President Muhammadu Buhari left Malta and arrived Paris, France on Sunday evening to join in the Conference of Parties 21 (COP21) which aims at getting nations to agree on how to deal with the issue of climate change; about 150 other world leaders were at the COP21 world summit.
Even though governments have already committed themselves to limiting green house gas emissions that interfere with the climate, there is no agreement yet on practical actions to take.
This Paris meeting is therefore seen as the last chance to arrive at concrete binding resolutions over issues which have been discussed every year since 1992 under the auspices of the United Nations.
French authorities have mounted tight security to ensure the safety of the event following the deadly terrorist attacks that struck Paris recently. Major roads leading in and out of the conference venue and hotels hosting world leaders have been shut down for unauthorized traffic and a ban on public demonstrations has been put in place blocking environmental campaigners’ plans for a big march on Sunday in Paris to highlight the climate change issue.
President Buhari left for Paris from Malta where he had participated in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to present Nigeria’s statement at the opening session today, being Monday before participating in the launching of the International Solar Alliance same day, an initiative of Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who has invited around 110 nations to join the alliance.
The alliance is to be named the International Agency for Solar Policy and Application (InSPA) and is aimed at a host of African nations and others located between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn.
On Tuesday, the President will also participate in the summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin Republic which would dwell on Boko Haram and other security issues of common interest to participating countries.
On that same day, the president will also attend another event of the African Union, AU, tilted “Conference on Climate Change and African Solutions”.
Participating with the President at the meetings are the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed and the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd.)
Also at the conference, Yar’Adua Foundation, a non Governmental Organization on environmental issues would present a documentary to showcase the level of oil pollution and degradations on most cities in Nigeria.
A statement from the foundation on Sunday stated that Nigeria faces a looming climate and environmental crisis that it can no longer afford to ignore. The statement further read:
Creeping effects of climate change and unchecked environmental degradation in communities across the country, now pose monumental socio-economic, political and sustainable development challenges to the nation.
With the country’s population projected to an astronomical increase of 450 million by 2050, pressure on resources pose a real and present danger and risk to the subregion and beyond.
Narrated by Ken Saro-Wiwa, Jr, the documentary tells the story of environmental threats and unique challenges to security in affected communities in Nigeria. It connects the dots between climate, environmental degradation and security, and serves as an advocacy tool to raise awareness for defining the challenges of our time.
The first screening will take place at the Climate Action Zone on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at the CentQuatre, Room 1 from 1pm – 1:50pm. The COP21 Africa Pavilion, sponsored by NEPAD and the African Development Bank, will feature the film on Thursday, December 10, 2015 from 9:00am – 9:45am. The conference will end on December 11.