Ahead of the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference 2020 (COP26), the UK Department for International Development (DFID) has said that more than 2.3 million Nigerians have been displaced and nearly 500 have died since 2012, as a result of climate change, calling for collaboration from the Nigerian government and Commonwealth nations to be able to effectively tackle the menace.
Speaking on Wednesday in Abuja during an event organised by the commission, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Her Excellency, Catriona Laing CB, said climate change is a global challenge that affects us all and that protecting our environment for the next generation is vital for our common well-being and prosperity.
The event had in attendance more than 100 dignitaries cut across Commonwealth ambassadors, youth activists, representatives of different NGOs, environment experts, including the Executive Director of International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED), Mr Ewah Otu Eleri, a lecturer in the department of Mechanical Engineering University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Dr. Chigbo Mgbemene, DFID head of communications, Mr David Smith, among others.
Laing said that Nigeria is particularly vulnerable to climate change as it effects different classes of people, leading to the death and displacement of millions of Nigerians, even as she declared that action to tackle the menace is now both urgent and essential, even as she said that a significant focus of the event would be showcase a snapshot of innovative solutions and approaches to tackling climate change and enabling sustainable growth, with a significant focus on young Nigerians who joined COP25.
She said: “The planets biodiversity is under threat. We are under a very real threat to our existence and the United Kingdom recognises that we are at a tipping point. Action action is now both urgent and essential. Nigeria is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Since 2012, more than 2.3 million Nigerians have been displaced and nearly 500 have died.
“Climate change is increasing the frequency of droughts, changing rainfall patterns and raising sea levels. This issue impacts every Nigeria. The UK has a bold, innovative and ambitious approach ahead of COP26- exploring nature-based solutions and protecting our landscapes and oceans. By working together with Commonwealth countries in Africa, we can help the most vulnerable to adapt to the impacts of climate change.”