President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in New York unfolded plans and initiatives by his administration to reverse the negative effects of climate change in the country.
Buhari unveiled the plans in his address to the United Nations Climate Action Summit with the theme: “A Race We Can Win. A Race We Must Win.”
The president, who shared the sentiment expressed by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres that the world is on the verge of climate catastrophe, said climate change is a human-induced phenomenon.
He underscored the need to step up collective climate actions in line with the request of the Secretary General and renewed Nigeria’s commitment to its obligation under the Paris Agreement, the aspirations enshrined in Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to ensure a resilient future that mainstreams climate risks in its decision making.
Buhari said Nigeria would develop a more robust sectorial action plan and expand the scope of her Sovereign Green Bonds in line with intended upward review of NDC towards the inclusion of the water and waste sectors by 2020.
In the water sector, the president said the country would issue a Green Bond for irrigation and construct multi-purpose dams for power, irrigation and water supply and strengthen solid and liquid waste management systems to attract more private sector investors.
He expressed commitment to take concrete steps to harness climate innovative ideas by including youths in decision making processes as part of over-all climate governance architecture and mobilize Nigerian youths towards planting 25 million trees to enhance Nigeria’s carbon sink.
In the energy sector, the president said the country was presently diversifying its energy sources from dependence on gas-powered system to hydro, solar, wind, biomass and nuclear sources.
He said the country was “specifically” and “progressively” working to realize 30 percent energy efficiency and renewable energy mix by 2030, stressing that it was envisaged to lead to 179 million tons of carbon dioxide reduction per annum by 2030.
Buhari voiced the intention of his administration to develop a shelter belt across 11 states of the federation spanning a distance of 1,500 km and 15km across through the Great Green Wall initiative.
He added that the Federal Government had commenced the implementation of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Programme in Ogoniland to recover the carbon sink potential of the mangrove ecosystem of the one thousand square kilometers (1,000 KM2) polluted site in the affected area.
He also informed the summit of the introduction of Climate Smart Agricultural Practices to unlock 74 Million tons of carbon dioxide per annum, through relevant technologies, advocacy and best practices.
President Buhari reiterated the readiness of Nigeria to continue to lead in efforts to have solid partnerships for the ecological restoration and recharge of the Lake Chad Basin.
He said the forty million citizens in the Lake Chad area expected the summit to take into consideration their concerns and anticipated that the outcomes of the meeting would include solutions to address the climate change impact in the Lake Chad area.
“As you are aware, the Lake Chad Basin, which used to be a region of productivity, food security and wealth for an estimated 40 million citizens living around the Chad Basin, has shrunk significantly from its original size due to Climate Change.
“We will continue to lead in efforts to have solid partnerships for the ecological restoration and recharge of the Lake. We are confident that this would improve the living conditions of the diverse nationals living in the area, promote inter-state cooperation, strengthen community resilience, as well as assist in addressing the environmental and security crisis that threaten the region, its resources and inhabitants.
“I am glad that the Secretary General and some of the member states represented in this hall are partnering with us in this endeavour. We thank them for their cooperation and I look forward to deepening our partnership,” Buhari said.