Let me stress that environmental issues generally have global ramifications and broadly speaking, no one country, no matter how powerful, can single-handedly cope with the problems linked to the environment. It is for this reason that Nigeria regularly coordinates action at the level of the African Group and also within the framework of the Group of 77 + China.
The African position on the issues discussed at COP18 embodies the Nigerian position and reflects our national interest. The African position itself is derived from the Arusha Declaration on Africa’s Post Rio+20 Strategy for Sustainable Development issued at the end of the meeting of the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) held in Arusha.
The African position touches on three broad issues: the Kyoto Protocol, Long- term Cooperation Action (LCA) and The Durban Platform
Issues under the KP which are important to us include:
- Commencement of the second Commitment Period by 1 January 2013
- The duration of the second commitment period should be five years, that is from 2013 to 2018 to ensure more Green House gases (GHG) mitigation activities from the Annex I parties.
- There must be broad participation of parties in the implementation of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) especially in the trading of certified emission reduction units generated from projects.
- Speedy disbursement of Adaptation Fund to finance adaptation activities in developing countries.
Long-term Cooperative Action (LCA)
Issues being considered under the LCA include adaptation, finance, mitigation and technology transfer.
- Progress has been made in some areas such as adaptation
- Yet, we are emphasizing the importance of food security to Nigeria, therefore agriculture should be treated under adaptation
- Mitigation remains a knotty issue especially with respect to the scale of emission reduction by the Annex I parties. The levels of emission currently on offer by the Annex I parties are simply not enough to reverse the trend of global warming.
- We urge them to demonstrate the political will to have more ambitious levels of emission reduction.
- We call for immediate and adequate contribution to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and development of modalities for its immediate operationalisation.
- We also call for the immediate establishment of institutions such as the Climate Technology Centre that would provide technological support for both adaptation and mitigation.
- Capacity building is also of critical importance in implementing climate change activities.
With respect to Durban Platform Nigeria is negotiated that
- Discussions under the Durban Platform must be focused
- Immediate development of Work Programme of the Ad hoc Working Group on Durban Platform (ADP) should be given attention to avoid unnecessary delay;
- ADP must be made to work in way that will lead to another legally binding instrument in 2015 to address the challenges of climate change
- We need to intensify awareness, education and mobilisation – Media is a significant partner in this endeavour.
- We need more support especially from the legislative arm of Government to institutionalise relevant climate regulations in Nigeria
- More importantly, improve funding is required to undertake activities that will address the challenges of climate change in Nigeria.
Hadiza Mailafia is the Nigerian Environment Minister