Nigeria is glad that the United States of America is fully back on board the climate change global agenda, in a commendable restoration of the U.S. government’s support for the Paris Agreement.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said this when he received a U.S. government delegation led by the White House Deputy National Security Advisor, Mr Jonathan Finer, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
“We are happy that the U.S. is fully on board with climate change and back to the table on this issue,” Osinbajo was quoted as saying in a statement on Tuesday by his media aide, Laolu Akande.
“I think one has to commend the drive that this U.S. administration has put behind climate change.”
Four years ago, the Trump administration announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation issues.
But on assumption to power earlier this year, the Joe Biden administration announced the restoration of America’s commitment to the Paris Agreement.
Reiterating Nigeria’s position regarding a just transition from fossil fuels to clean energy ahead of the Net-zero Emissions 2050 target, Osinbajo expressed Nigeria’s concerns on some issues.
“Among other things, (is) first about some of what has been going on, especially around gas as an effective transition fuel, and how many of the Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and some countries are insisting that gas projects should be defunded,” he said at the meeting held on Monday.
“This is a principal concern to us; it is one that we have made central to our advocacy and it is one of the issues that we intend to promote at the COP26.”
“We have done the costing for it and all of what is required to be able to hit net-zero by 2050. Also, what the implications would be, given the constraints there, and how realistic it would be to get to net-zero by 2050 or not,” he added.
According to Osinbajo, Nigeria is looking forward to participating in the democracy summit to be hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden later this year.
He noted that “one of the things we have always spoken about is how to ensure that illicit financial flows are discouraged,” stressing that the international monetary and financial systems have a role in stopping it.
“Looking at what happened in the last few years, we have received quite a bit of support from the U.S. government, especially in terms of the repatriation of several of the looted funds, and we hope to continue to get the cooperation of the US.”
The Vice President further spoke about the security concerns in relation to the activities of ISWAP and ISIS.
He acknowledged the role of the global coalition to Defeat ISIS (D-ISIS) as a “very important initiative” sending the “right signals, especially in Iraq and Syria.”
“If you look at what is going on today in certain regions like the Lake Chad and the Sahel, it is very apparent that we need that kind of resolve in order to be able to deal with ISWAP and Boko Haram in Nigeria.”
On behalf of the Federal Government, Osinbajo thanked the U.S. government for donating over 3.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria.
Earlier in his address, Finer informed the Vice President of a potential partnership with Nigeria on a G-7 Infrastructure Programme – Build Back Better World, which the U.S. President has made a priority.
“It involves bringing together a range of funding sources, development finance, and private sector to work with key partner-countries to develop their infrastructure and fill the gap between infrastructure needs and the current state of infrastructure,” he explained.
Also in attendance at the meeting were the National Security Advisor, Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd); the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard; and other senior government officials in Nigeria and U.S..