By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem
President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Saturday for Katowice, Poland, to attend the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP24) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) December 2-4, 2018.
The COP24 Summit, which will be held at the International Conference Centre (MCK) and the adjacent Spodek Arena in Katowice, is being convened under the Presidency of Poland.
According to the organisers, the conference is expected to finalize the rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change under the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) – the rule book for implementation.
During the Leaders’ Summit at COP24, President Buhari will, according to a statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, deliver a national statement highlighting Nigeria’s commitment to addressing climate change by implementing the goals set out in its National Determined Contributions.
He will also use the occasion to accentuate Nigeria’s willingness to work with international partners to reverse the negative effects of climate change in Africa and the world over, while expecting that developed nations scale up their emission reduction activities in order to limit the increase in average global temperatures to well below 2 degrees centigrade between now and 2020.
The Leaders’ Summit is expected to adopt a ‘‘Declaration on Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia,’’ – named after the region of Poland where this year’s climate conference is taking place.
As a member of the Committee of the African Heads of State on Climate Change – a group of 10 African countries that meets and takes positions concerning issues of climate change on behalf of the continent – Nigeria has been at the forefront of advancing policies and initiatives aimed at addressing significant challenges occasioned by climate change such as reviving the Lake Chad, halting and reversing desertification, flooding, ocean surge and oil spillage.
President Buhari will continue to champion these pressing issues at COP24 in Katowice, among others, as well as reiterate Nigeria’s position on the need for African countries to access financial resources, especially the Green Climate Fund to draw up climate change adaptation policies and actions for implementation.
The Nigerian delegation will also showcase the policy measures and actions of the Federal Government at ensuring environmental sustainability and effectively combating climate change through several side events within the Nigerian pavilion.
While in Poland, President Buhari will hold an interactive session with the Nigerian community in that country.
The Nigerian leader is also scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with the President of Poland Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
The President will be accompanied by Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Yahaya Bello and Abubakar Sani Bello of Enugu, Kogi, and Niger States, respectively.
Others on his entourage include the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, and the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibrin.