COP28: Tinubu meets King Charles, Nigeria, others eye $261bn

President Bola Tinubu on Thursday met King Charles III of England in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, the venue of the COP28 Climate Summit.

Both leaders had arrived in the city to join the conference where leaders from over 198 countries are expected to participate.

Tinubu announced the meeting on his X account, describing the British monarch as a passionate climate advocate.

He stated, “I had a productive meeting with His Majesty, King Charles III of England who is also the Head of the Commonwealth, and a passionate climate advocate.

“The meeting was a significant step in strengthening the partnership between Nigeria and the United Kingdom, and I am optimistic about the positive impact our joint efforts will have on our planet’s future as we look forward to setting an equitable global standard for environmental stewardship at COP28.”

Thursday’s meeting became President Tinubu’s first engagement since he arrived Dubai in the early hours of the day.

Presenting the 2024 budget proposal to a joint session of the National Assembly, the President revealed that he had directed relevant government agencies to diligently work towards securing substantial funding commitments that will bolster Nigeria’s energy transition.

He said Nigeria must seize this opportunity to attract international partnerships and investments that align with her national goals.

“I call upon our representatives to engage proactively to showcase the strides we have made in the quest to create an enabling environment for sustainable energy projects.

“Together, we will strive for Nigeria to emerge from COP28 with tangible commitments, reinforcing our dedication to a future where energy is not only a catalyst for development but also a driver of environmental stewardship,”

Meanwhile, Nigeria and other poor oil and gas countries whose climate and environment have been impacted by fossil fuel exploration by International Oil Companies will benefit from a $261bn climate fund, The PUNCH has learnt.

The climate summit, which kick-started in Dubai on Thursday, saw donations from countries including $100m from the COP28 host United Arab Emirates, another $100m from Germany, at least $51m from Britain, $17.5m from the United States, and $10m from Japan.

The fund, a total of about $261bn will help nations impacted by climate change from fossil fuel exploration cope with costly climate disasters.

It is not yet clear whether or not more donations would be made before the end of the two weeks conference.

Nigeria and other poor oil-producing countries had demanded for a damage fund for years, and analysts say the donations could “help grease the wheels for other compromises to be made” during the two-week summit.

The fund became necessary following divestments by IOCs from fossil fuel to cleaner energies.

A statement by Secretary General, African Petroleum Producers’ Organization, Omar Farouk Ibrahim, released on Thursday, and obtained by The PUNCH, emphasised the need for richer nations to consider the poorer nations in their decisions to phase out fossil fuel, which according to him, had formed the base for which they (richer countries) rode on its back to development.


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