CHUKS OYEMA-AZIKEN reports on Nigeria’s commitment to fast tracking the financing of its ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’ (NDCs).
President Muhammadu Buhari while signing the Paris Agreement, Sept. 22, 2016 on the side-lines of the 71st UN General Assembly, expressed Nigeria’s commitment to reducing “Green House Gas Emissions unconditionally by 20 per cent and conditionally by 45 per cent,” which is in line with Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contributions.”
Buhari stated that the commitment to the agreement demonstrates the country’s willingness to join global effort to reverse effects of climate change.
According to President Buhari: “the country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement is articulated through its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that strive to build a climate resilient society across the diverse terrain of Nigeria. We have instituted an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change to govern implementation of my country’s NDCs, thereby ensuring a strong cross-sectorial approach, coherence and synergy for Climate Action.”
To show the country’s avowed commitment to its NDC’s, he indicated that both internal and external resources would be mobilised to meet Nigeria’s targets.
“In addition, we are set to launch our first ever Green Bonds in the first quarter of 2017 to fund a pipeline of projects all targeted at reducing emissions towards a greener economy,” he said.
The president had also signed the instrument of ratification of the agreement on March 28, making Nigeria the 146th country to endorse the Paris Climate Change agreement.
In February, 2017 the government heralded launching of Sovereign Green Bond within the premises of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos.
Nigeria is African’s largest economy by GDP and according to World Bank estimates, the country will need USD 140bn to achieve its climate goals and meet its NDC targets.
The low carbon-growth path encompasses clean energy, green infrastructure, improved transport, clean water, agriculture and large scale remediation and promise to enhance government efforts in creating green jobs for its young population.
Building on the five sectorial action plans prepared by Nigeria to implement its commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Federal Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance officially kicked-off Nigeria’s participation in the Climate Finance Accelerator (CFA) Initiative.
According to Ms Esther Agbarakwe, Communications Adviser to the Hon. Minister of State for Environment, ‘’The CFA is a new approach aimed at fast tracking the financing of countries’ ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’ (NDCs)’’
Following a preparatory phase, during which national stakeholders work together to identify priority projects, the CFA will involve a five-day expert workshop in London (11-15 September 2017). The workshop will bring together four countries (Nigeria, Mexico, Colombia, and Vietnam) with green finance experts to develop outline NDC financing plans.
This CFA process is being supported by the Moroccan Presidency of the 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), the UK Government and City of London’s Green Finance Initiative
‘’The aim is for Nigeria to develop initial financing propositions for priority climate change projects, as well as identify the broader measures and human and financial resources required to make the projects happen. The benefits go beyond climate change into sustainable economic development, including clean energy generation, energy and water security, and economic resilience. This is also in-line with the government’s Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (EGRP),’’ added Agbarakwe.
According to the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril, Nigeria, with its progress and ambition on Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) implementation, is well placed to engage and benefit from participation in the CFA.
To support Nigeria’s participation in the CFA, a preparatory meeting to identify the priority sectors and 4- 6 projects was hosted by the Federal Ministry of Finance.
One pertinent issue that took centre stage at the meeting is Nigeria’s low access to Climate Finance. According to the Director, International Economic Relations, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr. Aliyu Ahmed, Nigeria has received far less than many countries within the sub-region.
He traced the difficulty to ‘’stringent conditions/requirements for access to Climate Finance funds, lack of capacity to draft compelling applications, high cost of hiring such from the developed community and requirements for counterpart funds’’.
He also identified inadequate data and long processes associated with accessing funds.
In addition, the meeting broadly discussed challenges and capacity requirements for green investment in Nigeria. Participants were drawn from MDAs, Development Partners, and Nigeria Stock Exchange, Nigerian Economic summit Group, Pension Commission, Center Social Justice, and Private Sector representatives Ahead of November’s summit in Marrakesh, Morocco, the Paris Agreement on climate change has inched closer to coming into force, as many countries, including Nigeria has joined the deal at the recently concluded 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA71).