By Danladi Al-Hassan
President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that the Federal Government will mobilise Nigerian youths to plant 25 million trees to in order to enhance the country’s carbon sink, and combat climate change.
Buhari, at the Climate Action Summit at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Monday, said the government will include youth in the climate decision-making process.
“I want to announce that the Government of Nigeria will develop a more robust sectorial action plan, and expand the scope of our Sovereign Green Bonds in line with our intended upward review of Nigeria’s NDC’s towards the inclusion of the water and waste sectors by 2020,” said Buhari.
Buhari was on the same panel as Josaia Bainimarama, Fiji Prime Minister; Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of Netherlands; Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England; and John Haley, CEO Willis Towers Watson.
“In the water sector, Nigeria will issue a Green Bond for irrigation and construct multi-purpose dams for power, irrigation and water supply. We will strengthen solid and liquid waste management systems to attract more private sector investors.
“We will take concrete steps to harness climate innovative ideas by including youths in decision-making processes as part of our over-all climate governance architecture. We will mobilize Nigerian youths towards planting 25 million trees to enhance Nigeria’s carbon sink.
“In the energy sector, Nigeria is presently diversifying its energy sources from dependence on gas-powered system to hydro, solar, wind, biomass and nuclear sources.
“Specifically, Nigeria is progressively working to realize 30 percent energy efficiency and renewable energy mix by 2030. This is envisaged to lead to 179 million tons of carbon dioxide reduction per annum by 2030.”
“I share the sentiment expressed by the Secretary-General that the world is on the verge of climate catastrophe. Undeniably, Climate Change is a human-induced phenomenon,” Buhari said.
“It is now imperative that we must step-up our collective climate actions in line with the request of the Secretary-General. It is in this regard that I wish to reiterate Nigeria’s commitment to its obligation under the Paris Agreement, the aspirations enshrined in our Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and ensure a resilient future that mainstreams climate risks in our decision making.
“In addition, our Administration intends to develop a shelter belt across 11 States of the Federation spanning a distance of 1,500 km and 15km across through the Great Green Wall initiative.
“Furthermore, the Federal Government has commenced the implementation of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Programme in Ogoniland, to recover the carbon sink potential of the mangrove ecosystem of the one thousand square kilometers (1,000 KM2) polluted site in the affected area.
“I should also inform the summit that our Government has introduced Climate Smart Agricultural Practices to unlock Seventy-Four (74) Million tons of carbon dioxide per annum, through relevant technologies, advocacy and best practices.”
Buhari said Nigeria is leading efforts for recharging Lake Chad Basin.
“The Lake Chad Basin, which used to be a region of productivity, food security and wealth for an estimated 40 million citizens living around the Chad Basin, has shrunk significantly from its original size due to Climate Change”.
“We will continue to lead in efforts to have solid partnerships for the ecological restoration and recharge of the Lake.
“We are confident that this would improve the living conditions of the diverse nationals living in the area, promote inter-state cooperation, strengthen community resilience, as well as assist in addressing the environmental and security crisis that threaten the region, its resources and inhabitants.
“Finally, permit me to add that the forty million citizens in the Lake Chad area expect this Summit to take into consideration their concerns. They anticipate that the outcomes of this meeting would include solutions to address the Climate Change impact in the Lake Chad area.”