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BY MUSA SHUBOMI TIMILEYHIN

President Bola Tinubu says African countries, including Nigeria, need partnerships for a new green economy, emphasizing the efforts against climate change will only be successful through a cooperative approach.

Writing in an OP-ED article for CNN, the President said the security threats, the dislocation of people, the environmental atrophy and other collateral impacts of climate change were at the forefront of his mind during his participation at the COP28 World Climate Action Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

He said Nigeria has battled back against major obstacles, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, short-term challenges from economic reforms, and the ongoing unification of foreign exchange rates, but that the nation remains steadfast in its resolve to reconstruct a better, cleaner economy despite these challenges.

“To uphold our legally binding commitment to a cleaner world, Nigeria launched the Nigerian Carbon Market Initiative at COP28 by joining the African Carbon Market Initiative,” he said.

Reiterating his stance on the inequity in the economic status quo, the President wrote that developing nations, despite contributing minimally to the problem, endure most of its impacts.

He said African countries simply can not go at it alone, adding: “There must be a fair and cooperative approach. For too long, too many developed nations have hesitated to do what they should.”

Highlighting Nigeria’s efforts and commitment to its pledges, President Tinubu said: “Nigeria has taken significant steps and acted decisively in enacting the Climate Change Act and committing to net-zero emissions between 2050 and 2070.

“Africa’s most populous nation has successfully mobilized tens of thousands of youths nationwide to plant 250,000 trees annually to honor a pledge to plant 25 million trees by 2030 as we build our great green wall to fight back against encroaching desert across the northern region of our nation.”

The President said Nigeria is aggressively pursuing the exploitation of the nation’s abundant wind and solar resources but added that transitioning from fossil fuels, which are Nigeria’s economic mainstay, will not be easy.

“While in Berlin last month at the G20 Summit, I announced Nigeria’s commitment to develop blue and green hydrogen capacity for international export. In conversations with Middle Eastern oil producers, I also solidified this commitment.

“We now seek to mobilize private capital with support from initiatives like the Climate Finance Leadership Initiative and the new US and EU global infrastructure programs,” he said.

He also said the European Union’s Global Gateway program and the U.S. Government’s Build Back Better World initiative are potential resources Nigeria is seeking to explore in its efforts to transition to cleaner energy.

“We are also looking to diversify our economy by engaging in friendly competition with Russia in the supply of energy to European markets. We can do it with natural gas and through green energy. This is why we are investing massively in both.

“Batteries for hire could help Nigerians ditch their generators. But the time for watching and waiting is over. Developed nations must honor commitments in the form of significant contributions to the Loss and Damage Fund and the $100 billion annual climate financing pledge.

“It is time to seize the moment,” the President concluded.

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