Nigeria has sought the support of the United Nations (UN) to persuade developed countries to redeem 100 billion dollars pledges made in favour of developing countries to attain Nationally Determined
Contributions (NDC) target under the Paris 2020 Climate Change Agreement. Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, Minister of Environment, said that recently when the UN
Deputy Secretary General, Hajiya Amina Mohammed, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
The NDC embodies efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Abubakar said that Nigeria’s NDC was projected based on a five per cent annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increase. Unfortunately, the country was not able to attain up to a 2.5 percent steady GDP increase annually because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said. “We also seek for more support through UN agencies in implementing environmental activities in the country. We are seeking for support to the United Nations Environment Programme to address Ogoni cleanup projects which President Muhammadu Buhari is working on.”
Abubakar added, “The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation should put more effort into supporting the activities of the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria. The support will enable the country implement our activities and projects effectively. We are hoping that at the end, there will be qualitative support in terms of finance and technology transfer to support Nigeria’s energy transition.”
In her speech, the UN under secretary General urged Nigeria’s environment ministry to ensure that women, children and youths should always be put at the centre of programmes as they needed to be given adequate attention. “I also hope to hear from you, honorable minister and the team, on the progress that you have made, to know what we can give to continue our support to Nigeria in its bid for the climate transitions,’’ she said. She said that environment sector was paramount in the United Nations agenda for 2030.
We share Abubakar’s suspicion of the West’s pledges in support of the developing world. This doubt is reasonable in the sense that similar pleges made in the past had gone unfulfilled, leaving the would be beneficiaries to go back begging. The disappointment of an unredeemed pledge and the shame of begging! We have come to realize that such pledges of financial support are more of ego boosting than genuine help offer.
We made our position very clear in a June 17 editorial “Thank you but….” It was the West’s Development Finance Institutes’ offer to support Africa’s covid 19 management effort. The editorial reads in part: “We at Peoples Daily welcome this nouvelle idea of the DFIs. We like it not only because the fund promised is huge and Africa desperately needs it, but also because the benefit will be mutual. The developed economies will reap from an economically strong African continent in terms of stopping illegal migration from Africa to the West.
“However, we fear that the sheer novelty of this partnership may also be its Achilles heel. The fact that our AfDB is in it is only cold comfort. The paternalistic tone of the representatives of the DFIs is another worry. Africa is not a partner but a pauper that needs help from big brother. Hardly the right way to start.”
We are afraid that the climate change support pledged by the Western world to developing nations may never come. It will be just another fraud. Time to stop taking them seriously.