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Climate agreement must recognise survival rights of vulnerable persons, says Buhari

Any meaningful and potential agreement on climate change in Paris must draw extensively on the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.

President Muhammadu Buhari addressing leaders at COP 21
President Muhammadu Buhari addressing leaders at COP 21

President Buhari, who made the submission on Monday in Paris at the opening of the UN climate change summit, added that, for any agreement in Paris to be durable, it must recognise not only the emission right but also the survival rights of the citizens of developing countries.

The President, who, shortly before his arrival to Paris approved Nigeria’s Intended National Determined Contributions (INDCs), called on world leaders to forge a united front to save Lake Chad’s ecosystem from further depletion caused by the adverse effects of climate change.

Speaking at the Leaders Event at COP 21, he lamented that climate change has continued to pose a threat to Nigeria’s security and development.

His words: “At the sub-regional level, we are saddled with the challenge of the drying up of the Lake Chad Basin, which is resulting in the total wipe out of livelihoods of many communities surrounding this transboundary natural resource.

“Regrettably, the world is leaving behind millions of people who depend on the Lake for their survival.

“The Government of Nigeria welcomes the Lake Chad Development and Climate Resilience Plan, and the Lake Chad Basin Commission and international partners for designing this climate-based Plan.

“In all, the experience of countries sharing the Lake Chad further illustrates the mutual challenge we face today and which must be collectively addressed without further delay.”

The President also used the occasion of his address to around 150 leaders, who attended the opening ceremony of the summit, to affirm Nigeria’s position of a potential agreement that equitably addresses climate change mitigation and adaptation activities.

He said the potential agreement must make provisions for adequate financing, technology transfer and capacity development in the developing countries.

The President therefore called for the establishment of an effective means of monitoring, reviewing and verification of availability as well as accessibility of funds to the developing countries in order to address the challenges of climate change.

He assured world leaders of Nigeria’s readiness to support a legally binding and all-encompassing Paris Agreement, which must be fair to all.

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