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Private sector investment can bridge Nigeria’s climate finance gap, says minister

Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, Mr. Mohammed Abdullahi, on Thursday, January 19, 2023, said that bridging the climate finance gap could only be achieved by the investment of the private sector.

Mohammed Abdullahi
Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi

Abdullahi also stated that opportunities to expand national climate finance space have been made possible through the enactment of the Climate Change Act and establishment of its Council.

The minister made these assertions in Abuja during the 2nd anniversary lecture of NatureNews Africa, a publication devoted to environment issues, and presentation of the Hero of Environment Actions for Development (HEAD) awards in Abuja.

Abdullahi said that the establishment of the Climate Change Act and its Council provides for the establishment of a carbon market which will ensure private sector engagement alongside climate action.

The minister said that financial support is critical to build resilience and accessing international climate finance has been a task facing a lot of developing countries including Nigeria.

Speaking on Nigeria’s commitment to climate change mitigation, he said, “The current global climate finance architecture is able to operate efficiently.

“Nigeria took a bold step of finance climate compatibility development to the collaborations within the Environment Ministry and other systems of government and the capital market to issue sub-Saharan Africa’s first ever green bonds in 2017 and in 2018.

“As at 2019-2020, private sector investment accounts for 23 per cent total climate finance committed. Bridging the Nigeria climate finance gap can only be achieved by the involvement of private sector,” Abdullahi said.

Citing the coming COP28’s President-designate, Dr Sultan Al Jaber’s recent statement on climate change, the Minister said that Al Jaber acknowledged recently that the world is way off the Paris Agreement roadmap to 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature goal.

Abdullahi added that the world would require at least a recapitalisation of additional $14 million by 2025 for the global south to return on track.

“That is a huge challenge financially. We have realised that resilience to negative impact of climate change is beyond preparing or overcoming, coupled with erratic weather presentations and increase damaged infrastructure.

“We need as a matter of urgency to fortify our socio economic systems.

“A climate finance landscape study done for Nigeria in 2019-2020 shows that an average of $1.9 billion per year of public and private capital was invested in climate education activities in Nigeria,” he said.

Abdullahi said this was only 11 per cent of the estimated $17.7 billion.

“There is obviously investment opportunities to expand national climate finance space with the new establishment of the Climate Change Act in 2021 and its Council which provides for establishing a carbon market.

“This will ensure private sector engagement alongside climate action,” the Minister said.

He urged the management of NatureNews Africa to continue in their efforts towards climate change mitigation through development and solutions journalism.

“It is important that forum such as this will facilitate discussions on policy makers and public financiers, identify gaps and opportunities for scaling climate finance gaps in Nigeria.

“The policy framework for climate mitigation and resilience building is currently work in progress.

“However, to deliver sustainable economic growth, there is a big interest in climate finance struggle, financial and domestic that will enable equitable access, national ownership, effective management and monitoring,” Abdullahi said.

By Abigael Joshua

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