Speech: President Buhari’s Address at the International Climate Change Summit in Paris

I would like to thank His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic of France, the United Nations Secretary-General and the President of the World Bank Group for convening this high-level Summit on the issues of financing climate actions and aligning financial flows in order to reach the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

The adverse impacts of climate change such as temperature rise; erratic rainfall, sand storms, desertification, low agricultural yields, drying up of water bodies like Lake Chad, gully erosions and constant flooding are a daily reality in Nigeria. This reality is most felt by the highly vulnerable communities who lack the capacity to cope.

Since the adoption of the Paris Agreement, we have been strengthening our national efforts towards the implementation of the Agreement and the Marrakech Call for Action. We have already ratified the Paris Agreement in May 2017 and, thus, we have pledged, under the Nationally Determined Contribution to reduce our emission by 20% by 2020 and 40% by 2030.

In our efforts to deliver on these pledges, we are tightening the existing governance structure in Nigeria for more effective implementation of climate change activities, including the additional responsibilities that are consequent on the adoption of the all-encompassing climate change treaty.

In collaboration with the European Union, we have also developed a robust National Monitoring, Reporting and Verification framework to meet the Agreement’s requirements. Further, Nigeria has developed the Sectoral Implementation plans for some priority sectors; namely: Oil and Gas sector, Agriculture and Land use, Power, and Industrial Energy Efficiency. For each of these sectors, we have assessed and selected key policies and measures that would enable the country to meet its commitments based on their cost effectiveness, poverty reduction and mitigation, and job creation potential.

We have considered the feasibility of implementation, potential to deliver short-term results, gender and social inclusiveness, enhancing healthy environment and minimal impact on land use and deforestation, as well as environmental benefits.

Actualising these plans over the next 15 years, Nigeria on its own will achieve 20% emissions reduction below Business As Usual. With international support, we can achieve 45% emission reduction by 2030.

Nigeria recognizes that ensuring sustainable funding is a major constraint in efforts to implement the Nationally Determined Contribution. To respond effectively to climate change mitigation and adaptation challenges, critical mass of financial resources beyond what we can provide from our national resources will be required.

We have embraced the issuance of the green bond as an innovative and alternative source of projects funding that would help reduce emissions and provide robust climate infrastructure, such as renewable energy, low carbon transport, water infrastructure and sustainable agriculture in line with the Paris Agreement.

But we cannot do this alone. While we have ambitious plans, having just come out of recession, we are under no illusion of the challenges that we face in Nigeria. Recalling that the success of COP21 was hinged on the strategic“$100 billion by 2020”, it is therefore pivotal for countries like Nigeria for the promise be kept if we are to meet our Nationally Determined Contribution obligations. Simply, we cannot implement our Nationally Determined Contribution without adequate financial, technical and capacity building support from the developed countries.

And this support must be sustained on a long term basis. The changes that Nigeria, and other developing countries need to make cannot be undertaken overnight. Indeed, we require some fundamental restructuring of our economy. In this process, technology will be a powerful tool to simultaneously address climate change and advance development.

In Nigeria, Government is actively promoting technologies and practices such as sustainable land management, climate resilient agriculture, water efficiency, clean energy, and skills for reducing greenhouse gas emissions among others. Sustaining these efforts will also require external support.

We need to accelerate Research and Development on facilitating Access to Climate Friendly Technologies, through technology pooling and collective approach to financing Research and Development, regulating restrictive practices in licensing agreements and anti-competitive uses of Intellectual Property and International Declaration on Climate Technologies.

In Nigeria, we are looking at insurance-based proposals to deal with loss, damage and adaptation to the poor, vulnerable and hard-to-reach groups. Risk mitigation through insurance must benefit those groups who currently have negligible access to any form of indemnity coverage. Vulnerable groups will also benefit from new technologies and ways to make insurance schemes affordable, including through long term premium support.

In the circumstances, Nigeria would require support from the international community on the following:

  1. A long term solution for a source of clean power, which can be achieved through private investments to create economic competitiveness for industrialization, job creation and agricultural programmes throughout the country;
  2. The inclusion of Nigeria in Climate Regional Programmes, especially strong financial support to our planned project for the replenishment of the Lake Chad. This long term solution will ensure sustained livelihood for rural and urban communities, and permanently address the conditions conducive to the spread of violent extremism and terrorism, and stem illegal migration especially of our youths abroad.

Excellences, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
I look up to the developed countries to jointly take a leading role in mobilising support for this action plan. However, addressing the challenges of climate change should be pursued within the framework of the General Assembly of the United Nations by anchoring efforts on assisting developing countries to meet their Sustainable Development Goals aspirations and Nationally Determined Commitment.

I thank you.