Record flood intensifies Nigeria’s push for climate compensation

Nigeria has joined other developing countries to intensify the push for climate change compensation from developed countries after recording its worst flooding in decades.

Delegates from about 200 countries kicked off the UNFCC Climate Change summit on Sunday in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt with an agreement to compensate developing countries most vulnerable to climate change.

But for several years, developed countries have often resisted such calls for loss and damage – a term used to describe the compensation from rich countries to help poor nations cope with the impact of global warming.

Mohammed Abdullahi, minister of Environment and head of the country’s delegation, expressed high optimism that the expectations of Nigeria and Africa at COP 27 will be achieved as issues that are of concern to them are already on the front burner of the agenda for discussions.

Read also: Flood victims face loss of claims on underinsurance, ignorance

“We are focused on ensuring that we bring the issue of loss and damage to the fore, and we are already making progress in this regard,” Abdullahi said.

“Flood related issue with particular reference to Nigeria and Pakistan amongst other nations was highlighted as one of the key issue on the agenda for discussion, already the issues of flood is linked to loss and damage and that is of priority to us as a nation.”

He added that the Nigeria delegation would also focus on the African carbon market initiative as it tries to kick-start the framework for carbon trading.

He noted that similar attention would be given to the debt for climate swap aimed to call the attention of developed countries on the impact of their industrialisation on the developing countries and the need for them to mitigate the impact on Africa and Nigeria in particular.

“Nigeria as the leader of the PAN African Agency for the Great Green Wall will focus on climate finance to support its activities in the Sahel Region, particularly in the most endemic Northern states described as the front line states,” he said.

He said the Sahel Region is fast approaching desert encroachment and wetlands are drying up, noting that these and others are huge issues that the country will focus on.

Speaking on unfulfilled promises made to the developing countries by the developed countries during past COPs the Minister stated that Nigeria will not take its own approach but will align its position with the African agenda that was agreed upon at the Dakar meeting.

Abdullahi assured Nigerians that he and his team of negotiators will return to the country with a strong, dependable, and bankable commitment from the development partners.

“We have secured the assurance of Damilola Ogunbiyi, Head of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for all, who is also a Nigerian that there is a window of about 400 million dollars to support Africa’s carbon market initiative, we are beginning to record achievements even before we started.”

Also, Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s foreign minister and president of COP27 said for the first time since the UN climate convention parties agreed to introduce loss and damage funding as an agenda item at COP27.

“The inclusion of this agenda reflects a sense of solidarity for the victims of climate disasters,” Shoukry said at the opening plenary.

“The delegates would aim to reach a conclusive decision on loss and damage “no later than 2024,” he said.

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