The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), speaking at the opening plenary of the COP-26 climate change summit in Glasgow, Scotland said Africa is being cheated, oppressed and lied to by rich nations.
He said this is despite the continent almost being non-emitters, stressing that it is responsible for a mere five per cent of global emissions.
Reminding the developed countries of the pledge to provide at least $100 billion yearly to developing countries, Buhari said Africa has heard enough of the talk from rich nations, saying “it’s high time they walked their talk.”
He expressed disappointment that some of the world’s biggest emitters, China, with 11 per cent contribution to global warming, and Russia did not attend the summit in person.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘@COP26, Nigeria Sends Powerful Message To Rich Nations,’ on Tuesday.
The statement read in part, “President Buhari’s speech which centred on a number of issues agitating Africa and the developing countries, criticised the rich countries, the major emitters which brought the world’s climate to this sorry state for making promises toward climate finance that till date, have remained hollow.
“The President told world leaders that the goal of transitioning from fossil fuel to clean energy, reaching a Net zero ambition for green house emission would require critical infrastructure to be in place in developing countries.
Shehu quoted Buhari as saying, “Parties to the Paris Agreement are expected to transition from fossil fuel to clean energy and reach a Net Zero ambition for greenhouse gases emission.
“We agree that Net Zero ambition can lead to economic transformation across all sectors. It is a good ambition, but it requires critical infrastructure in place, including for renewable energy. Therefore, in Nigeria, it will take us longer time to get to Net Zero.”
Making a case for financial support, the President stated that attaining national and global climate change goals would require adequate and sustained technical and financial support to developing countries.
According to the statement, “He added that greater efforts should be channeled towards assisting developing countries to meet their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) commitments through the pledges made by the developed countries to provide at least $100 billion yearly.
“The Nigerian leader noted that easier access to climate finance had become imperative because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which really battered the economies of developing countries.
“The USD 100 billion every year to developing countries signed onto from the Paris 2016 climate change accords, as a promise made by the developed countries, has so far proved to be hollow.”
Shehu said without coming out to bluntly say so, Buhari pointed out the hypocrisy of the developed world for imposing standards that would clearly stunt development in developing countries.
“May I recall that the phenomenal growth of industrial economies has been driven by access to stable and abundant supply of relatively cheap energy,” Buhari was quoted as saying.