Nigeria restates commitment to Paris Climate Agreement


The Federal Government on Friday restated its commitment to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Minister of State for Environment, Alhaji Ibrahim Jibril, said this in Abuja at a news conference while reacting to the U.S. declaration on Thursday that it had pulled out from the agreement.

NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2016 in New York.

The minister said, “Nigeria will not pull out from the agreement because we know the importance of it and we are on it voluntarily as a sovereign nation.

“Two months ago, we ratified the agreement. So, we are committed to United Nations agreement.

“For the U.S, we wish them all the best but they cannot cow the entire world and force them to think the way they are thinking.

According to him, the agreement was signed by more 190 countries after careful deliberation that took several years.

He said that in November 2015 the whole world came together to compile the agreement.

Jibril, said that the pull out by the U. S., would cause a little set back.

“But if you are following the trend of event since the U. S. made the declaration, almost all major players from European Union and China condemned the act, promising to fill the gap that may be left due to U.S. pull out,’’ he said.

Meanwhile some of the environmental experts who spoke with NAN on the issue condemned the U.S. pull out.

Mr Nnimmo Bassey, Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) said that the announcement was a big assault on the future of the entire world.

According to him, taking the U.S. away from the Paris Climate agreement, an agreement endorsed by 194 nations, is an attempt to erase poor vulnerable nations, including those of Africa and Small Island States off the face of the Earth.

“President Trump makes it seem as though the U.S. contributes all the finance needed to tackle global warming.

“How could the leader of a nation such as the U.S. peddle so many distortions? Even if the U.S. contributed the whole 100 billion dollars projected for the Green Climate Fund, it will still be less than the 200 billion dollars they spend annually to maintain their nuclear arsenal.

“It will be a far cry from the 1.7 trillion dollars that rich countries waste on needless warfare annually.

“The announcement by American president, Trump, the second highest emitter of greenhouse gases of the world, is a big assault on the future of the entire world.
“It is assuring to see that the world is standing up to Trump and have resolved to push on with climate actions.

“It is also reassuring that states in the U.S. and Mayors of some cities are not toeing the lines laid out by their president.

“The challenge is that Trump’s withdrawal will take four years to happen and within those years the U.S. will still be participating in the Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“We can be sure that while sitting in the COP, the U.S. will ensure that agreements that will help fight global warming are not taken,’’ he said.

Similarly, Mrs Priscilla Achakpa, Executive Director, Women Environmental Programme an NGO and a Civil Society Activist, said that the action was not fair.

Achakpa said that a lot of developing countries would suffer it if the U.S withdraws from global agreement to fight climate change, because it could increase unemployment in most countries.

She said that America and China are the highest emitter of greenhouse gases of the world.

“The demand that Trump’s action places on us all is that the peoples of the world must urgently come together and resist entities that think that it is only by polluting that they can amass profits.

“It is a clarion call for citizens to stand up against actions that negate the wellbeing of the earth and the entire human race.

“Climate change does not recognise the national boundaries and the U.S. will not be immune to its impacts. This indeed is the time for collective action against the moves of Trump and his cheering clubs,’’ she said.

Also, Prof. Emmanuel Oladipo, of Department of Geography, University of Lagos, said China and European Union had agreed that they were going to continue to stay on agreement.

“America will eventually realise that the issue is not about agreement but there are series of opportunities like technological transfer as required to meet global environmental standard.

“America will not benefit and I am optimistic that when they miss those opportunities, they will definitely come back.

“The world has realised that there is no way of going back to old ways of doing things. Everybody is now convinced that there is need for new approach to development, need for low carbon growth,’’ Oladipo said.

Also, Mr Alagoa Morris, Project Officer, Environmental Right Action, an NGO, said that Trump’s pronouncement, did not come as a surprise.

“The announcement was part of his campaign promises and he is bent on ensuring all such promises are fulfilled, like the issue of Obamacare.

“However, it is most unfortunate that America is associated with such an embarrassing matter; environmentally speaking.

“After many years of seeking ways of addressing the looming Climate Change dangers, it was gratifying to note that the Paris Agreement rekindled hope in mankind’s ability to sort of mitigate the Climate Change phenomenon.

“That agreement was seen by observers as a major step toward the reduction in the emission of greenhouse gas on a global scale.

“Yes, it was a conscious effort made to contain, to an extent, what Scientists thought to be the most catastrophic risks posed by Climate Change.

“This decision of Trump becomes more worrisome when we consider the fact that America is a major leader in world politics and, one of the main contributors to the emission of chloroforous carbons.

“The emission which leads to depletion of the ozon layer; resulting to the Climate Change phenomenon and putting all at risk; especially poor, developing nation who have little or nothing to withstand such threats.

“While it is important to urge American to reconsider its rejection of the Paris agreement and work in unison with the rest of the world towards reducing the risks portend by climate change.

“Other world leaders and stakeholders should not be discourage but go ahead with the content of the agreed document.

“Already Nigeria is experiencing sea level rise, unless important agreements on climate change like the Paris Agreement is taken seriously in practical terms; coastal communities in the Niger Delta; stands a great risk of extinction.

“That agreement was intended to put the world on a path to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius,’’ he said.


(NAN)

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