The Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari will personally lead the 41-man delegation drawn from frontline ministries, development partners and critical environment stakeholders to the Paris conference of Parties on climate change to hold between November 30 and December 11, 2015.
But that’s not even the country he will visit first. Buhari will head to Malta first where he would attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM). It’s from there that he will head to Paris for the climate conference.
The Minister of Environment revealed this on Tuesday November 24, 2015 during the Pre- Conference Press Briefing ahead of the 21st series of the Conference of Parties (COP) on climate change, otherwise known as COP 21 scheduled for Paris, France.
Amina Mohammed explained that the President’s decision to lead the Nigerian delegation is to underscore the importance that Government attaches to environmental issues, including desertification in the northern part of the country, erosion in the South-East, pollution in the South – South and flooding across the country, all of which the Minister said are climate change – related.
Buhari only just returned back to the country on Tuesday, and has spent a big chunk of his first six months in office travelling abroad.
Meanwhile, Amina Mohammed has said that the Federal Government will key into the climate change agenda for sustainable development in line with the change mantra of the present administration.
She also revealed that Nigeria is one of the countries that are most vulnerable to the impact of climate change in the world. “By 2050, it is estimated that the impact of climate change would cost the country between 6 to 30 percent of her National Gross Domestic Product (GDP), if the trend is not checked,” she said.
According to the Minister, climate change is man-made, therefore member countries of the United Nations need to make commitments towards reversing the phenomenon.
She added that member – countries of the UN are committing themselves to ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)’ aimed at cutting back on carbon emission which is adversely responsible for the climate change phenomenon.
While mentioning that COP21 which focuses on climate change is an integral part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with insights into the Paris Conference,
the Minister indicated that COP21 seeks to build on the 2014 Kyoto-Japan Conference on Climate Change. Adding, it will vigorously pursue a new international agreement on climate change focusing on an international green economic order with less and acceptable levels of carbon emission.
“The conference will be a platform for the adoption of an ambitious climate agreement covering mitigation adaptation, loss and damage, financing and technology transfer which would also make provision for developed countries to honour their commitments under the convention in particular, in terms of support to ensuring the full and entire implementation of the INDCs.
“COP 21 will be an avenue to discuss issues relating to the mobilization of funds to support developing countries for a successful implementation of major initiatives such as the Great Green Wall, the African Initiative on Renewable Energy and Adaptation and the Chad Basin Climate Investment Plan.”
In her response to questions from journalists during an interactive session, the Minister noted that Nigeria is fully prepared for the event, noting that the country is painstakingly putting her INDCs together, mindful of the fact that the proposed cut back on carbon emission must not only pass the green economy test, but should also be moderately ambitious.