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Nigeria highly vulnerable to climate change – British High Commissioner

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BRITISH High Commissioner to Nigeria Catriona Laing says Nigeria is highly vulnerable to climate change, hence should transform its Nationally Determined Contributions designed to reduce impacts of climate variability into physical actions.

Laing recognised deliberate actions of the Federal Government towards the global concern but she emphasised that mitigation and adaptation measures should be practically domesticated at the state and local governments.

She disclosed through a statement issued at the weekend by the Press and Public Affairs Officer Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office Ndidiamaka Eze that civil society organisations and development partners have important roles to play in the national efforts.

“Nigeria is highly vulnerable to climate change and although it has been ambitious in developing adaptation and mitigation plans, these plans need to be transformed into action – by the federal and state governments working closely with local communities, civil society, and other stakeholders, and with the support of development partners,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, this is coming days after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Climate Change Bill into law.

The ICIR earlier reported how lack of community ownership marred multi-billion climate change intervention projects in some of the Nigerian northern states.

The president at the just concluded Conference of Party (COP26) held in the United Kingdom made several commitments demonstrating Nigeria’s resolve to support the nation’s implementation of its adaptation and mitigation measures.

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The High Commissioner, however, restated her commitment to supporting the nation’s energy transition efforts.

As part of the moves, she advised Nigeria to remove high Value-Added Taxes and Custom Duties for importation of domestic solar equipment.

“We will continue to support Nigeria make progress on decarbonisation of the power sector and stay the course on power sector reforms, creating the enabling environment for off-grid solar at scale by, for example, removing high VAT and customs on domestic solar equipment.

“We will also continue to support efforts that will see Nigeria take action to reduce greenhouse gases such as black carbon and methane from the atmosphere by ending gas flaring as well as adopting climate-smart agroforestry and agricultural reforms as sustainable solutions for Nigeria’s people, nature and biodiversity.”

Recall that the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference ended November 13, with about 200 countries agreeing on the Glasgow Climate Pact to keep 1.5°C alive and finalise the outstanding elements of the Paris Agreement.

“We can now say with credibility that we have kept 1.5 degrees alive. But, its pulse is weak and it will only survive if we keep our promises and translate commitments into rapid action. I am grateful to the UNFCCC for working with us to deliver a successful COP26,” COP26 President Alok Sharma said at the conference.

“From here, we must now move forward together and deliver on the expectations set out in the Glasgow Climate Pact, and close the vast gap which remains….for Barbados and other small island states, ‘two degrees is a death sentence’.”

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“It is up to all of us to sustain our lodestar of keeping 1.5 degrees within reach and to continue our efforts to get finance flowing and boost adaptation. After the collective dedication which has delivered the Glasgow Climate Pact, our work here cannot be wasted,” he added.

The UK government also pledged new funding support to priority programmes on finance, adaptation, and resilience, innovation and nature which Nigeria and other African countries are expected to benefit from.

Olugbenga is an Investigative Reporter with The ICIR. Email address: [email protected] Twitter handle: @OluAdanikin

If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

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