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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Africa to sustain economic future by tackling climate change – Minister

Minister of State for Environment and Ecological Management, Dr Iziaq Salako, has said that Africa is determined to deliver a sustainable economic future for Africans by tackling climate change.

Dr Iziaq Salako
Dr Iziaq Salako, Minister of State for Environment

Salako made the assertion at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) in Abuja on Thursday, September 7, 2023, while addressing aviation correspondents.

The minister was returning from Africa Climate Summit (ACS) of high-level African leaders held in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday.

Salako said that addressing climate change would encourage more investment that would advance annual climate finance flows to Africa.

According to him, the summit occurred at a pivotal juncture, offering the region an exclusive stage to spotlight the continent’s priorities, solutions and needs regarding climate action to the global community.

“As a continent, it is critical that climate action spurs socioeconomic development for us. We know that with robust planning and increased investments in the region, this is achievable.

“Africa is already bearing the brunt of a climate crisis it did not cause but our continent, with our significant renewable energy resources, critical minerals, vast carbon sinks, and growing population, can be a strong solution center.

“In Nigeria, we have articulated our unchanging position to advance climate action without jeopardising economic development,” he said.

According to him, the Nigeria has designed an ambitious energy transition plan to achieve universal access to energy by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2060 while prioritising industrialisation, job creation, and economic growth.

He said the nation had started establishing partnerships with both public and private sector players, driving innovative policy changes, advancing renewable energy projects including on-grid solar and electric vehicle deployment.

The minister further said that the nation had started exploring innovative financing mechanisms like carbon trading to lay the foundation for an all-encompassing transition.

According to him, climate action and environmental sustainability are central to achieve food security, poverty eradication, sustainable job creation and security.

Salako said the ACS was organised to position Africa well in its decisions and requests during the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12 at the Expo City, Dubai.

By Gabriel Agbeja

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