Participants at an international conference on Just Energy Transition organised by the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), in Abuja, have called for a global alliance, to especially urge African governments to look beyond oil in their quest for development.
This, according to them, was to save the environment from further degradation, with desert encroachment and global warming at the forefront.
The Executive Director, ERA/FoEN, Dr. Godwin Ojo, said there has been tremendous growth across the globe from the start of the industrial revolution to the present day, noting that the consequence of unrestrained economic expansion has been the incredible increase in greenhouse gas emissions and the warming of the climate.
He said scientists recently revealed that the warmest years recorded in history have occurred in the last five years and that every year gets progressively warmer than the last with many communities experiencing first-hand, the impact of the climate crisis.
He also pointed out that a recent Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on climate change released in October painted a frightening scenario of “irreversible impacts on humans and the ecosystem if we fail to act.”
The report urged the global community to act immediately and show more ambition so that rising temperature does not exceed the 1.5 degree Celsius threshold, if the earth is to have the opportunity of containing the impacts of climate change.
He said the national budget for renewable energy reached an investment of US$286 in 2015 alone, but that over 1.6 billion people have no access to electricity and about 2.4 billion depend solely on fuel wood.
“The rising energy demand is also leading to increasing violent resource conflicts at the sites of extraction.
“Nigeria is nowhere near meeting its nationally determined commitment to addressing climate change and reducing carbon emissions. About 70 percent of the 170 million population depend solely on fuel wood for energy and representing one of the world’s highest deforestation rates of 3.5 percent annually,” he said.