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Climate Change: We’re focused on what works for our people, says Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the federal government would keep its climate change commitments and focus on how that works for Nigerians. Osinbajo said this yesterday when he received on a courtesy visit a delegation from the World Bank led by its Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships, Dr. Mari Pangestu, as well as its Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri.

The vice president who also interacted with officials of the International Monetary Fund on the IMF Article IV bilateral consultations, has been advocating for a just transition to global net-zero emissions, particularly calling on multilateral agencies, and Western countries to stop the planned defunding of fossil fuels/ gas projects in developing countries as part of the energy transition plan towards the global net-zero target by 2050. According to a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo at both meetings with the World Bank MD and IMF officials again noted that Nigeria remained committed in helping to reduce global greenhouse emissions, even as the needs of Nigeria and other developing countries should also be taken into account.

“I think it is very important, at least this is what we are trying to do, to keep our sights on what would work for the majority of our people. “The truth, of course, is that we have fossil fuel resources, we have all of that, but we have energy issues, distribution and quality of access to energy, as well as clean energy. “So, those are the issues; access to energy and education, then renewable energy, and how to be able to move quickly enough in terms of putting renewable energy in place,” the Vice President said.

He also highlighted funding challenges for developing countries in its response to climate change and preparation for adaptation, alongside other implications of the Paris Agreement. As part of that Agreement, a $100 billion per year was pledged by the wealthier economies to help developing economies to respond to the challenges of climate change and support mitigation and adaptation.

In her remarks, Pangestu expressed her delight at visiting Nigeria, disclosing that it was her first country mission since assuming her current position in March. According to her, following COP26, the global body was considering ways to; “address both development and climate crisis in developing countries, noting that the development crisis has been heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The way we are trying to approach it is the Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Recovery and growth strategy which must start with developing countries.” Commending Nigeria’s energy reforms, Pangestu noted that the World Bank would explore ways to ensure developing countries attract the needed financing so as to achieve its climate and development objectives. During the interaction with IMF which was virtual, the Vice President restated Nigeria’s position on climate change, adding however, that no developed economy grew its industrial base on renewable energy alone and so developing economies should not be asked to do that. The IMF Article IV Consultation Mission team was led by Ms. Jesmin Rahman, Mission Chief for Nigeria at IMF.

The consultations based on the IMF’s Articles of Agreement involve bilateral discussions between a member-country and the IMF. An IMF staff team “visits the country, collects economic and financial information, and discusses with officials the country’s economic developments and policies.”

 

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