As in previous climate change conferences, world leaders have again promised to implement certain measures to save the environment from the ugly effects of global warming. It is instructive that the Glasgow meeting, in Scotland, came six years since the Paris climate agreement by world leaders.
The over 120 world leaders, who met in Glasgow for the Conference of Parties (COP26) summit unanimously from October 31 to November 12, 2021 agreed on global action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. They also reached an agreement to halt further funding of new coal plants abroad, especially those that did not pass the required process by the end of 2021. They equally vowed to take action that will halt deforestation through green wall initiative.
At the event, the United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced the 22 billion pounds ($3 billion) investment in climate-related projects in India and across Africa by 2030. The country will also commit over 210 million pounds in new investment in green projects in developing countries such as Vietnam, Burkina Faso, Pakistan, Nepal and Chad. UK also is investing about 165 million pounds to tackle climate change as it affects women and girls said to be more vulnerable to global warming.
At the climate summit, President Muhammadu Buhari assured the global community that Nigeria would achieve net-zero emission by 2060 through its Energy Transition Plan. This is against the 2050 global deadline set by the United Nations (UN). He announced that the country is investing in renewable, hydro-dams and solar projects to ensure clean energy, while also pointing out that Nigeria is looking for partners in innovation technology and finance to make cleaner and more efficient use of all available resources to make the needed energy transition. In this regard, he explained that Nigeria would avoid making the same mistakes, which are being repeated for decades by other countries.
However, the President disclosed that Nigeria will continue to use gas until 2040 without distracting from the goals of the Paris Agreement and also pleaded that the country would need financial assistance to facilitate the transition to clean energy.
He further argued that “attaining national and global climate change goal would require adequate and sustained technical and financial support to developing countries.” He equally expressed some concerns, which are worthy of note by the big players in the climate change summit, especially the industrialised nations that contribute so much to global warming more than African countries that bear the brunt.
According to the President, “for Nigeria, climate change is not about the perils of tomorrow but about what is happening today. In our lifetime, nature has gone from a vast expanse of biodiversity to a shadow of itself.”
To ensure that more Nigerians have access to clean energy, the Federal Government has reportedly initiated the project to electrify five million households and 20 million people across the country using decentralised solar energy options. This, the government says, is a major first step towards bridging the energy access deficit by 2030.
At the same time, the Paris agreement of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius must be observed by all countries. We believe that one of best ways to save the environment, and by extension, the earth, is for all countries to muster the political will to take actions that would halt deforestation through green wall initiative. We also call on all nations to fulfill their promises at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland.