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Buhari, at climate change summit, urges UN to rebuild environment

By Terhemba Daka, Abuja
04 December 2018   |   3:44 am
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Katowice, Poland, said no country could singlehandedly confront climate change, urging United Nations (UN) member countries to rededicate themselves to the task of rebuilding and restoring a healthy environment for future generations.

Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari. (Photo by Audu MARTE / AFP)

• Mourns George Bush
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Katowice, Poland, said no country could singlehandedly confront climate change, urging United Nations (UN) member countries to rededicate themselves to the task of rebuilding and restoring a healthy environment for future generations.

In an address to the opening session of United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24), President Buhari warned that the challenges of climate change, including rising temperatures, desertification, floods, low agricultural yields and drying up of water bodies, are enormous and evident to all.

Citing the receding Lake Chad, the president noted that the effects of climate change were felt more on the vulnerable communities who lacked the capacity and technology to properly address such challenges.

‘’Obviously, no country can confront the phenomenon alone. In this regard, Nigeria believes in joint and cooperative efforts to tackle the problem.

‘’We urge that efforts to address the challenges of climate change be pursued within multilateral frameworks. Concerted efforts should be made to strengthen sub-regional and regional organizations, to serve as hubs for climate action and partnership,’’ the Nigerian leader said.

On Lake Chad, the president, in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, yesterday affirmed Nigeria’s commitment to saving the lake, which is a source of livelihood to about 40 million people.

Meanwhile Buhari has joined other world leaders in mourning former president of the United States, George H.W. Bush, who died recently.He also sent condolences to the government and people of the United States, family of the 41st president and all political associates of the great leader, whose legacies continue to inspire and attract encomiums across the world.

In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, yesterday, Buhari said the demise of Bush was a loss to the entire world, not just America, especially the many people he inspired.

He extolled the late President’s love for his family and country, which remains legendary as clearly seen in the way his children have taken up leadership roles and are steadily breeding new generation of great thinkers and leaders.

He said Nigeria would build on the success of an international conference held earlier in February this year in Abuja to create additional awareness globally on the serious environmental and security challenges facing the Lake Chad region.

Buhari told the saummit, attended by world leaders and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, that a consensus was reached at the Abuja conference that an inter-basin water transfer from the Congo Basin remains the most sustainable option available to resuscitate and safeguard this precious water body that was once the 6th largest fresh water lake in the world.

On behalf of the member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, Buhari thanked the Italian government for donating 1.5 million Euros towards completion of the feasibility studies on the proposed inter-basin water transfer project.

President Buhari also used the occasion to highlight what Nigeria had done and is doing on climate change after the adoption of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2015.He commended the government and people of Poland for hosting the 24th conference of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Katowice.

At the formal opening of the COP24, President Andrzej Duda of Poland had told delegates that the conference was taking place on the exact location where a coal mine was once operated, adding that Katowice is now one of the greenest cities in Poland.