Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Thursday called for collaboration to reverse the negative effects of climate change to preserve humanity and save future generations from jeopardy.
Ambode, represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Adebule, made the call at the launching of the Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Programme, organised by FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange.
The programme was in partnership with Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa) and Climate Bonds Initiative, in Lagos.
He said the Green/Climate Bond Initiative was one of the initiatives developed to address the problems of climate change and make the planet safer for humans.
“The greatest threat to the sustainability of the planet earth is the negative effect of climate change and if nothing meaningful is done to reverse the trend, the existence of future generations will be in jeopardy.
“In the quest to save planet earth and preserve humanity, various initiatives, such as the ‘Green/Climate Bond’ initiative have been developed to address the problems of climate change.
“The initiative being launched today is one of the world fastest economic power house in West Africa and it is a window opportunity for financing of developmental projects that promote healthy and sustainable environment to make our cities livable.
“As we are aware, Lagos State is susceptible to the negative effects of climate change; we are also aware of its status and negative impact on the overall well-being and prosperity of present and future generations,’’ he said.
“This is why the state government has been in the forefront of the campaign to make the environment healthy and sustainable via implementation of eco-friendly policies and programmes.
“As a government, we will take advantage of the profitable investment opportunities and benefits presented in the Green Bond Initiative.
“We will partner with both local and foreign investors for the execution of climate friendly projects which will impact positively on the well-being and prosperity of our people.’’
Also, Mr Joseph Okwu Nnanna, Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said the green bond programme would pave way for development of the renewable energy sector which had huge prospects in Nigeria.
He said the green bond programme, if well-articulated and implemented, would unlock the potential of the Nigerian renewable energy sector.
“There is the need to seriously consider the option of developing the country’s renewable energy resource as Nigeria is blessed with abundant renewable resources.
“These resources range from adequate sunlight for solar power, vast land for agriculture to support bio-fuels, water and many more.
“We cannot afford to fold our arms and watch other countries develop their renewable energy resources only to import such resources from them later.
“We must avoid the mistakes of the past in the development of our renewable energy sector and the time to start is now,’’ Nnanna said.
“We also need to develop a sustainable capital to fund this sector, this is where the green bond market development programme comes in to create an effective market for green financing with appropriate instruments to energise investment and growth of the sector.
“The CBN will continue to work tirelessly to create the enabling environment for the sustainability of the Nigerian financial system needed for the successful implementation of Nigerian Bond programme.’’
Contributing, Mr Tajudeen Yusuf, Chairman, House Committee on Capital Market and Institutions, said the initiative was an innovative idea to empower the financial market in support of the Nigerian economy.
“The National Assembly has realised that there is nowhere in the world where you will find an economy providing support that is required for the citizenry without a capital market, deepened and strategically positioned to provide the missing link.
“The growth of Dubai that we have today was made possible because the capital market played a major role in the transition. I’m glad our capital market is keying into this initiative,’’ Yusuf said.
In her presentation, entitled “The Rise of Green Bonds – Global Trends and the Opportunity for Nigeria’’, Mrs Justine Leigh-Bells, Director, Market Development, Climate Bonds Initiative, said there was the need for the collaboration of stakeholders in the capital market to drive the Climate Bond Initiative in Nigeria.
She said that such collaboration would make the nation’s economy prosper.
“The issues with climate change is a global economic issue as every country in the world, Nigeria inclusive, is going through one form of climate change problem or the other.
“The Green Bond Initiative is a high investment product that all stakeholders should be a part of.
“What we need to do is to bridge structures that will allow private investors to manage risk and understand that it is about jobs, growth and livable cities,’’ she said.