President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in New York, United States of America (USA) announced strategic plans by his administration to reverse the negative effects of climate change in Nigeria.
In his address to the United Nations (UN) Climate Action Summit with the theme: "A Race We Can Win; A Race We Must Win," Buhari said that he shared the sentiment expressed by the secretary-general that the world was on the verge of climate catastrophe.
Buhari stated that "undeniably, climate change is a human-induced phenomenon."
According to him, "it is now imperative that we must step up our collective climate actions in line with the request of the secretary-general. It is in this regard that I wish to reiterate Nigeria's commitment to its obligation under the Paris Agreement, the aspirations enshrined in our Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and ensure a resilient future that mainstreams climate risks in our decision making."
The president announced that the Nigerian government would develop a more robust sectorial action plan and expand the scope of "our Sovereign Green Bonds in line with our intended upward review of Nigeria's NDC's towards the inclusion of the water and waste sectors by 2020."
In the water sector, he said that Nigeria would issue a Green Bond for irrigation and construct multi-purpose dams for power, irrigation and water supply.
Buhari further pledged that his administration would strengthen solid and liquid waste management systems to attract more private sector investors.
President Buhari added that "we will take concrete steps to harness climate innovative ideas by including youths in the decision-making processes as part of our overall climate governance architecture. We will mobilise Nigerian youths towards planting 25 million trees to enhance the country's carbon sink."
In the energy sector, Nigeria is at present diversifying its energy sources from dependence on gas-powered system to hydro, solar, wind, biomass and nuclear sources. Specifically, Nigeria is progressively working to realise 30 per cent energy efficiency and renewable energy mix by 2030. This is envisaged to lead to 179 million tonnes of carbon dioxide reduction per annum by 2030, he said.
Buhari also told the UN summit that his administration would develop a shelter belt in 11 states of the federation spanning a distance of 1,500 km and 15km across the Great Green Wall initiative.
Furthermore, he said that the federal government had commenced the implementation of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Programme in Ogoniland to recover the carbon sink potential of the mangrove ecosystem of 1,000 square kilometres polluted site in the affected area.
"I should also inform the summit that our government has introduced Climate Smart Agricultural Practices to unlock 74 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum through relevant technologies, advocacy and best practices.
"As you are aware, the Lake Chad Basin, which used to be a region of productivity, food security and wealth for an estimated 40 million citizens living around the Chad Basin, has shrunk significantly from its original size due to climate xhange.
"We will continue to lead in efforts to have solid partnerships for the ecological restoration and recharge of the lake. We are confident that this would improve the living conditions of the diverse nationals living in the area, promote inter-state cooperation, strengthen community resilience, as well as assist in addressing the environmental and security crisis that threaten the region, its resources and inhabitants.
"Finally, permit me to add that the 40 million citizens in the Lake Chad area expect this summit to take into consideration their concerns. They anticipate that the outcomes of this meeting would include solutions to address the climate change impact in the Lake Chad area.
"I am glad that the secretary-general and some of the member states represented in this hall are partnering with us in this endeavour. We thank them for their cooperation and I look forward to deepening our partnership," Buhari said.