Buhari now global climate action leader, champion – APC group

A voluntary think-tank group of the All Progressives Congress, known as APC Legacy Awareness and Campaign (APC-LAC) has said that President Muhammadu Buhari, is now recognised as a global climate action leader and champion due to his commitment to climate change.

The group said ambitious and impactful climate action will no doubt be one of the many positive legacies of the Buhari administration.

Reacting to the just-concluded Climate Change Conference (COP26) through a statement signed by leaders of the group; Barr. Ismail Ahmed, Mr. Lanre Issa-Onilu, Mr. Tolu Ogunlesi and Mr. Salihu Moh. Lukman, Wednesday in Abuja, the APC chieftains said the country under Buhari administration has demonstrated strong commitment towards tackling climate change.

“The APC Legacy Awareness and Campaign, a voluntary think-tank group of the governing party, can report that NDC outlines a target of 20 percent unconditional reduction of Nigeria’s carbon emissions and 45 percent conditional reduction, by 2030, with the support of the international community. 

“It aims to achieve this through such efforts as investment in renewable energy, massive afforestation campaign, elimination of gas flaring, clean cooking as a replacement for firewood, climate-smart agriculture, and so on. 

“Since then, the country has demonstrated strong commitment towards tackling climate change. In 2017, Nigeria became the first African country and the third country in the world to issue a Sovereign Green Bond, worth N10.69 billion, and followed up in 2019 with a second Sovereign Green Bond, worth N15 billion. 

“Pulling this pioneering effort off required a public-private coalition that brought together the Ministries of Finance and Environment, the Budget Office, the Debt Management Office, Development Finance Institutions, Capital Market Operators, and other stakeholders. 

“Fast-forward to 2021, and the world has unequivocally recognised President Buhari as a global climate action leader and champion. His engagements and pronouncements at the Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, as well as testimonials such as that from American billionaire Jeff Bezos (whose “Earth Fund” has set aside $10 billion to support projects tackling climate change) attest to this. 

“Also, in the lead-up to the Conference, TIME Magazine acknowledged Nigeria’s place in the climate action movement with a feature of President Buhari on its cover for November 8/15, 2021.”

According to the statement, the 2022 federal budget, currently being considered by the National Assembly, is the first “climate-responsive” budget in the history of the country. 

“Already, since 2020, the Federal Government launched a ‘Solar Power Naija’ project, being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), and which will electrify 5 million households and 25 million Nigerians, using off-grid solar power. The Solar Power Naija project will support the creation of a quarter of a million jobs in the energy sector alone. 

“In July and October 2021 respectively, the Nigerian House of Representatives and Senate passed the Climate Change Bill, which will provide a much-needed legal framework for Nigeria’s efforts to decisively tackle climate change. Also this year, President Buhari approved the country’s Revised National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) (2021-2030) as well as National Climate Change Programmes.

“The President indeed takes Nigeria’s commitments under the Paris Agreement very seriously. On May 27, 2021, Nigeria formally submitted the Interim Report on its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The report shows that Nigeria is well on course to meet its NDC targets. 

“As Chairman of the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), President Buhari has been a strident advocate for the recharging of the Lake, which has shrunk significantly in the last five decades, due to the effects of climate change. Nigeria is also now getting set to assume the leadership of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Pan African Agency of the Great Green Wall.

“In recent months, the President and the Vice President have consistently spoken out on the need for a developing country like Nigeria to be allowed a gas-based energy transition, considering that gas is a relatively cleaner fuel than petrol and diesel, and that the country has abundant reserves of gas, which would go a long way towards powering industrialization and economic growth. Gas can power homes, industry.

“Ambitious and impactful climate action will no doubt be one of the many positive legacies of the Buhari Administration. At the just-concluded Climate Change Conference (COP26), President Buhari underscored Nigeria’s commitment.”