Nigeria will continue to champion the core principles and goals of the new Sustainable Development Agenda and hopes that the next Conference of Parties will eventually become a global milestone to combat and cushion the dire impacts of climate change. 

This was the view of President Mohammadu Buhari at the summit on climate change in New York at the weekend.

He said, “As we approach Paris, the Nigerian position which reflects the African consensus, is that a legally binding universal instrument will be beneficial to all State Parties. In Nigeria, we have seen extreme weather variations, rising sea levels, encroaching desertification, excessive rainfall, erosion and floods, land degradation – all of which threaten the ecosystem.”

According to him, these developments have devastating human costs and are affecting food security, livelihoods and the very survival of our people.

The president explains that the world is experiencing new and unusual climate variability due to increased emissions of Greenhouse Gases, adding, “Even though Africa contributes very little to global warming, the socio-economic consequences of climate change spare no nation. The burden is just as overwhelming for developing countries.”

To address these negative effects, President Buhari stated that the government had developed a National Policy to guide Nigeria’s response to Climate Change. “Our response is broadly based on the twin strategy of Mitigation and Adaptation,” he added.

“As a Party to the Climate Change Convention and its Protocol, Nigeria is strongly committed to the adoption of a legally binding universal agreement to mitigate climate change. We commend the countries that have announced their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) ahead of the October 2015 deadline. These contributions will go a long way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. The INDCs will serve as a yardstick for measuring the commitment of parties to the Framework Convention.

In addition we must prioritize the means of implementing the INDCs, in terms of finance, technology and capacity building, especially in supporting developing countries, including those in Africa. This is fundamental to ensuring that collective action to combat climate change is indeed, collaborative and effective in the long run.