President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Paris, France called the attention of world leaders to the adverse effects of climate change on food security in Nigeria as extreme events such as flooding and drought are on the rise.
The President stated Nigeria’s position at the ongoing Conference of Parties 21 (COP21), saying such factors have resulted in the destruction of many economic and social structures.
He also made a connection between the insurgency in the north east and climate change which he observed has resulted in the drying up of the Lake Chad, thereby depriving many communities of their means of livelihood.
The President therefore challenged world leaders gathered at the event that they had a historic chance to save the planet by coming up with binding resolutions for sustainable development.
President Buhari added that the conference must work to make Paris a global landmark in the history of climate change negotiations,
He advised that nations must scale up their commitment to ensure a successful outcome and contribute to transforming the world through sustainable development.
“Like many countries, Nigeria continues to witness the adverse effects of climate change in all its ramifications. Presently, we are reeling under the challenges of climate change as the frequency and intensity of extreme events like floods and drought are on the increase.
“These challenges have resulted in the destruction of many economic and social structures, and more worryingly, threatening our national food production and security.
“The magnitude of insurgency Nigeria is facing cannot be completely explained away without taking cognizance of the threat of climate change. Without a doubt,
“Climate change is threatening not only the sustainable development of our social and economic activities but also the totality of human existence in our country as in other parts of the world.
“At the sub-regional level, we are saddled with the challenge of the drying up of the Lake Chad Basin, which is resulting in the total wipe out of livelihoods of many communities surrounding this trans-boundary natural resource.
“Regrettably, the world is leaving behind millions of people who depend on the Lake for their survival. The Government of Nigeria welcomes the Lake Chad Development and Climate Resilience Plan, and the Lake Chad Basin Commission and international partners for designing this climate-based Plan.
“In all, the experience of countries sharing the Lake Chad further illustrates the mutual challenge we face today and which must be collectively addressed without further delay.”
He noted the inadequacies of existing climate change treaties, protocols and conventions, reiterating Nigeria’s position that for the potential of Paris Agreement on Climate Change to be meaningful, achieve its objectives and eventually become universal in nature and scope, it must draw extensively on the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
“Indeed, for the Agreement to be durable, it must recognize not only the emission right but also the survival rights of the citizens of developing countries,” he said, adding, “The inadequacies of the existing climate change treaties, the Conventions and its Protocol, constitute the driving force propelling Parties to reach another climate change agreement as the main outcome of this Conference of Parties.
“Nigeria appreciates the efforts and demonstration of flexibilities of all in the run up of discussions since Durban towards evolving the new global climate regime. Yet, we are very concerned at the pace of progress made so far.
“This is more important, since the negotiation continues to go back and forth without necessarily addressing the interests and concerns of the developing countries in general and African countries in particular.
“In this regard, Nigeria strongly believes that the agreement we reach here in Paris must equitably address climate change mitigation and adaptation activities in terms of the means of implementation with emphasis on adequate financing, technology transfer and capacity development.
“It is our fervent hope that these implementation modalities will be explicitly enshrined in the Agreement.”
President Buhari gave Nigeria’s target on cutting greenhouse emissions arrived at after extensive consultations with stakeholders by up to 45% by the year 2030.
He said: “On our part in Nigeria, we undertook an extensive and participatory process of multi-level consultations with a cross section of stakeholders within the different tiers of government towards determining our national contributions to global mitigation reduction.
“Based on national considerations, Nigeria intends to attain the mitigation reduction objective of 20 per cent unconditional and 45 per cent conditional below the Business as Usual level of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.
“It is our expectation that this nationally-determined ambitious target given our national circumstances and developmental requirements will eventually pass the green test.”
Buhari reiterated that the Paris Agreement must be legally binding, all-encompassing and sustainable for it to be universally applicable, result-oriented and in all, effective.
“The agreement we reach here must also be a fair, multilateral and rules-based regime guided by science with an overall aim of ensuring the right to equitable access of every country of the world to sustainable development,” he declared.

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