The first half of COP28 negotiations and events, held from November 30th to December 6. 2023, saw an active and impactful participation of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from Nigeria.
Over the week, Nigerian CSOs actively engaged in about 30 side events, with representatives delivering impactful speeches on various climate-related topics.
The mobilization of CSOs at COP28, led by Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st), Society for Planet and Prosperity (SPP), and Environews Development Network (Endenet), with support from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Department Office (FCDO) of the British High Commission (BHC), in partnership with the Nigeria Climate Justice Alliance (NCJA), was nothing short of remarkable.
The collaboration between these organizations facilitated regular briefings and updates for CSOs on the ongoing negotiations and events. This enabled the Nigerian CSOs to stay abreast of developments and make their voices heard.
A notable highlight was the invitation extended to the CSO leadership to participate in the first-ever Nigeria Day celebration at COP28.
Excited about this development, the CSO coordination group, in a statement released by Ms Titilope Akosa, Executive Director of C21st, disclosed that during this momentous occasion, the Nigerian CSO position was successfully conveyed to Dr Salisu Dahiru, Director-General of the Nigerian Climate Change Commission (NCCC), who pledged to transmit the position to the Nigerian President.
Says Ms Akosa “This recognition of the CSOs’ efforts signifies a new impetus for collaboration and affirms the importance of their role in shaping climate policies”
According to Ms Akosa, “The positive momentum gained at COP28 will be continued through a post-COP28 meeting, which aims to further enhance cooperation between the CSOs, the public and the Nigerian government at all levels”
‘This opportunity will allow for the exploration of new avenues to advance climate action and achieve meaningful progress in addressing the pressing challenges of climate change”
Commending the dedication of Nigerian CSOs at COP28, the group further reiterated that “The collective efforts displayed by Nigerian CSOs at COP28 demonstrate their unwavering commitment to climate action and their determination to contribute to a more sustainable future”
“We therefore encourage and look forward to their continued endeavors in driving positive change in Nigeria and beyond”
In a related development, the group have expressed their displeasure and deeply regret the media’s negative portrayal of the country’s delegates to COP28. This portrayal, viewed as misinformation, has the potential to undermine the progress made in opening up the climate space that CSOs have tirelessly fought for over the decades.
Contained in the statement, the CSOs noted “It is crucial to emphasize that some Nigerian CSOs have achieved observer status with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This acknowledgment highlights their credibility and expertise in matters related to the climate crisis. As observers, they possess the authority to register participants for COP and actively contribute to shaping the climate agenda’
Nigeria’s Government Participation
Nigeria’s Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) commend the Government of Nigeria for its active participation in COP28, marking a significant turning point in the country’s commitment to climate action. For the first time, Nigeria has sent a strong signal to the global community, showcasing its readiness to mobilize climate finance and collaborate with stakeholders to address the impacts of climate change within Nigeria.
During the first week of COP28, Nigeria achieved several notable milestones, marking quick wins in its pursuit of climate action. These achievements include:
- Launching of Nigeria’s Long term Low Carbon Emission Development strategy
- Nigeria Carbon Market activation
- Signing of MOU with Siemens
- Promising Discussions with development partners and investors to mobilize climate finance for Nigeria
Statement on Key Climate Agenda Items
Loss and Damage
Nigerian Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) warmly welcome the early operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund during the first week of COP28. This significant step highlights progress in addressing the losses and damages experienced by communities on the frontlines of climate change.
However, Nigerian CSOs emphasize the urgent need for expeditious establishment of the fund’s operational details, particularly the swift submission of pledges. The current pledge of $655 million falls far short of the actual finance required, which amounts to trillions, to adequately address the daily sufferings of affected communities.
On the agenda of the Global Goal on Adaptation, Nigerian CSOs advocate for increased efforts to ensure the realization of doubling adaptation finance by 2025. It is imperative that an action plan, clearly outlining the path toward this goal, be developed. While a commitment of $14 billion to adaptation finance has been made, it remains insufficient compared to the actual requirements.
Nigerian CSOs acknowledge the progress made by many countries in delivering Low-Carbon Development and Just Transition strategies. However, they emphasize the importance of incorporating gender equity and addressing existing vulnerabilities and marginalization. It is crucial that the transition to a low-carbon society actively includes and safeguards the rights and well-being of all, particularly the most vulnerable populations.
Nigerian CSOs stress that the current pledges are inadequate. The global goal on climate finance requires urgent and serious attention, with the realization of fair and realistic metrics that can effectively address the world’s response to climate change. Adequate financing is the lifeblood of climate action, and urgent action is needed to achieve the scale required.
As the negotiations enter the second round, Nigerian CSOs call for concrete action and heightened commitment across all negotiation streams. It is crucial to align the discussions and decisions with the temperature goal outlined in the Paris Agreement and deliver climate finance at a significant scale.
Nigerian CSOs remain steadfast in their dedication to pushing for meaningful outcomes during COP28. They call upon all stakeholders to demonstrate real commitment and take decisive steps to address the pressing challenges of climate change. By working collaboratively, we can build a more sustainable and resilient future for Nigeria and the global community.