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Minister speaks for President Tinubu at COP28

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Development challenges and climate change must be addressed together.

Nigeria commitment to the global fight against Climate Change remains steadfast, according to Balarabe Lawal, the Minister of Environment. During his address on behalf of President Bola Tinubu, Lawal emphasised that with a population exceeding 200 million, Nigeria encounters the dual challenge of development as well as climate change. According to his statement, failure awaits both issues if only one challenge is addressed, emphasising the need for Nigeria to receive significant investments in tackling both aspects. Additionally, he highlighted the importance of utilising gas as a transitional fuel alongside the promotion and development of Renewable Energy sources.

Also, he acknowledges the immense responsibility of overseeing a populous country. Recognising the necessity of addressing both advancements and environmental shifts, he asserts that neglecting either would lead to failure in both endeavours. Consequently, despite the uphill struggles, the nation remains committed to combat this shared threat actively. In line with the country’s goal of a gas-dominated era, their focus lies in transitioning away from oil, coal, and wood towards utilising environmentally friendly gas. They aim to secure substantial funding not only for this transition but also for the development of renewable energy sources.

More investments are needed in the country to ensure a successful future.

He emphasised the significance of attracting investments to secure a prosperous future for Nigeria. Drawing attention to the potential expansion of the green wall and the reinforcement of water and flood management efforts, he underscored the importance of these initiatives. Moreover, he predicted a substantial rise in agricultural output and a guarantee of Food Security. Illuminating NNPC Limited’s achievements, he showcased their pioneering role as Africa’s first national oil company to support the Global Oil Initiative.

Tapping into the boundless renewable energy sources within the nation holds promising prospects for achieving sustainable progress. It necessitates a resolute and fruitful partnership to unleash these valuable resources, which can bring benefits not only to the inhabitants but also to the entire planet. Elaborating further, the president emphasised that confining Nigerians, as well as other developing nations, solely to road transportation would be unjust; he insisted that any lasting resolution must be founded upon mutual fairness and collaboration.

Developed nations must take on larger responsibilities.

In addition, he stated that it is unfair to expect developing economies to shoulder an excessive portion of the responsibility, and for a sustainable climate change solution to be effective, it must not replicate the unequal distribution of wealth and influence that characterises the current global economic system. According to him, the affluent and influential cannot persist in their unrestricted actions while underprivileged nations bear the burden, as he believes it is the responsibility of those who gain the most from the existing system to contribute the greatest efforts towards rectifying the environmental damages we presently face.

The importance of fulfilling promises made by developing nations in terms of offering necessary Technology and financial aid should be emphasised, as it is equally crucial for these nations to pledge their commitment towards transitioning to cleaner energy sources. Furthermore, there is a strong call for dedication to honoring publicly announced commitments, such as the implementation of a functional loss and damage fund and the establishment of a measurable worldwide objective for adaptation. By prioritising these actions, greater sustainable opportunities can be fostered.

Equality and fairness must be promoted within the international economy.

Lastly, to create a better world for all, he urged global leaders to rectify past injustices by promoting equality and fairness within the international Economy. By doing so, not only can they potentially preserve the planet but also enhance it as a more harmonious home for every inhabitant. Tinubu’s responsibility was to present the national statement on December 2. In Expo City, Dubai, the president was physically present at the conference center; nevertheless, when it was time for other global leaders to deliver their statements, he was unable to do so.


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