The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has challenged the Nigerian government to immediately embark on a post petroleum economy and diversify the energy mix to renewable sources of energy as the world comes up with solutions to the climate change phenomenon.
Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo who made the call at a media debrief on outcome of the meeting of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) just ended in Paris, said that the agreement in Paris has a limited and vague vision of reducing emissions hence the urgent need for de-carbonisation of the Nigerian economy and the energy sector through recognition and promotion of energy transition from oil, gas, coal and other fossil fuels by 2030.
Dr. Ojo said that after more than 20 years of intense Earth Summit negotiations by the UNFCCC, Parties finally adopted a Treaty on how to conduct mitigation and adaptation measures to combat climate change.
He revealed that though the treaty was adopted, parties approved a disappointingly non-binding agreement that favours voluntary mechanisms of reducing emissions that cause climate change rather than a legally binding mechanism.
“Although the agreement recognizes limiting temperature rise to under I.5 degrees, a position informed by science and pushed by global civil society groups, it has been subordinated within a 2 degrees development pathway. Equity and fair shares on the global carbon bank that should hold developed countries accountable has not been used to generate solutions.”
For Nigeria, he said two issues emanated from the current administrations response to environmental issues which lends credence that it is conducting environmental protection as “business as usual” rather than within the populist change agenda.
“For example, as was the case in Copenhagen, the Nigerian government pledged to end gas flaring but did not put in place any mechanism to address this.
“In Paris, 2015, the World Bank and Nigeria government’s hatched another crooked plan to end gas flaring by 2030. We consider this as hypocritical, deceptive and World Bank’s interference on national sovereignty in a country where gas flaring has been declared illegal since 1984. We call on the government to end gas flaring now and not to wait till 2030 when it will be too late.
He proposed that the governments divest public finance, subsidies and loans for oil, gas and coal and invest such funds in renewable energy development.
The briefing also served as opportunity for the launch of ERA/FoEN Annex 0 group which the ERA/FoEN boss said contrasts to Annex 1 and Annex II Groups of the UNFCCC. Annex 0 is an initiative to recognize the efforts of peoples, communities, nationalities, undertaken against the impacts of oil, gas, coal, and other fossil fuel extraction and to halt its expansion, protect the environment, and lives on planet earth.