FG mulls climate finance to curb borrowing

Sharon EboesomiDecember 5, 20232 min

The option of climate finance as a cheap funding source for the budget is being explored in place of wholesome borrowing, says Tinubu’s minister

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, has said the Federal Government will explore climate finance in order to reduce the rate of borrowing in country.

Edun made this statement while speaking at an interactive session on the 2024 budget organised by the Senate Committee on Appropriations on Tuesday at the National Assembly.

According to him, Nigeria’s fiscal space is bogged by large-scale dependence on oil at a time when the world is moving away from fossils to renewable sources of energy in spite of doubts about meeting the target of the Paris Agreement of limiting the rise of global temperature.

He said: “Nobody thinks that the 1.5° limit on global warming will be met. They believe that the world will go higher in terms of climate change. The outcome that is targeted will not be met, but still there has to be a battle to limit the damage. What that means is that there’s an estimated $1 trillion per annum to be spent on climate change.

“Just yesterday, Dubai, UAE announced $30 billion for climate action. Another 1.5 billion dollars was announced by another group and what that means is that as we look to fund the 27.5 trillion budget this year, our first point of call must be the cheapest and the most concessionary financing, including climate financing.

“Three days ago, we signed a €100 million direct investment for reafforestation in Cross River State and reafforestation of the Mangrove forest.”

Mr. Edun, however pointed out that inasmuch as the budget provides room for privatization and maximizing the country’s assets without borrowing, it becomes a necessity for the National Assembly to explore the option of climate financing.

He also called for a speedy consideration and passage of the appropriation bill.

Sharon Eboesomi

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