United Nations: Nigeria to adopt agreement to mitigate climate change – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigeria is strongly commited to the adoption of a legally binding universal agreement to mitigate climate change which is an undeniable issue of concern to the international community at Summit Meeting on Climate change held today (27th September) at the UN headquarters,  New York.

 Buhari said, though Africa contributes very little to global warming but the socio-economic consequences of climate change spare no nation , as Nigeria is affected by extreme weather variations, rising sea levels, encroaching desertification, excessive rainfall, erosion and floods and  land degradation. These developments have devastating human costs and are affecting food security, livelihoods and survival of Nigerians.

To address these negative effects,  the President said, Nigeria has developed a National Policy to guide Nigeria’s response to Climate Change which is broadly based on the twin strategy of Mitigation and Adaptation.

While commending the countries that have announced their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) ahead of the October 2015 deadline which he said will go a long way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide,  he advised that all must prioritize the means of implementing the INDCs, in terms of finance, technology and capacity building, especially in supporting developing countries, including those in Africa.

Buhari said, “As we approach Paris, the Nigerian position which reflects the African consensus, is that a legally binding universal instrument will be beneficial to all State Parties as Nigeria continue to champion the core principles and goals of the new Sustainable Development Agenda and hopes that the next Conference of Parties will eventually become a global milestone to combat and cushion the dire impacts of climate change”.

Buhari concluded that collective action remains the only viable option to addressing the challenges of global warming and the ever growing impact of climate change adding that there is no other choice but to protect our environment for the benefit of the present and future generations.

In his remarks to the media after working lunch on climate change, UN Secretary General, Ban ki-Moon said leaders have voiced broad support for a durable agreement that will accelerate investments in clean energy and spur a global, low-carbon transformation well before the end of the century, consistent with a below 2 degrees Celsius pathway.

Ban Ki-Moon said though there was consensus that the agreement must strengthen resilience to climate impacts with a focus on the poorest and most vulnerable, concrete and cooperative actions are necessary to turn the long-term vision into reality, he added.

By Funmi Ajumobi[Vanguard] reporting from UNGA70, New York