Stakeholders want global citizen action in the fight against climate change
With climate impacts intensifying via food, droughts and wildfires around the world, actors from the School of Ecology on Propelling the Energy Transition said what will bring respite is a global and organized citizen action in line with what is already emerging.
Speaking on how to overcome the inertia of climate action during a training by the school management recently in Bayelsa, HOMEF director Dr Nnimmo Bassey said it would be expected that urgent global action is taken to address the climate crisis, adding that the heart of the Paris Agreement, fails to reduce emissions to the levels needed to combat ongoing global warming, as had predicted critical analysts, saying politicians were deliberately avoiding climate action.
Bassey said the unholy marriage between fossil fuel industries and governments has locked societies on the path to fossil fuels and made reliance on dirty energy seem both unavoidable and unavoidable.
According to him, “Nigeria and other African countries, senior political leaders insist that moving away from fossil fuels will lead to economic catastrophe, intensive energy deficits and a reign of poverty. It is not difficult to see how false these arguments are.
“The average Nigerian has been plunged into excruciating poverty and a massive energy deficit despite 64 years of extracting and exporting fossil fuels. Politicians cannot convince anyone that two more decades of destructive mining and pollution would suddenly reverse the horrific indices.
“This School of Ecology on the Propulsion of Energy Transition aims to achieve what its name suggests, to force the transition from bad or dirty energy to good or renewable energy. With our partners in Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa, we believe there are lessons that can be learned from the available wisdom and applied to fundamentally tip the scales away from polluting and harmful activities.
“We are actively learning from indigenous wisdom that broadly encourages living within planetary boundaries and in harmony with nature. Our youth can draw on the wisdom of elders, process and adapt it in innovative ways to bring about needed change.
“Indications for multilateral actions prompted by the UNFCCC Paris Agreement lean more towards perpetuating polluting activities, then towards removing carbon from the atmosphere, or towards sources of pollution to buy time by delaying the climate action while offloading the impacts on young people and children.
“This school denounces the intergenerational crimes linked to the insistence on energy companies that harm humanity and the Planet. You have heard of ongoing moves towards divestment that the Niger Delta Convergence Manifesto calls criminal flight, a move to profit from avoiding responsibility for current and historic ecocide. Also in Africa, there is a push for oil exploitation in the Okavango Basin in Namibia/Botswana, and an insistence on drilling in the Virunga (DRC) and the Saloum Delta in Senegal.