Nigerian youths to play a central role at UN COP25 in Spain

By Seyifunmi Adebote

L-R: Samira Ibrahim and Seyifunmi Adebote with Senator Ike Ekweremadu (Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment) at COP25.

The government of Nigeria has put forward youth representatives to be a part of the official delegation to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 25) taking place at Feria De Madrid, Spain between December 2 and 13, 2019, under the Presidency of the Government of Chile. Although this has not been the case in previous years, with this development, it is expected that Nigeria will have increased outcomes from the negotiations and COP25 happenings.

Samira Ibrahim, Adenike Oladosu, Farid Labaran, Glory Ogbuegbo and Seyifunmi Adebote are some of the Nigerian youths that are participating at the ongoing UN COP25 in Madrid. Sharing her thoughts at the opening of the conference, one of the youth delegates, Samira Ibrahim considers the prospect of youth inclusion to catalyse climate action in Nigeria. According to her, “This is the first time that youths are included as part of the government delegates to play technical roles. Although the issues are too diverse, we are trying to map out issues of national priority in line with our respective strengths. We also understand the political will and international processes, so we are putting them in perspective in our engagements.”

In a discussion with the youth delegates, one of Nigeria’s Lead Negotiators to COP25, Professor Emmanuel Oladipo provided guidance on how the youths can maximize the global engagements and make solid inputs as part of the global negotiations in Madrid. “Climate has been changing and it will continue to change. The role of the youth is to lay emphasis on previous commitment and make sure the people making decision begin to understand the need for all hands to be on deck to urgently address this challenge.”

The UNFCCC conference has been designed to take crucial steps in the UN climate change process and is equally building on the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement agreed to at COP 24 in Poland. COP25 is furthermore meant to build ambition ahead of 2020, the year in which countries have committed to submit new and updated national climate action plans.

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