Furore Over 1,411 Nigerian Delegates to COP28

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By Adedapo Adesanya

President Bola Tinubu came under immense criticism as Nigeria’s party was the highest from Africa at the ongoing COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

According to a list published by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Nigeria is also third-highest overall in number of delegates at the conference.

The provisional total for COP28 indicates that 81,027 delegates registered to attend the summit in person, with a further 3,074 attending virtually, this takes the overall total to 84,101.

The figure is 30,000 more than those who travelled to Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt for COP27 in 2022, the previous largest in an almost 30-year history of summits.

The UAE accounted for the largest-ever registered delegation of any country, with 4,409 badges, followed by Brazil with 3,081.

Nigeria and China are joint third with 1,411 badges each with criticism coming as Nigeria’s entourage was littered with government officials, staff of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and celebrities.

But the Senior Special Assistant to Mr Tinubu on Media and Publicity, Mr Tope Ajayi, in a statement, said the list captured delegates sponsored by private organisations, businessmen, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and others.

Tinubu Announces 100 Electric Buses for Greener Nigeria

President Tinubu said Nigeria is taking a significant step towards a sustainable and eco-friendly future by introducing a pioneering initiative to deploy a fleet of 100 electric buses.

The President spoke at a high-level meeting with stakeholders and investors on the Nigeria Carbon Market and Electric Buses Rollout Programme on Saturday in Dubai on the margins of the ongoing summit.

He explained that the strategic initiative is aimed at significantly reducing Nigeria’s carbon footprint and modernizing the country’s transportation systems as part of a larger effort to position Nigeria and Africa as the pioneering frontier of green manufacturing and industrialization with a focus on natural gas as a transition fuel alongside other renewable energy sources.

To spearhead this transformative plan, the President announced the appointment of the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Zacch Adedeji, and the Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC), Mr Dahiru Salisu, to co-chair the Nigeria Carbon Market Activation Plan.

“This initiative stands as a testament to our dedication to environmental stewardship as clearly exemplified through our collaboration with the Africa Carbon Market Initiative. Our visionary plan is a strategic guidepost, directing Nigeria towards becoming an investment-friendly destination for carbon market investments.

”We recognize the imperative of fostering an environment that not only attracts investment but also upholds standardized and sustainable industrial practices. As a manifestation of our forward-thinking approach, we are actively looking to implement robust, enabling policies and frameworks that will serve as the catalyst for the burgeoning growth of the carbon market within our national borders.

”In further driving my commitment, I have recently approved an Inter-governmental Committee on Carbon Markets to be chaired by the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change to drive this visionary plan,” the President stated.

The President assured prospective investors that this initiative transcends being a mere pilot project.

”It is a concrete manifestation of our unwavering dedication to a carbon-neutral future. I assure you; this is only the commencement of our ambitious plans, with many more impactful initiatives on the horizon,” he said.

President Tinubu, while acknowledging the pressing need for a comprehensive global collaboration on climate-related challenges, called on global partners to join hands in accelerating collective efforts towards a net-zero future.

”As we unveil our initiatives, I challenge other nations to emulate our strides in mapping out their sustainable futures with a clear understanding that Africa is a beacon of innovative solutions to climate-related challenges.

”In this pursuit, we acknowledge the pressing need for comprehensive global collaboration, and we reiterate our commitment to being an active participant in international efforts.

“Nigeria’s plans for a greener and cleaner economy can serve as an inspirational narrative for nations worldwide. Our comprehensive approach, rooted in visionary leadership and pragmatic action supported by our technical partners, is poised to become a blueprint for countries aspiring to also develop and catalyze their markets for sustainable growth,” the President concluded.

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