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COP26 keeps 1.5C alive and finalises Paris Agreement . Nigeria introduces Climate Change Bill

 Africa to benefit from Clean Transport, Adaption and Resilience, Finance and Nature based programmes

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1.5C alive, COP26, Nigeria Climate Change Bill
Prime Minister Boris Johnson greets Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria, on arrival to COP26 World Leaders Summit of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference at the SEC, Glasgow. Photograph: Karwai Tang/ UK Government

On the 13th November 2021, COP26 concluded in Glasgow with nearly 200 countries agreeing the Glasgow Climate Pact to keep 1.5°C alive and finalise the outstanding elements of the Paris Agreement.

African Youth Survey 2020

Source: African Youth Survey 2020

Climate negotiators ended two weeks of intense talks with consensus on urgently accelerating climate action.

The Glasgow Climate Pact, combined with increased ambition and action from countries, means that the goal of limiting global temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels remains in sight, but it will only be delivered with concerted and immediate global efforts.

The Glasgow Climate Pact will speed up the pace of climate action. All countries agreed to revisit and strengthen their current emissions targets to 2030, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), in 2022.

This will be combined with a yearly political roundtable to consider a global progress report and a Leaders summit in 2023.

President Muhammadu Buhari pledged that Nigeria would cut its emissions to net zero by 2060 and called on developed countries to support countries like Nigeria which require adequate and sustained technical and financial support to attain climate goals.

To demonstrate commitment to Nigeria’s international ambition and to support the implementation of Nigeria’s adaptation and mitigation measures, the President signed Nigeria’s Climate Change Bill into Law just days after COP26. 

By the end of COP26:

  • The UK pledged significant new funding to priority programmes on finance, adaptation and resilience, innovation and nature which Africa stands to benefit from.
  • The Paris Rulebook, which are the guidelines for how the Paris Agreement will be implemented, finalised after six years of discussions. This Rulebook will now allow countries to be held to account as they deliver on their targets. This includes Article 6 of the rulebook, which establishes a robust framework for countries to exchange carbon credits through the UNFCCC.
  • Agreed action on phasing down fossil fuels, heeding calls from civil society and countries most vulnerable to climate impacts
  • Decisions made went further than ever before in recognising and addressing loss and damage from the existing impacts of climate change.
  • There were also commitments to significantly increase financial support through the Adaptation Fund as developed countries were urged to double their support to developing countries by 2025.
  • Many more countries and organisations committing to phase down unabated coal power and ending international coal financing.
ALSO READ  Nigeria endorses COP26 FACT Dialogue with over 20 other countries

The final COP26 text follows two years of intense diplomacy and campaigning undertaken by the UK Presidency to raise ambition and secure action from almost 200 countries.

When the UK took on the COP26 mantle, in partnership with Italy, nearly two years ago, only 30% of the world was covered by net zero targets.

This figure is now at around 90%. Over the same period, 154 Parties have submitted new national targets, representing 80% of global emissions.

Reflecting on the task ahead, COP26 President Alok Sharma said:  

“We can now say with credibility that we have kept 1.5 degrees alive. But, its pulse is weak and it will only survive if we keep our promises and translate commitments into rapid action. I am grateful to the UNFCCC for working with us to deliver a successful COP26.

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“From here, we must now move forward together and deliver on the expectations set out in the Glasgow Climate Pact, and close the vast gap which remains. Because as Prime Minister Mia Mottley told us at the start of this conference, for Barbados and other small island states, ‘two degrees is a death sentence’.

“It is up to all of us to sustain our lodestar of keeping 1.5 degrees within reach and to continue our efforts to get finance flowing and boost adaptation. After the collective dedication which has delivered the Glasgow Climate Pact, our work here cannot be wasted.”

Speaking also, Catriona Laing CB, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, said:

“Nigeria is highly vulnerable to climate change and although it has been ambitious in developing adaptation and mitigation plans, these plans need to be transformed into action – by the federal and state governments working closely with local communities, civil society and other stakeholders, and with the support of development partners.

Climate Change, COP26

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations greet Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria, President of the United States of America, on arrival to COP26 World Leaders Summit of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference at the SEC, Glasgow. Photograph: Karwai Tang/ UK Government

“We will continue to support Nigeria make progress on decarbonisation of the power sector and stay the course on power sector reforms, creating the enabling environment for offgrid solar at scale by, for example, removing high VAT and customs on domestic solar equipment.

“We will also continue to support efforts that will see Nigeria take action to reduce greenhouse gases such as black carbon and methane from the atmosphere by ending gas flaring as well as adopting climate smart agro-forestry and agricultural reforms as sustainable solutions for Nigeria’s people, nature and biodiversity.

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