By Maureen Okon
The 2021 Conference of Parties (COP26) summit aims to protect and restore nature while following the best available science on climate change, says Catriona Laing, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria.
Represented by Ben Llewellyn-Jones, the Deputy High Commissioner at the Commission, Laing told a press conference of the UK’s ambitions for COP26 and what the UK expected to achieve in the summit.
NAN reports that the COP26 is the next annual United Nations (UN) climate change conference expected to be attended by the countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a treaty that came into force in 1994.
This year’s event billed for Glasgow, Scotland, would be jointly hosted by the UK and Italian governments from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12, 2021.
Laing said that the summit, which was expected to be supported by all world leaders and delegations, had four clear goals to achieve including, “to secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.
”To adapt our behaviour to protect communities and natural habitats; and mobilise finance-developed countries to make good on their promise to mobilise at least $100 billion in climate finance per year.
“Lastly, to work together to deliver and finalise the Paris Rulebook (the detailed rules that make the Paris Agreement operational), and accelerate action to tackle the climate crisis, through collaboration between governments, businesses and civil society.”
She added that the outcome of the negotiations at COP26 should protect and restore nature, follow the best available science and empower inclusive action.
While welcoming the leadership shown by President Muhammadu Buhari and his team, led by the Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, the British envoy said:
“We look forward to seeing an effective implementation strategy for Nigeria’s revised Nationally Determined Contribution that will address the mitigation gap with the UK and other development partners support to:.
“Ensure de-carbonisation of the power sector (for example, finding solutions for the stalled on grid power plants) and staying the course on power sector reforms including cost-reflective tariffs, reduction of grid transmission and distribution losses and removal of fuel subsidies.
“Creation of the enabling environment to boost off grid solar energy at scale (for example, by removing customs and VAT duties on solar energy for domestic use).
“Others are an end to gas flaring. Agricultural reforms and adoption of climate smart agro-forestry, to help Nigeria’s agricultural sector and many more,’ she said.
Also speaking, the Minister of state for Environment Mrs Ikeazor stated that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCCC) had warned that the temperature of the Earth was rising and the world was in ‘Code Red’.
“We have gotten to this point because of fossil fuel emissions caused by human activities which has increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions thereby driving up temperatures.
“Climate change will transform the way we live, causing water shortages and making it harder to produce food. Some regions could become dangerously hot and others uninhabitable because of rising sea levels.
“Extreme weather events such as, heatwaves, downpours and storms, will become more frequent and intense, threatening lives and livelihoods, and people in poorer countries, who are the least able to adapt will suffer most.
“COP26 provides an opportunity to build back better and stronger , particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic. It will provide an opportunity to build a more resilient future.
“One of the goals of COP26 is adaptation, which should be the focus of developing countries such as Nigeria, greatly affected by climate change impacts. Africa as a whole only contributes about 4 per cent to global emissions,” she said.
She noted that in adapting to climate change, Nigeria had developed a NAP Framework (2020) aimed at building a framework for adaptation planning and governance for the country.
“Nigeria recently developed an Adaptation Communication (2020) aimed at highlighting adaptation activities and efforts in the country, in addition to receiving Readiness Support from the Green Climate Fund to advance its National Adaptation Plan process.
“Nigeria’s achievement prior to COP26 is the revised National Policy on Climate Change (NPCC) approved in June 2020, which will enable us implement mitigation measures and also strengthen adaptation towards a sustainable climate resilient development pathway for Nigeria,” she said. (NAN)