in social, gender, intergenerational and ecological justice.

Director, Climate Negotiations, WRI & Senior Country Specialist NDC Partnership, Yamide Dagnet, urged on the need to create,  leverage data and ambition loops

For the data loop to inform policy effectively, he said that such data must be incorporated into a trustworthy useful and sustainable system.

“Accompanied by the right incentives and signals, more ambitious actions can emerge from both the private sector and government,” he said.

On public participation in NDC, Country Representative, GGGI, Dr. Malle Fofana, said that main challenges  bothered on leadership role and  consultation process, noting that government and personnel changes could put a pause on partnership planning activities

He said : “Conflicting planning/budgeting cycles and NDC processes can create missed opportunities. Lack of sectoral engagement or inter-sectoral coordination can hinder effective planning and implementation.”

According to him  engaging the private sector would become difficult without clear investment returns or policy signals

“Securing participation from ministers and heads of state requires additional effort. Many countries lack the personnel and funding to organize multi-stakeholder consultations,”

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