The Federal government has decried the negative impact of COVID-19 on Climate Change Response and alerted that though COVID 19 is awful, climate change could be worst.
The Government further stated that it could cause as bad damages and losses as COVID-19, but spread over a much longer period, in an irreversible manner.
To this end, the government assure that Nigeria as a responsible global citizen is committed to tackling climate change.
Director/ Permanent Secretary Designate, Department of Climate Change, Federal Ministry of Environment, Dr Yerima Tarfa disclosed this at Workshop for the Nigeria Climate Change Response Programme (NCCRP), a flagship initiative of the European Union (EU), under its Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) Programme.
He stated that Covid-19 has impacted negatively on socio-economic development and stressed the need for the country to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic without compromising its efforts to combat climate change and its major causes.
Yerima noted that in recovering from Covid-19, Nigeria must factor in sustainability issues while the sustainability plan by the government must take into consideration issues of low carbon emissions so that the projects will be resilient
He observed that the Federal government is working towards greening the economy to reduce carbon footprints in the various activities going on in the country, adding that government is promoting solar as part of clean energy, ethanol instead of fuel to reduce the emission of greenhouse gas and had midwifed the green bond programme and has issued the first and second green bonds to help implement projects that have climate reasoning in them.
Yerima explained that the event was organized to work towards the fulfilment of Nigeria’s commitment signed by Nigeria under the Paris agreement to reduce the climate change stressing that Nigeria committed to reducing its emissions unconditionally by 20 percent and then 45 percent with international support.
“Emissions coming from all our economic activities in the country will be reduced with international support. EU offered to help build our capacity, put in place institutional structures and legal framework to enable the country to meet the 45 percent target”.
According to him, Government is reviewing some of the policies in the sector to incorporate the issues of climate change and Climate Smart agriculture will help to meet the food needs of the country and also help the country develop sustainably.
He said, “Nigeria as a responsible global citizen is committed to tackling climate change. In 2015, Nigeria committed to the Paris Agreement, with ambitious targets, both conditional and unconditional. Since then, it has developed and pursued vigorously plans and activities towards meeting this very important global commitment.
“The support by the EU towards meeting the 45% conditional target of the Nationally Determined Contribution is timely and strategic, especially the focus of the support programme on the development of a Measuring, Reporting & Verification (MRV) system at institutional and sector levels as well as on communication; and Green House Gases (GHG) data on waste management at the Federal level and in two pilot States (Kano and Ogun)”.
Also speaking, EU Head of Section, Economic Development and Energy, Kathryn Mulad Thomsen said that the European Union is committed to assisting Nigeria in meeting its pledges through the Nigeria climate change Response Programme.
She noted that the EU attaches importance to addressing the climate change in line with the EU Comprehensive Strategy for Africa and the Post COVID Green recovery support.