By Hillary Asemota
President Muhammadu Buhari, has said the economic cost for loss and damage from adverse climate change for Africa is estimated at almost $2 trillion even as he said this exclude non-economic losses.
The President, who was represented at the ongoing COP27 Conference by the Minister of Environment, Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi, stated that developed nations must not ignore the demand from developing nations to establish a loss and damage finance facility to help developing nations recover from the adverse effects of climate change.
He noted with sadness the devastating floods, worsening desertification, and rising sea levels.
President Buhari, spoke at the high-level segment of the Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at the Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt on Tuesday.
He said: “At COP26, I did say that for Nigeria, climate change is not about the perils of tomorrow but what is happening today.
“Today, Nigeria is currently grappling with devasting effects of terrible flooding which has affected 3.2 million persons, over 600 lives lost, over 100,000 persons displaced and over 300 hectares of farmlands destroyed.
“Nigeria and indeed the rest of Africa, from the Sahara to the Cape, is living with increasing fear of food insecurity as a result of the floods.”
At COP26 in Glasgow, he explained that he announced Nigeria’s commitment to net-zero by 2060 on the basis of a detailed Energy Transition Plan (ETP), stressing that this plan, the first of its kind in Africa highlights the significant scale of resources required to attain both development and climate ambitions by 2060.
“However, the public finance urgently needed to fund energy transitions and climate action is lacking – a situation compounded by debt distress affecting many low- and middle-income countries.” President Buhari, said.
He also acknowledged that the country is taking bold steps to pioneer innovative climate finance instruments such as debt for climate swaps and championing the development of the African carbon market initiative.
In support of this, he said Nigeria has enacted the climate change law alongside the initial governance framework and launched the Nigeria Emission Trading Scheme (ETS).
“The signal investment readiness, we have made significant progress in creating the enabling policies and incentives to advance a shortlist of priority projects, including renewable solar Independent Power Plants (IPPs), scaled decentralized
“Renewable Energy (DRE) projects and gas flare commercialization opportunities, to name a few. We are hopeful that investors at the global community will recognize the immense investment opportunities and potential for impact.” he added.
He said as the largest economy in Africa, we are engaging the G7 to request the inclusion of Nigeria in the G7’s Climate Partnerships List for the co-creation of a Just Energy Transition Partnership. Nigeria and the rest of Africa, call for an effective and sustainable framework that will address the socio-economic effects of energy transition including energy poverty, loss of jobs and livelihoods.
Africa, he averred contributes about 3% to the global emissions but is left to cope with the devasting impacts of climate change, adding that Nigeria has spearheaded initiatives aimed at recovering degraded land for the Sahara and the Sahel such as the Great Green Wall.
There is therefore a dire need to expand existing adaptation acceleration programmes for developing countries, the President said.