The Minister of State for Environment, Dr Iziaq Salako, the Danish Minister of Development Cooperation and Global Climate Change Policy, Dan Jorgenson, and other stakeholders at a high-level meeting between Nigeria and Denmark on green partnership in Abuja on Monday The Federal Ministry of Environment on Monday pledged to collaborate with Denmark to advance the green economy and climate change mitigation for economic growth and environmental sustainability.
The Minister of State for Environment, Dr Iziaq Salako made the pledge on Monday at a high-level meeting between Nigeria and Denmark on the green partnership, the green transition of the economy, climate change adaptation, and the upcoming 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties.
According to Salako, Nigeria and Denmark have a long history of cooperation and have a lot to learn from each other. Salako said, “Nigeria’s economy is majorly dependent on oil, and I know Denmark used to be dependent on oil, but over the years, you have navigated your economy to be less dependent on oil, and that is one important lesson Nigeria can learn from Denmark- how we can transit to a green economy without increasing energy poverty or increasing hardship for our people.
“The current government led by President Bola Tinubu has identified eight key priority areas that the administration will focus on and some of the priority areas cut across anti-corruption, and inclusivity. Beyond those priority areas, the Ministry of Environment has identified at least five of those priority areas that require climate action for them to be achieved.
“If we are talking about food security, there is a climate angle to it because if the land is degraded, there can’t be food security and we need to ensure that we stop degradation of our lands. If we are talking about poverty eradication, disasters are one of the drivers of poverty and the ministry wants to ensure that we prevent disasters like floods.
“If we talk about economic growth and job creation, some of our initiatives are to ensure that as we transition to a green economy, we use that to create jobs for our people.” The minister noted that the ministry has been piloting the sovereign green bonds for climate action. In his remarks, the Danish Minister of Development Cooperation and Global Climate Change Policy, Dan Jorgenson commended the government for setting progressive goals for environmental sustainability, and growth. Jorgenson said,
“We are both extremely ambitious countries coming into the final negotiations of the COP28. So the Nairobi declaration following the climate summit a few months ago was clear progress and I can say for sure that Denmark and the European Union are very much aligned with the opinions and declarations of the African leaders. “I think there is a great opportunity for us to work together and fight climate change, meaning we need more mitigation, especially from the biggest emitters on the planet, in financing both with regards to supporting the mitigation and for climate adaptation.
“It is important that what we agree that countries like Nigeria, a continent like Africa is not to blame for climate change because climate is here because of pollution that has taken place.” He, however, stated that Africa is hardest hit by the fight against climate change.
“We look forward to discussing how we can collaborate bilaterally even more than we do already and how we can join forces together to get an ambitious result at the upcoming COP28,” he declared.