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Private sector investment can bridge Nigeria’s climate finance gap – Environment Minister

Nigeria’s minister of Environment, Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi, on Thursday has said that bridging the climate finance gap can only be achieved by the investment of the private sector.

Abdullahi also stated that opportunities to expand national climate finance space have been made possible through the new establishment of the climate change Act and its Council.

The minister made these assertions during the 2nd anniversary lecture of NatureNews Africa and the presentation of the Hero of Environment Action for Development (HEAD) awards in Abuja.

He noted that the establishment of the climate change Act and its Council, provides for the establishment of a carbon market which will ensure private sector engagement alongside climate action.

The minister, who also served as the chief host of the programme, said that financial support is critical to build resilience and accessing international climate finance has been a task to a lot of developing countries including Nigeria.

Speaking on Nigeria’s commitment to climate change mitigation, he said, ‘’The current global climate finance architecture is able to operate efficiently. Nigeria took a bold step of finance climate compatibility development to the collaborations within the environment ministry and other systems of government and the capital market to issue sub-Saharan Africa first ever green bonds in 2017 and in 2018.

‘’As at 2019-2020, private sector investment accounts for 23% total climate finance committed. Bridging the Nigeria climate finance gap can only be achieved by the involvement of private sector.”

Citing the COP28 designate, Sultan Al Jabar`s recent statement on climate change, he said that Al Jabar acknowledged recently that the world is weigh off the Paris agreement roadmap to 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature goal and will require at least a recapitalization of additional $14m by 2025 for the global south to return on track.

“That is a huge challenge financially, having realised that resilience to negative impact of climate change is beyond preparing or overcoming, coupled with erratic weather presentations and increase damaged infrastructure.

“We need as a matter of urgency to fortify our socio economic systems. A climate finance landscape study done for Nigeria in 2019 – 2020 shows that an average of $1,9billion per year of public and private capital was invested in climate educated activities in Nigeria.

“This is only 11% of the estimated $17.7 billion. There is obviously an investment. Opportunities to expand national climate finance space with the new establishment of the climate change Act in 2021 and its Council provides for establishing a carbon market. This will ensure private sector engagement alongside climate action.”

He also encouraged the management of NatureNews Africa to continue to their efforts in climate change mitigation through development and solutions Journalism.

According to him, “It is important that forum such as this will facilitate discussions on policy makers and public financiers, identify gaps and opportunities for scaling climate finance gaps in Nigeria.”

“The policy framework for climate mitigation and resilience building is currently work in progress, however, to deliver sustainable economic growth, there is a big interest in climate finance struggle, financial and domestic that will enable equitable access, national ownership, effective management and monitoring.”

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