CAPPA chief Oluwafemi rues plight of 62 million Nigerians affected by climate change

CAPPA chief Oluwafemi rues plight of 62 million Nigerians affected by climate change
Akinbode Oluwafemi, the Executive Director of Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), has raised worry over the condition of no less than 62 million people in the northern region of the country who are being negatively impacted by climate change.

Speaking at the opening of the second national conference on climate change, with the theme "Creating an Agenda for Sustainable Climate Finance For Nigeria," held in Abuja, he attributed the situation to desertification, which has encroached on arable lands and affected approximately 580,841 square kilometers out of 927,892 square kilometers.

He added that the situation was mostly caused by climatic changes, deforestation, intensive farming, overgrazing, marginal land use, bushfires, firewood collection, defective irrigation systems, and urbanization.

He said that because efforts in adaptation and mitigation have not yet been considerably scaled up to take into account the reality, Nigeria's climate funding is still not representative of the country's vulnerability.

He said, "Climate finance in Nigeria has solely relied on concessional debt, which accounts for around 46% of total debt, and non-concessional debt, which accounts for 25%. At 5% and 12%, respectively, grant and equity-based financing currently play a comparatively minor role in Nigeria's climate finance ecosystem.

"Considering its exposure to climate risks, Nigeria is classified as a vulnerable country, like every other nation in sub-Saharan Africa."

He stated that unless progressive climate finance and a well-designed loss and damage funding mechanism are institutionalized and properly managed, the effects of climate change are expected to worsen over the upcoming years.

He emphasized the need to develop a new source of funding that will address climate risks and stop the country's emissions from rising, noting that developed countries have consistently failed to meet their climate commitments as funds that address infractions have turned into tools for power struggles, competing for global relevance, and self-serving negotiations.

The effects of climate change are apparent in Nigeria to even the most untrained eyes, and its causes are well acknowledged, he continued.

"The consequences of actions they are not accountable for are still being felt by the frontlines. The perpetrators of the climate disasters continue to dodge accountability, postpone action, and temper calls for sympathy compensation.

"Thanks to government policy monitoring, no. Legally speaking, the loss and damage fund that should cover previous liabilities is being ignored or replaced with immediate liquidity. Only recently have government regulations and policies caught up. Climate emergencies are still far off.

Even if immediate decarbonization is implemented, authorities such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Nigeria Climate Change Vulnerability Index are unanimous in their warning of the impending climate change devastations.

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