Speaking at the opening plenary of the COP- 26 Climate Change Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), said rich countries have cheated, oppressed and lied to Africa.
He said this despite the fact that the continent is hardly a polluting continent, noting that it is responsible for only five per cent of global emissions.
Reminding developed countries of the promise to give at least $100 billion a year to developing countries, Buhari said Africa has heard enough from rich countries, saying ” it is time for them to put their words into action” .
He expressed disappointment that some of the world’ s biggest polluters, China, which contributes 11 per cent to global warming, and Russia did not attend the summit in person.
Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, made this public on Tuesday in a statement titled ” @COP26, Nigeria sends strong message to rich nations. ”
The statement reads in part, ” President Buhari, in a speech that focused on a range of issues affecting Africa and developing countries, criticised rich countries, the major emitters that have brought the global climate to this sorry state, by making commitments on climate change financing that have so far come to nothing.
” The president told world leaders that to achieve the goal of transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy, to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions, it is essential that developing countries have critical infrastructure.
Shehu quoted Buhari as saying, ” Parties to the Paris Agreement are expected to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy and achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions.
” We agree that achieving net zero can lead to economic transformation in all sectors. It is a good goal, but it requires the creation of critical infrastructure, including for renewables. That’ s why achieving Net Zero in Nigeria will take more time. ”
In advocating for financial support, the President noted that achieving national and global climate change goals requires adequate and sustained technical and financial support for developing countries.
According to the statement, he added that greater efforts should be made to help developing countries meet their nationally determined contributions through a commitment by developed countries to provide at least $100 billion annually.
” Facilitating access to climate finance has become an imperative in the wake of the COVID- 19 pandemic, which has truly crippled the economies of developing countries, ” the Nigerian leader said.
” The $100 billion a year for developing countries signed in the Paris climate accords in 2016, a promise by developed countries, has so far proved to be an empty promise. ”
Shehu said without being blunt, Buhari pointed out the hypocrisy of the developed world in imposing rules that clearly discourage development in developing countries.
” Let me remind you that the unprecedented growth of the industrialised countries is due to access to a stable and abundant, relatively cheap supply of energy, ” Buhari said.