Nigeria glad US back to climate change agenda

Supreme Desk
19 Oct 2021 11:35 AM GMT
Nigeria glad US back to climate change agenda
...President Joe Biden’s administration announced the restoration of US’s commitments to the Paris Agreement.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says Nigeria was delighted that the US was fully back on the global climate change agenda. Osinbajo's spokesman, Laolu Akande, said in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja that the vice president said this when he received, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, a US government delegation led by the White House Deputy National Security Advisor, Mr Jonathan Finer.

The vice president said the move was a commendable restoration of the US government's support for the Paris Agreement. Osinbajo said Nigeria are happy that the US is fully on board with climate change and back to the table on the issue. He think it good to commend the drive that the US administration has put behind climate change.

Four years ago, President Donald Trump's administration had announced US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change. But, on assumption to power earlier this year, President Joe Biden's administration announced the restoration of US's commitments to the Paris Agreement.

Osinbajo reaffirmed Nigeria's position regarding a just transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, ahead of the Net-zero Emissions 2050 target, saying that Nigeria's Energy Transition Plan was the first in Africa. Its a concern, amongst other things, first about some of what is going on, especially around gas as an effective transition fuel, and how many the Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and some countries that insist gas projects should be defunded.

This is a principal concern to the nation; it is one that they have made central to the advocacy and it is one of the issues that they intend to promote at the COP26. They have done the costing and all of what is required to hit net-zero by 2050. Also, consider the implications, given the constraints, and how realistic it would be to reach net-zero by 2050 or not.

On the Democracy Summit which President Biden would be hosting later in the year, Osinbajo said that Nigeria looked forward to participating at the summit. The vice president harped on the need to discourage illicit financial flows, adding that "the international monetary and financial systems have a role in stopping it.

He added that looking at what happened in the last few years, they have received quite a bit of support from the US government, especially in terms of the repatriation of several of the looted funds, and they hope to continue to get the cooperation of the US. He also spoke on the nation's security concerns in relation to the activities of ISWAP and ISIS.

Osinbajo recognised the role of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS (D-ISIS) as a very important initiative in sending the right signals, especially in Iraq and Syria. He further said that with present situation in certain regions like the Lake Chad and the Sahel, it is very apparent that such kind of resolve is needed to deal with ISWAP and Boko Haram in Nigeria.

The vice president expressed the Federal Government's gratitude to the US government for donating over 3.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria. Earlier, Finer had informed Osinbajo of a potential partnership with Nigeria on a G-7 Infrastructure Programme, 'Build Back Better World', which the US President had made a priority. It involves bringing together a range of funding sources, development finance and the private sector, to work with key partner-countries to develop their infrastructure and fill the gap between infrastructure needs and the current state of infrastructure.

The American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, the Nigeria's National Security Advisor, Maj.- Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) and other US and Nigerian senior government officials also attended the meeting.

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