Nigerian government’s commitment to Paris Agreement ‘almost zero’ – Environmentalist

Despite the Nigerian government’s signing of the Paris Agreement, the country has not shown a commitment to tackle climate change, Godwin Ojo, an environmentalist has said.

Speaking at a public presentation of a book ‘Nigeria Beyond Oil: Pathway to a Post-Petroleum Economy’ in Lagos, Tuesday, Mr. Ojo said oil dependency has continued to contribute to climate change and destruction of lives and rural livelihoods.

“Beyond rhetoric, Nigeria’s commitment to the Paris Agreement is almost zero,” said Mr. Ojo, the Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria.

“What do we have on ground that will reduce carbon emission?”

“Gas flaring in the Niger delta region has continued unabated with the government recently shifting the deadline to end it to 2030. This is absolute foolery, after about two dozen shifts. I think that is a serious retrogression and a direct slap on the people of the Niger Delta.”

President Muhammadu Buhari last September signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, committing Nigeria to reducing Green House Gas emissions unconditionally by 20 per cent and conditionally by 45 per cent in line with Nationally Determined Conditions.

The Paris Agreement, reached in December 2015 among 195 countries, entered into force on November 4, marking the first time governments agreed to legally binding limits to global temperature rises.

At the 22nd session of the Conference of Parties (COP 22) last November in Marrakech, Morocco, ten climate finance-related decisions, including a guidance to the Green Climate Fund, were adopted to provide guidance to the operating entities of the UN Framework on Climate Change Convention’s Financial Mechanism.

But Mr. Ojo said the Nigerian contingent went to COP 22 to “plan for another COP.”

“There is nothing on ground to show Nigeria’s commitment to discharging its duties on carbon emissions,” Mr. Ojo said.

“Civil society organisations must evaluate the COP process to see if we can work within the planetary boundaries  that will bring about the change that will keep temperatures below two degree Celsius.

“The COP process has reached a crossroads and there is doubt whether it is capable of reducing global temperature. We have seen the promotion of trade in carbon; solutions that are monetized will hardly work.”

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Ben Ezeamalu is an Assistant Managing Editor and the Head of Lagos Operations/Metro Editor at PREMIUM TIMES. A graduate of Microbiology from the University of Jos, Ben won the 2015 Africa Fact-Check Awards and was a runner-up in the 2014 CNN/Multichoice African Journalists of the Year.

Twitter: @callmebenfigo.

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