The United States government has pledged to assist Nigeria in resolving challenges bordering on climate change in line with its bilateral relationship with Nigeria.
The US Special Envoy on Climate Change, Mr Jonathan Pershing, who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday when he led a 5-man delegation to the Ministry of Environment, said that climate change has dire consequences on every aspect of life.
“Climate change is one of those issues that no sector will avoid because it narrows to livelihood in agriculture communities, fisheries communities, water and preservation of conflict and there is nothing that escapes the consequences of climate change.
He said the essence of visiting Nigeria is to converse with the federal government on what the US government could do bilaterally as part of their global efforts towards solving the problems of climate change.
“The next big negotiation which is to take place in Africa is an opportunity to advocate a discussion for the continent on climate change, its impact and opportunities in minimizing both the impact and the problems itself.
Pershing emphasized that Nigeria being a major player in the continent has to reinvigorate a clear leadership role stressing that with commitment from the US government that there would be strong partnership between the two countries.
On the financial commitment, he said, “Quite a lot of resources have been provided by the United States including in the health which connects back to climate, food security which connects back to climate, technical assistance in the energy sector which connects back to climate and part of our multilateral process between climate funds which is exclusively geared for countries around the world.
On her part, the Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed expressed satisfaction that President Muhammadu Buhari would attend the UN General Assembly (UNGA 71) by September even as she hoped that Nigeria would sign the financing agreement.
According to her, “We have done things with water resources and agriculture to ensure that we are a concrete part of the diversification, so you will see that the value chain we are talking about in agriculture includes crops that will be climate resistance but we can approach different technologies to make that work.
She said though the ministry doesn’t have adequate funding to execute some of its project that they would ensure that other sectors involved in greening the economy are investing in cleaner technology, renewable energy and climate change.
Mohammed pointed out that Green Climate Fund (GCF) is one of the financing mechanisms which the ministry hoped to utilize in funding climate change and other projects but regretted that it’s been difficult accessing the funds.
“Secondly, we will look at the green bonds to see how we can attract private sectors into pipeline projects that are informed by our Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) and through that, we can bring good revenue flows.
She was enthusiastic that Nigeria would improve on the COP 22 agreement adding that the ministry is working on the existing expertise to provide solutions to climate change.