BY CHIKA OKEKE, Abuja
Ahead of the climate change conference, the National Assembly has sought for a unified agenda to enable Nigeria access the Green Climate Funds (GCF) and attract funding from international partners.
The Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Environment, Hon. Terseer Ugbor stated this on Monday in Abuja at a one-day seminar organised by the Development Agenda in collaboration with Environmental Media Correspondents Assodiation of Nigeria with the theme: “Climate Change and COP28: The Way Forward For Nigeria.”
In 2009, developed countries jointly agreed to mobilise $100 billion annually as climate finance by 2020 to support developing countries in reducing emissions and adapting to climate change.
News Rider reports that the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) scheduled to hold in Dubai, United Arab Emirates later this month, will garner more than 70,000 participants, including heads of state and government, government officials, representatives of international organisations, business leaders, academics and civil society organisations.
The GCF which is sourced from green bonds, debt swaps, confessional loans, grants and donations was designed to assist in reducing Greenhouse Gas (GhG) emissions by funding renewable power projects like wind shield or solar.
These are loans for climate change mitigation and adaptation activities that differ from traditional loans since it has longer repayment periods and lower interest rates.
While noting that Nigeria needed funding to support the climate change adaptation efforts, he harped on the need for the Federal Government to look inward and develop local adaptative measures and strategies.
Ugbor stated that stakeholders in the Environment Sector should adopt the green bonds strategy and other financing mechanisms before seeking for support from international donors.
He said: “Everybody needs to take a stand and make sure that in our own little ways, we will contribute to climate change adaptation issues and adopt energy systems and other models that will help to reduce the impact of climate change on our homes and environment.”
The chairman disclosed that COP has evolved into global symposium since the first COP was held in Berlin, Germany in 1995.
Every five years, each country is expected to submit an updated national climate action plan known as the NDCs, that would highlight strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.
The 198 countries including Nigeria that have ratified the Convention are called Parties to the Convention.
However, most vulnerable countries especially in Africa are unable to access the GCF due to lengthy and complicated processes associated with the funds that could lead to debt trap.
The Africa Regional Coordinator, Citizens Climate International, Mr Micheal David lamented the absence of climate finance for adaption in Nigeria, compared to the global community where funds have been set aside for adaptation.
He regretted that the issue of colonisation is still within the climate space, calling on the media to step up awareness on the issue of climate change.
David stated that the National Universities Commission (NUC) are making plans to inculcate climate change into schools curriculum.
The Publisher and Editor-in-chief of Development Agenda Magazine, Mr Paddy Ezeala informed that the frequency and intensity of extreme weather conditions associated with climate change led to involuntary migration and displacement.
While stating that the problems created socio-economic and political consequences, he hinted that climate change adversely affected the health of the entire ecosystems.
Ezeala recalled that former President Muhammadu Buhari had at an international forum during his tenure, promised to mobilise the youths to plant 25 million trees about four years ago, lamenting that till date, Nigerians have not seen the trees.
BY CHIKA OKEKE, Abuja