President Muhammadu Buhari has affirmed Nigeria’s commitment to tackling climate crisis by embarking on bold actions.
President Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, disclosed this at the Clean Energy Transition Event, organised by Bloomberg Philanthropies and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) on the sidelines of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt.
He commended African nations for demonstrating commitment through the signing of the Paris Agreement, submission of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and spending up to 9 percent of Gross Domestic Products in addressing climate change issues.
Buhari said: “Without a doubt, we are at a critical time with respect to the world’s climate future and our actions today and over the next few decades will determine the fate of future generations and the planet.
“This year, we have witnessed disastrous extreme weather events from terrifying wildfires in the United States, to unprecedented heat waves in India, Pakistan, and Europe, to intense floods in my country, Nigeria.
“From early summer till now, devastating floods have affected about 33 states in Nigeria, displacing over 1.4 million people, destroying over 100,000 hectares of farmland and causing about 600 deaths. In addition, we are witnessing increased desertification, erosion, and pollution in the country; the impacts of which are too severe to ignore. These glaring climate signals indicate that we do not have the luxury of time when it comes to the impacts of climate change”.
“As will be strongly demanded here at COP27, we need to see urgent and decisive climate action from the countries most responsible for the emissions that cause climate change.
“We cannot afford any more delays; our people and nations are on the line. The blame game should stop, affirmative and positive commitment to address these challenges must begin NOW”.
Speaking on the issue of energy, Buhari said: “We are acutely aware of other pressing concerns that must be addressed; not least of which is the energy poverty on the continent.
“With energy consumed for electricity, heat, and transport accounting for over 70% of global emissions, we acknowledge that a rapid energy transition must be at the centre of our climate efforts, but we also know that we need significantly more energy.
“These energy deficits have staggering quality and length of life ramifications. For instance, the clean cooking deficits lead to about 500 million premature deaths from household air pollution in Sub-Saharan Africa annually, and due to the electricity deficits, half of secondary schools and a quarter of health facilities in the region have no power.
Buhari further called on investors and the global community to recognize the immense investment opportunities and potential for impact in Nigeria and the Global South at large.