Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) and Heinrich Böll Stiftung (HBS)
In an effort to create public awareness on climate finance issues and how Nigeria could mobilise more resources to mitigate and adapt to the devastating impacts of climate change, the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) is partnering with the Heinrich Böll Stiftung (HBS) to host a public dialogue and report launch on “Unlocking Climate Finance for Nigeria: Between Aspirations and Realities” on Thursday.
The centre, known for its practice of advocacy, capacity building, and investigative reporting using open data and civic technology, will be hosting the event with the German foundation (HBS) to spark constructive conversations on how Nigeria could raise more financial resources to tackle the impending climate change crisis, as the world is looking forward to the UN climate conference (COP27) in Egypt later this year.
The dialogue will also unveil a critical assessment report that highlights how Nigeria has fared in its management of existing climate finances raised through the two-consecutive historic green bond issued within the past six years.
In 2017 and 2019, Nigeria rolled out two “green bonds” worth N10.69 billion and N15 billion respectively, becoming the first African country and the fourth in the world to raise a debt instrument entirely for the purpose of financing environmentally sustainable projects.
The objective of the bond was to fund projects in support of Nigeria’s carbon reduction pledges as enshrined in the Nationally Determined Contributions document submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
This offered the country an opportunity to demonstrate leadership in its green financing agenda while getting exposure to new investors and solidifying the country’s commitment to the Paris Climate Change Agreement which was endorsed in 2015.
However, even though Nigeria is among the African countries that has increased its emission reduction ambitions under the updated NDC which was submitted in July last year, the implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts in developing nations like Nigeria continue to suffer major challenges due to a lack of adequate funding but also due to poor implementation of some of the green projects financed with funds available.
Jochen Luckscheiter, HBS head of office, said: “The provision of climate finance is a key aspect from the perspective of developing countries like Nigeria who are committed to making measurable contributions to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.”
However, he said, Nigeria lacks the financial muscle to realise this commitment on its own.
“The climate conference in Glasgow delivered only weak outcomes on climate finance. As Nigeria and the international community prepares for the forthcoming climate summit in Egypt this is an opportune time to have a critical discussion on how to unlock more climate finance for the country,” Mr Luckscheiter said.
The Acting Executive Director of CJID, Tobi Oluwatola, in a statement, said, “Climate finance is crucial if Africa is to wean itself off fossil fuel dependence and adapt to the effects of anthropogenic climate change.”
He said the media needs to educate the public, especially entrepreneurs in the Renewable Energy space and communities on how to access financing for their projects.
“We are proud of the work that HBS is doing to help achieve this,” he added.
Akintunde Babatunde, a deputy director leading Development Practice, Research and Policy at the CJID, said “Even though Africa is already experiencing the negative consequences of climate change, some investments to tackle these issues lack clear accountability structures.”
“This event by HBS/CJID offers an opportunity to discuss these issues and identify how best to ensure effective utilisation of funds,” he said.
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