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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Nigeria, France pledge to strengthen cooperation on climate action

The Federal Government and the French Development Agency or Agence Française de Dévelopment (AFD) have reiterated commitment to strengthen their cooperation to promote climate action and the low carbon economic development in Nigeria.

Sharon Ikeazor
L-R: Country Director of the French Development Agency, Mr. Xavier Muron; Minister of State for the Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor; and National Project leader for DDP Nigeria and Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Development (CCCD) at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State, Professor Chukwumerije Okereke

This agreement was reached when the new Country Director of AFD, Mr. Xavier Muron, paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of State for the Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, at her office in Abuja. 

Mr. Muron said the visit was to discuss AFD strategies and priorities for climate action in Nigeria, especially based on the just concluded COP26 and the commitment of Nigeria in this regard.

He also said the meeting was intended to provide an opportunity to discuss the upcoming launch of the Nigeria Deep Decarbonisation Project (DDP Nigeria) scheduled to hold in Abuja on Friday, December 17, 2021.

The country Director noted that AFD was already funding and collaborating with the Ministry on several high-impact projects in the areas of waste management, biodiversity conservation, urban development, power transmission, and off-grid capacity development. Some of these, he said, are already ongoing while some are in the pipeline.

Mr. Muron said he was especially excited about the Nigeria Deep Decarbonisation Project which is a national research and capacity building project for the implementation of a Deep Decarbonisation Pathway Programme (DDPP) in Nigeria funded by the AFD with the International Relation and Sustainable Development Institute (IDDRI) as the Programme Coordinator.

The project is done in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment under a framework established through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Federal Government and the AFD signed in December 2020.

The key objective of the DPP Nigeria is to mobilise and reinforce the capacities of local teams of experts and researchers in Nigeria to be able to produce country studies analysing decarbonisation scenarios and low-emission development pathways.

DDP is being led by the Centre of Climate Change and Development (CCCD) at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State, with researchers from several universities across the country participating as Research Fellows.

The National Project leader for DDP Nigeria, Professor Chukwumerije Okereke, who is the Director of the CCCD, said he was excited that the DDP Nigeria would build the capacity of Nigeria to develop scenarios to produce robust quantitative models that can help guide Nigeria’s long term low emission development.

Responding, the Minister of State thanked the AFD for their visit and for both their current and pipeline of funded projects to help Nigeria tackle climate change and related environmental challenges.

She said the Ministry is determined to tackle the myriads of challenges posed by climate change with the support of both national and international cooperation.

She said it was evident through the ambitious NDC recently submitted by Nigeria that drastic measures are required in the areas of climate mitigation as well as efforts to enhance the adaptive capacity of Nigeria to protect the country from the negative impact of climate change.

Ikeazor said the ministry is fully aware of the imperative of energy transition for the country and is already working in close collaboration with other relevant ministries and agencies to facilitate the financing and implementation of the Energy Transition Plan of the government.

The Minister noted that while the production of country studies analysing pathways for low-emission development strategies for Nigeria has always been a critical component of the national climate policy, generating context-relevant long term climate scenarios and modeling for Nigeria has become even more imperative in the light of the newly submitted NDC and the net zero carbon pledge made by the President at COP26 in Glasgow.

The Minister expressed optimism that the analysis that would be done under the Nigerian Deep Decarbonisation project will complement the scenarios of work done in the Energy Transition Plan so that the country will have a rich menu of options for pursuing her decarbonisation agenda with a clear understanding of the implications the various decarbonisation options and pathways.

She said she was looking forward to hosting the participants in the launch to present the DDP project to the larger community of stakeholders to ensure wider project ownership as well as to begin the conversation on the scenarios and modeling options that can help Nigeria achieve her stated long-term climate objectives including the goal of net-zero emission by 2060.

Ikeazor announced the commitment of Nigeria to achieve the goal of net-zero emission by 2060 that a Federal Executive Council memo is being prepared for a sustainable National Energy Transition Plan for the country.

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