By Michael Peter, The Sight News
Abuja: With climate change now taking on a developmental dimension,the Minister of State for Environment, Mallam Ibrahim Jibril has disclosed that youth organizations as well as other relevant stakeholders have great roles to play in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)implementation in Nigeria and Africa at large.
This is as he called on African countries to take advantage of the enormous opportunities available to them to contribute to the global efforts in combating climate change.
Mallam Usman Jibril made this call at the 3rd African Youth Conference on Climate Change (AfriYOCC) taking place in Abuja Nigeria’s Capital, organised by the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC) with the theme: “Integrating African Youth in the implantation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) Trends and Prospects”.
In his words, “Statistics reveals that Africa’s youth population will double by 2050 and Africa will become the youngest region of the world. If this huge demographic asset is well tapped and well trained, it will transform Africa to the talent centre of the future”
The Minister who was represented by the Director of Climate Change at the Ministry, Peter Tarfa,pointed out that based on the Fifth Assessment Report, there are strong evidence that warming across Africa has increased considerably over the last 50 to 100 years, warning that further climate changes are inevitable in the coming decades.
“Impacts of climate change are potentially capable of damaging natural environment and deter economic growth in this region. Africa is the most vulnerable among the regions of the world to the impacts of climate change and unfortunately has the least capacity to adapt” he said.
He noted that due to the challenge of environmental sustainability facing the region, transformation must therefore entail the reconfiguration of the structures of production, distribution and consumption of goods and services in ways that can build a solid foundation for future growth and development.
Jubril stressed that, “achieving such change requires a departure from the previous approaches to economic growth and development that failed to take full account of the role of natural and social capital in wealth creation.
“Most of the African countries have signed the Paris Agreement and submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), while most of them have ratified these Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
“These NDCs have incorporated two targets: an unconditional target that will be met by African countries with their own resources and a conditional target, subject to financial support from the international community” he noted.
Mallam Jubril disclosed that in Nigeria the NDC is designed to ensure a prosperous economy that provides economic and human security, whilst contributing to international reductions that can prevent the global temperature rising by no more than 2 degrees.
He expressed confidence that the outcome of the two day workshop can provide inputs to AYICC representatives at the negotiations at COP23, assuring the youth organization that Government is looking forward to the outcome.
Also speaking at the conference, AYICC Regional Coordinator, West Africa Gawusu Kassim also maintained that young people have a role to play in climate change especially through advocacy and holding their leaders accountable for the commitments they made at the international levels.
AfriYOCC is a platform established by the African Youth Initiative for Climate Change to provide opportunities for young people to build capacity on climate change and also to engage key stakeholders so as to participate in the forward march towards climate change mitigation and adaptation.