As the United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP27 begins today, November 6, in Egypt, the head of the Nigerian delegation and Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, has set the agenda for Nigeria at the conference. Loss and damage is a term in UN climate negotiations used to describe harm caused by climate change due to man-made activities.
The Minister of Environment is representing President Muhammadu Buhari at the event.
Speaking on the expectations of Nigeria at COP27, the minister in a statement said, “We are focused on ensuring that we bring the issue of loss and damage to the fore, and we are already making progress in this regard because during the Pre-Cop engagement the COP 27 President, Sameh Shoukry highlighted flood-related issues with particular reference to Nigeria and Pakistan amongst other nations as one of the key issues on the agenda for discussion. Already, the issues of flood are linked to loss and damage, and that is a priority to us as a nation.”
“In addition, Nigeria as the leader of the PAN African Agency for the Great Green Wall will focus on climate finance to support its activities in the Sahel Region particularly in the most endemic Northern states described as the front line states where there is fast approaching desert encroachment and of course wetland drying up, these and others are huge issues that we will be focusing on,” Abdullahi stated.
He also stated the Nigerian delegation will also focus on the African carbon market initiative as it tries to kickstart the framework for carbon trading, adding that similar attention will also be given to a novel issue called debt for climate swap aimed at calling the attention of developed countries to the impact of their industrialization on the developing countries and the need for them to mitigate the impact on the continent of Africa and Nigeria in particular.
The minister said Nigeria will unite with other African countries to push what was agreed upon at the Africa Minsters’ Conference on Environment held in Senegal earlier this year with a focus on afforestation and climate finance, among other issues.
“Nigeria negotiators will align with other African countries in recognition of what we agreed in Kigali and at the Africa Minsters’ Conference on Environment (AMCEN) declaration in Dakar, Senegal, to focus on afforestation, climate finance, the need to mitigate desertification and of course to emphasize on loss and damage. This is important and crucial to address some of the climate challenges Africa grappled with,” Abdullahi said.
Again, the minister expressed hope of securing funding for Africa’s carbon market initiative in collaboration with the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All.
“We have secured the assurance of the Head of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All, Damilola Ogunbiyi, who is also a Nigerian, that there is a window of about $400 million to support Africa’s carbon market initiative. We are beginning to record achievements even before we started,” he said.
COP27 continues in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt from November 6 to 18, 2022.
Vice President Yemi Osibanjo is scheduled to speak at a special high-level segment for vice presidents and Heads of Government on Monday, November 7.
This story was produced as part of the 2022 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organized by Internews' Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security. It was first published by the Nigerian Tribune on 6 November 2022 and has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Banner image: Heavy rain in the streets of Lekki, Nigeria / Credit: Francis Odeyemi.