By INNOCENT ODOH, Abuja
The federal government has said that climate change has contributed to rising insurgency and armed conflict, which are ravaging Nigeria and the rest of the African continent, with resultant displacement of persons and livelihoods.
President Muhammadu Buhari said this while participating in a virtual High -Level Leaders Dialogue on The Africa COVID-19 Climate Emergency yesterday, stressing that the situation in the Lake Chad Basin is an example of the risks and effects associated with climate change.
The Dialogue was organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Global Centre for Adaptation (GCA) and the United Nations (UN) with the theme “Leaders’ Dialogue on the Africa COVID-Climate Emergency,” attended by the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Gutierrez.
Represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, President Buhari said that taking into account the devastating combined effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change on the continent, Nigeria was pleased to note the initiatives advanced by the African Development Bank and the Global Centre for Adaptation.
He noted that Nigeria welcomes the launch of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme (AAAP) as an initiative to address regional adaptation gaps and support the transition of countries to low carbon development pathways.
“These strategies are to ensure that Africa’s recovery from the combined effects of COVID-19 and climate change are holistic, resilient, harmonious and reflective of the peculiarities and priorities of our continent. International support in this regard is essential to guarantee that no part of the world is left behind in the global recovery effort.
“Being one of the most vulnerable nations Nigeria would not hesitate to leverage this programme to forestall the exacerbating impact of climate change,” he said.
He said further that “Nowhere are the adverse impacts of climate change felt than in Africa, where millions of smallholder farmers rely upon their land for their lives and livelihoods. Multiple systemic shocks are now threatening African communities at the same time: we have a health crisis, a food security crisis and an economic crisis, all compounded by the climate crisis.
“The combination of COVID-19 and climate impacts have severely devastated our economies. Countries around the world have collectively allocated over $20 trillion in COVID stimulus packages, thereby reducing the resources available to combat climate change. Climate change cannot wait while we address COVID-19. They must be addressed together,” the President said.