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COP25: Developing nations urged to strengthen pre-COP homework for better outcomes

A youth delegate to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) that held recently in Madrid, Spain, Mr Seyifunmi Adebote, says developing countries need to strengthen their Pre COP homework for better outcomes.

COP25 youth delegates
Seyifunmi Adebote of Nigeria with some other youth delegates at COP25

Adebote, State Coordinator, International Climate Change Development Initiative said this in an interview with the New Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, December 31, 2019.

COP25 is the 25th session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that held from Dec. 2 to Dec. 13 in Madrid.

He said that developing countries such as Nigeria negotiated under the African Group of Climate Change Negotiators (AGN).

“AGN is an alliance of African member states that represents the interests of the region in the international climate change negotiations with a common and unified voice.’’

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He said that the AGN engaged in all COPs and intercessional negotiations and prepared the negotiation text and group positions for endorsement and adoption by ministers during COPs.

“My grounded position is that developing countries like Nigeria which negotiated under an umbrella nomenclature – the African Group of Negotiators – should strengthen her pre-COP homework.

“Waiting for ambitious outcomes from global negotiations is good but may take forever and even the United Nations is gradually understanding this.”

Adebote, an environmentalist, said many people tagged COP25 as a failure even people who knew nothing about COP processes, climate change and international negotiations.

“Truth be told, we must agree that COP25 did not yield the desired outcomes, especially in the favour of developing countries and sustainability-focused businesses.

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“That is sad enough. We cannot go back to the past, the earlier we understand that, we will be doing ourselves a lot of good if we chart a course forward, the better.”

He said that, in preparation for COP26 scheduled to hold in Glasgow, UK in November 2020, Nigeria needed to better coordinate and educate its delegates on best individual practices for the good of the country.

Adebote said negotiators should spearhead pre-COP meetings organised by the Federal Ministry of Environment to properly consult the public on how best to approach the theme at the continental or global negotiations.

He listed some of the goals he was able to achieve as a youth delegate to COP25 to include getting Nigeria’s Minister of State for Environment to share publicly her plans for climate action in Nigeria at a bilateral meeting and he co-organised on the platform of YOUNGO (UNFCCC’s youth constituency).

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Other goals include getting multilateral and bilateral funding agencies to share with over 50 youths from the African continent insights on why youths have been unable to access climate funds.

“Also being able to secure partnership with the University of Connecticut to produce climate education materials for primary and secondary schools in Nigeria was equally exciting.”

By Okeoghene Akubuike

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