By ibrahima yakubu
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, pledged Nigeria’s readiness to host the secretariat of the Sahel Climate Fund, including equipping and providing accommodation to the top management staff of the fund.
The “Sahel Climate Fund” is the financial body of the Sahel Region Climate Commission (SRCC), according to a statement by Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity.
The body is one of the three climate commissions for Africa created in Marrakech, Morocco in 2016 at the Summit of African Heads of State and Government, organised at the initiative of King of Morocco, on the sidelines of the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Speaking at the 2nd Heads of State and Government of SRCC during the 36th AU summit, the president said as an active member of the commission, Nigeria will support the operationalisation of the secretariat for an effective implementation of the climate change activities in the region.
Buhari expressed concern that the availability and access to funds for implementation of the climate change activities, especially adaptation, remain major problems for the African region.
He, therefore, described the Sahel Climate Fund as an additional financial resource which is adequate and predictable for implementation of the requirements of the climate change convention and the Paris agreement.
According to the Nigerian leader, the fund will, among others, serve as a gateway to climate finance and investment strategy, finance the implementation of National Determined Contributions (NDCs) of member states and ensure effective participation of the Sahel Region in the global effort to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The fund is also expected to mobilise required resources from member states, bilateral and multilateral partners, and private financial institutions.
‘‘Understanding the barriers to accelerated climate finance inflows and our climate related sectors, are perceived to be high risk investment destinations due to multi-layered operational risks, the Sahel Climate Fund will serve as a gateway to climate finance and investment strategy that considers innovative and practical ways to overcome multiple risk impediments and sustainable financial support to Sahelian countries.
‘‘In addition, the Sahel Climate Fund will be the necessary climate finance mechanism that will be instrumental in financing the implementation of the NDCs of member states, contribute to strengthening the adaptation and resilience capacities of local communities along with their livelihoods,and ensure effective participation of the Sahel region in the global effort to curb GHG emissions.
‘‘The Sahel Climate Fund will mobilise the necessary resources from member states, bilateral and multilateral partners, and private financial institutions to foster cooperation and coordinated actions among Sahel Region Climate Commission member countries to address climate change,’’ he said.