By Asmau Ahmad
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Least Development Countries (LDCs) to emulate Nigeria’s issuance of two Sovereign Green Bonds.
The bonds have raised over N30 billion for the purpose of financing sustainable environmental projects.
In a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, Buhari made the call while speaking at a roundtable on addressing climate change and supporting the environment at the UN Conference on LDCs in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday.
The president urged the world’s most vulnerable countries to initiate and adopt effective home-grown resource mobilization supported by a well-developed action plan.
“Domestic resource mobilization is likely to break the yoke of difficulties in accessing funds from developed countries’ financial institutions, like Nigeria’s issuance of two Sovereign Green Bonds that raised over N30billion.
“LDCs and Developing Countries must take a serious stand on the Cummings-Montreal resolutions on a new funding mechanism that is flexible, accessible and utilizable,” he said.
President Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, pledged that Nigeria would use its position as host of the headquarters of the Sahel Climate Fund to ensure that members access climate finance at fairer and reasonable conditions.
The president also used the occasion to apprise the international community on Nigeria’s priorities on climate change.
He told the meeting that the country had passed a novel Climate Change Act, essentially focusing on the whole of Government approach jointly with the private sector.
According to him, the Act established the National Council on Climate change, to among others, mainstream climate change actions in Nigeria’s economic development and ensure sustainable inclusive green growth.
“Nigeria is providing leadership to the Pan African Great Green Wall that is focused on land remediation, wetlands and oases recovery, as well as developing a community resilience programme to support the Sahel region towards adaptation and mitigation of these climatic vulnerabilities.
“Furthermore, the country just recently, as a member of the Sahel Region Climate Commission, volunteered and was granted the rights to host the headquarters of the Sahel Climate Fund.
“What we intend to achieve with this is to provide effective leadership towards mobilization of resources from member states, bilateral and multilateral partners, as well as private sector financial institutions.
“This is to foster cooperation and coordinated actions among Sahel Region Climate Commission members towards access to climate finance at fairer and reasonable conditions,” he said.
While describing climate change as no respecter of any nation, the Nigerian leader warned that it is an imminent and present danger to not only human existence but also to the preservation of the environment.
According to him, Nigeria, like other countries of the world, particularly those of the Sahel region, has a lot of human activities that dangerously interfere with the earth’s natural defences against solar radiation and temperature change.
He noted that these had led to extreme conditions that contribute to desertification and crop loss.
He said such conditions had caused further famine and starvation, grassland becoming deserts, flooding, extreme heat with fluctuating rainfall, drought with other challenges causing forceful migration due to climate change.
“In Africa, diverse impact of climate change is an underlying cause of human population stressors, with conflicts resulting in regional instability.
“Climate change is, therefore, a threat to human survival with different degrees of challenges depending on the region.
“Therefore, the Least Developed Countries and indeed developing countries are subject to climatic vulnerability caused by changes in rainfall patterns, extreme temperatures, desertification, drought, coastal erosion therefore affecting the general economy and wellbeing of the people,” he said.