PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has promised that his government will plant 25m trees over the next four years as part of an ambitious programme to enhance the country’s carbon sink and combat climate change.
Speaking at the Climate Action Summit at the United Nations headquarters in New York yesterday, the president said the government will include youth in the climate decision-making process. At the summit, which is holding on the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly, President Buhari, said that his government is taking the issue of reducing green house gases serious.
President Buhari said: “I want to announce that the government of Nigeria will 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 nationally determined contribution (NDC’s) towards the inclusion of the water and waste sectors by 2020. In the water sector, Nigeria will issue a green bond for irrigation and construct multi-purpose dams for power, irrigation and water supply.
“We will strengthen solid and liquid waste management systems to attract more private sector investors. We will take concrete steps to harness climate innovative ideas by including youths in decision-making processes as part of our over-all climate governance architecture and we will mobilise Nigerian youths towards planting 25m trees to enhance Nigeria’s carbon sink.
“In the energy sector, Nigeria is presently 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% energy efficiency and renewable energy mix by 2030 and this is envisaged to lead to 179m tonnes of carbon dioxide reduction per annum by 2030.
“I share the sentiment expressed by the secretary-general that the world is on the verge of a climatic catastrophe. Undeniably, climate change is a human-induced phenomenon and 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 NDC and ensure a resilient future that mainstreams climate risks in our decision making. In addition, our administration intends to develop a shelter belt across 11 States of the federation spanning a distance of 1,500 km and 15km across through the Great Green Wall initiative.
“Furthermore, the federal government has commenced the implementation of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Programme in Ogoniland, to recover the carbon sink potential of the mangrove ecosystem of the one thousand 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 74m tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum, through relevant technologies, advocacy and best practices.”
Speaking about the Lake Chad Basin, President Buhari added: “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.”
President Buhari was on the same panel as Josaia Bainimarama, Fiji’s prime minister; Mark Rutte, the prime minister of the Netherlands; Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England and John Haley, the chief executive of Willis Towers Watson.