Worried by the challenges posed by climate change in the country and the world at large, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), organised 2nd national conference on climate change in Abuja, to jaw jaw on the need for sustainable climate finance for Nigeria.
Speaking on what necessitated the event tagged; “Creating Agenda for Sustainable Climate Finance for Nigeria”, Ogunlade Olamide Matins, Program Manager of CAPPA, expressed worry that the impact of climate change on Nigeria’s environmental and socio-economic systems is compounding the country’s fragility risk and reducing with speed the survival limit of its people.
“At USD 663 million in 2019/2020, adaptation finance in Nigeria is not consistent with the extent of the country’s vulnerability to climate change.
“Concessional debt is predominantly used to channel climate finance at 46% in Nigeria, followed by non-concessional debt at 25%. Grant- and equity-based finance currently play a relatively minimal role in Nigeria’s climate finance ecosystem, at 5% and 12% respectively.
“Currently, adaptation finance in Nigeria put at about 90% is financed via debt which raises questions in terms of debt sustainability, especially as the frequency of climate shocks increases.
“With GHG emissions rising continually since 2009 – the third highest in Africa, after the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa (Climate-Watch, 2019), Now is the time to initiate measures that will prevent carbon lock-in.
“Luckily, the country after COP26 passed its National Climate Change Act with clear mandates to coordinate the implementation of sectoral targets, initiate guidelines for the regulation of GHG, and drive decarbonization efforts, facilitate robust climate adaptation and disaster risk management measures among others. But two years later, the story is the same.”
On his part, Akinbode Oluwafemi, Executive Director of CAPPA, equally expressed worry that days after the African Climate Summit in Kenya, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) cautioned that about 178 local government areas (LGAS) in 32 of the 36 states in Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory fall within the highly probable flood risk areas.
“According to the agency, more than 830 kilometres of coastline areas and communities in Nigeria are increasingly threatened by floods, erosion, water, and air pollution. Communities in the Niger Delta states bordering the Atlantic Ocean have lost or fear losing their homes and farmlands due to the eroding bedrock shielding the shoreline.
“In the Northern part of Nigeria, desertification is encroaching on arable lands, affecting roughly 580,841 square kilometers out of 927,892 square kilometers, with approximately 62 million Nigerians now directly or indirectly impacted. Climatic fluctuations, deforestation, extensive cultivation, overgrazing, marginal land use, bushfires, firewood harvesting, faulty irrigation systems, and urbanization have all been identified as major contributing factors to this phenomenon.”
He said climate finance in Nigeria has relied exclusively on concessional debt which is about 46% and non-concessional debt at 25%. Grant and equity-based finance currently play a relatively minimal role in Nigeria’s climate finance ecosystem, at 5% and 12% respectively.
“Nigeria’s climate finance is not yet reflective of the country’s vulnerability. Efforts in adaptation and mitigation are yet to be scaled up significantly to embrace our realities. Nigeria like every other country in sub-Saharan Africa is classed as a vulnerable country considering its exposure to climate risks. The effects of climate change are set to accelerate over the coming years unless progressive climate finance and a well-structured loss and damage funding mechanism are institutionalized and appropriately managed. There is undoubtedly a need to create a new source of finance that will address climate risks and arrest emission upsurge.
“It is on this basis that the theme of this year’s conference tagged Creating a Sustainable Climate Finance for Nigeria was carefully decided as it not only affirms the threats of climate change to our collective survival but also reiterates the need for urgent action to curtail what experts have referred to as an existential crisis.”
While presenting his keynote address on loss and damage and the quest for sustainable climate finance mechanism, Professor Olanrewaju .A. Fagbohun, a Professor of Environmental Law, said that the way out may be to evolve a new financing mechanism that is responsive to the need of developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. “Whichever of the options is adopted must be coupled with clear guidelines on meaningful public participation that is inclusive of all critical stakeholders in decision-making, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. There must also be effective access to information.”
He added that the global climate change governance regime as it stands today has not been sufficiently effective. “It is bedeviled with contradictions and inequitable conditions of the international system. If the resolutions of COP27 regarding loss and damage are to achieve their goals for the UNFCCC and Paris Agreements, African countries, on their part, must be ready to stand as one to assert their joint position. This is the way to revolutionize Africa’s traditional approach at global negotiations.”
On his part, the Deputy Director, Department of Climate Change, Ministry of Environment, Mr Jonah. D. Barde, who represented the minister, said “We must explore avenues for mobilizing financial resources to implement mitigation an adaptation measures.
“These resources should be directed towards projects that not only reduce our carbon footprint but also enhance the resilience of our communities and ecosystems”.
He said the Nigerian government is fully committed to addressing climate change and promoting sustainable climate finance.
“Also, working towards our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the global climate goals set out in the Paris Agreement. As we strive to meet these targets, we need the support and active involvement of all stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society organizations, and the international community.”