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Nigeria beats deadline for NDCs submission, raises climate ambition

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Muhammad Abubakar


Ahead of 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Nigeria and 109 other countries have met the cut-off date for the submission of new or updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to be included in a synthesis report that will be issued later this year.

The Nigerian Minister of Environment, Dr. Muhammed Abubakar, who submitted the document on behalf of the Federal Government, emphasised the nation’s unwavering commitment to the Paris agreement on climate change.

In the document, approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, replaces the interim NDC report that was submitted in May this year. Nigeria raised its ambition by including emission reduction from the waste sector.

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“Nigeria has increased its conditional contribution from 45 per cent to 47 per cent while retaining the unconditional target of 20 per cent.

“Hence the updated NDC has an unconditional target of 20 per cent below business as usual by 2030 and 47 per cent conditional contribution on international support. This is an important day for Nigeria as the timely submission of the updated report will ensure its inclusion in a synthesis,” the document stated.

NDCs embody the national plans designed by each country to address climate change. Taken together, they provide the most comprehensive and accurate record of global climate action.

By the cut-off date on July 30, the secretariat received new or updated NDCs from 110 Parties. This compares favourably with new or updated NDCs from 75 Parties received up to the end of December 2020.

“But it is still far from satisfactory, since only a little over half the Parties (58 per cent) have met the cut-off deadline. The level of ambition reflected in those national climate action plans also needs to be enhanced,” according to UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa.

“One of the key findings in the initial version of the synthesis report showed that collective efforts fall far short of what is required by science to limit a global temperature rise by the end of the century of 2C, let alone the desired objective of less than 1.5C. I truly hope that the revised estimate of collective efforts will reveal a more positive picture,” she said.

To meet that goal, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has indicated, by the end of this decade emissions must have been reduced by at least 45 per cent compared to 2010 levels.

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Espinosa said: “Recent extreme heat waves, droughts and floods across the globe are a dire warning that much more needs to be done and much more quickly, to change our current pathway. This can only be achieved through more ambitious NDCs.

The cut-off date for submissions allows the UNFCCC to carry out the essential work of reviewing, quantifying and summarising the content of the new or updated NDCs, before presenting the results to the Parties and the public.

“Countries can, of course, continue to enhance the ambition of their respective NDCs. If needed, an update of the report’s key findings may eventually be prepared to take account of information received after July 30.

“The reduction of emissions needs to be a consistent, cumulative process. I call on those countries that were unable to meet this deadline to redouble their efforts and honour commitments.

“I also encourage those who have submitted their NDCs to continue reviewing and enhancing their level of ambition. By doing so, they will contribute to the preservation of our planet and the well-being of people around the world,” she added.

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