UN seeks green transition, enhances resilience to climate change

Nigel Topping, the United Nations High-Level Champion for COP26, has called Nigeria’s attention to the need for green transition and enhanced resilience to climate change.

Topping visited Nigeria from the 14th to the 16th of June, to engage with the government on the implementation of national climate change plans including the Nationally Determined Contributions, Energy Transition Plan, and Climate Change Act, and to ramp up ambition toward meeting Nigeria’s net-zero by 2060 goal.

During his visit, he met with top government officials, leading private and financial sector leaders, civil society organisations, and climate change activists across Abuja and Lagos, and discussed the opportunities of a green transition, understanding the challenges and how to overcome them, as well as advance the UK government’s overall effort to boost climate action in Nigeria.

Read also: Building a climate change resilience against rising poverty in Nigeria

Speaking during his visit to Nigeria, Topping lauded Nigeria on its ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions, the Energy Transition Plan presented at COP26 last November, and the subsequent passing of the Climate Change Act.

“The mobilisation of both state and non-state actors – including businesses, academia, and civil society – is essential to improve the investment climate of Nigeria so that the country can in turn attract the right investments that will accelerate the transition into a low-carbon and resilient economy,” Topping said.

Ben Llewellyn-Jones OBE, the British Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, said: “With the UK as the current Presidency of COP and following the historic COP26 event held in Glasgow last November, and ahead of COP27 in Egypt later this year, it was important for us to have Nigel Topping here in Nigeria.”

Llewellyn-Jones said that Topping’s visit was a timely reminder for all about how hard the UK is continuing to work around the world with partners, like Nigeria, to ensure that every effort is made to deliver on and bring into effect the commitments made to tackle Climate Change.

In Nigeria, Topping visited the Nile University, Abuja, where he engaged with young students on climate ambition and renewable energy.

He also toured two project sites in Lagos – PriVida Project, a UK renewable energy business, founded in 2013 to facilitate renewable technology transfer from developed countries to Africa thereby reducing carbon emissions significantly; and EKO Atlantic, to understand what the Lagos State Government is doing to improve climate resilience, including with support from UK Aid programmes.

Nigel Topping was appointed the UK Government’s High-Level Climate Champion for COP 26 in January 2020, to help drive action from businesses, investors, organisations, cities, and regions on climate change and coordinate this work with governments and parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

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