Dayo Israel, the national youth leader, of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has tasked the world leaders, especially Europe and America, on the need to show serious commitment to climate funding obligations in Africa if the continent must meet the goals set on emissions and other actions identified to address the problem of the harmful increase in the temperature of the planet.
He issued the challenge during a session at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27) in Egypt, where he interacted with other global representatives, including Western delegates.
Stressing the grave importance of addressing the challenge of climate change to protect the future of young people and achieve sustainable development, Israel lamented a situation where words have replaced action and those primarily responsible for the problem are dragging their feet on making the required investments for meaningful progress.
He added: “Africa, including my home country Nigeria, has contributed so little to this problem but we are left to bear the worst brunt. We are witnessing record droughts, flooding and other environmental disasters all linked to the warming climate.
“On top of that, we are asked to sacrifice growth opportunities and neglect satisfying pressing national needs in the interest of the planet even if those making the demand, the same people with a more significant share of responsibility for the problem, are dodging their obligations, especially financing the gaps the shifts they are demanding will cause.”
Israel maintained that the APC appreciates the impact of climate change on the future and sustainable development, particularly as Nigeria continues to count the loss of the devastating floods witnessed in several parts of the country this year due primarily to worsening rainfalls and weather conditions.
According to him, “I have been to numerous states in Nigeria where climate change has resulted in devastating floods to witness, first-hand, the extent of the damage recorded.
“Many farmers have lost their means of livelihood and other families are now displaced because their homes are submerged in water.
“This is a challenge we take seriously as a ruling party in charge of the government. We understand that solving it is crucial to our ambition to guarantee our youths a safe and prosperous future.”
In addition to the efforts carried out by the Muhamamdu Buhari administration to provide succour to areas and citizens of the country suffering the negative effects of climate change, Israel noted that the party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections, Bola Tinubu, has also demonstrated his commitment to renewable energy and other innovations to keep the country on a positive track as far as the issue is concerned.
He stressed that much is hinged on the West taking its obligation seriously, including the $100bn annual investment promised by the bloc to fund climate actions in Africa.
“The West must take the lead on this issue. That’s the quickest and most effective path forward. We share the objective of protecting the planet and bequeathing to the future generation a safe and livable world.
“But we must not be made to pay the biggest price for a problem we didn’t cause. Not when those making the demands and setting the targets are quick to resort to the same actions they condemn when they feel an energy pinch. He who comes into equity must come with clean hands,” he said.