President Buhari Receives Commendation from the European Union

The European Union (EU) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for identifying international engagement on climate change as priority for Nigeria during his administration. 

The commendation is contained in a spotlight by Ambassadors of EU, France, Denmark, Germany and Britain to Nigeria, Messrs Michel Arion, Denys Gauer, Torben Gettermann, Michael Zenner and Andrew Pocock. 

In the spotlight entitled “Climate Change: Facing the Future Together”, the ambassadors stated that Nigeria had clear evidence of the need for climate change action. 

The joint spotlight noted that Nigeria was already being confronted by varying degrees of climate change threats and commended the resolve of Buhari to “frontally tackle the challenges.”

 They noted that “encroaching desertification, flooding, coastal erosion and changing weather patterns affect agriculture. There is barely a part of Nigeria which hasn’t been affected by climate change.

 “It is, therefore, gratifying to hear President Buhari identify international engagement on climate change as priority for Nigeria in his inaugural speech. “As one of Africa’s leaders, Nigeria has an opportunity and responsibility to encourage and support African partners in developing a progressive regional position.” 

The European envoys, however, noted that the global engagement would need to be backed up with clear national commitment. 

They said Nigeria was already developing its own national plan and urged the Federal Government to set ambitious, concrete targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

 “We stand ready to assist in any way we can in the development of that plan, and its implementation and monitoring. “As a developing country with an economy dependent on oil, we recognise that addressing climate change in Nigeria will not be easy.” 

The envoys noted Nigeria’s electricity challenges, pointing out that many households and businesses relied on power generators, saying that such was expensive and harmful for the environment. 

They said unchecked oil flaring in the Niger Delta produced massive amounts of carbon-dioxide and waste huge quantities of gas that could be used and tapped to feed power stations. The envoys said adopting renewable energy by Nigeria would be “a win both for greenhouse gas reduction and for economic growth, boosting employment and family incomes.” 

They, however, added that addressing Nigeria’s climate change challenges required hard work and good policies, saying, however, that such might not be achieved without the required support and assistance. The European officials pledged to work with the Buhari administration “to realise ambitious climate change target in Nigeria.

 “EU countries have been working closely with Nigeria on climate change in a range of areas. “These areas range from developing tools to monitor gas flaring and forecast future energy demands to policy advice and renewable energy, agro-forestry and land restoration pilot projects.

 “Through various European and national funding systems, we stand poised to work with the new government to help Nigeria to deliver a response to climate change. “This response will secure the wellbeing of its own citizens, as well as make global impact.” 

They hoped that the agreement that would be reached at the Conference of Parties (COP) 21 on Climate Change in Paris in December would be most important milestone in tackling climate change since the Kyoto Protocol in 1997.

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