Oilwatch Africa Network members have said there should be no new fossil energy extraction on the continent and demanded immediate remediation activities at all fossil extraction sites to protect the continent from further destruction.
This was the summation at the end of the Oilwatch Africa Conference in Port Harcourt recently.
Oilwatch Africa representatives from Cameroon, Chad, Cote D’Ivore, Congo DR, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Togo and Uganda also called for immediate social and environmental health audit in fossil extraction locations on the continent.
They agreed that governments have failed to live up to the responsibility of protecting the environment and safeguarding the livelihood of the people, erroneously believing that monetary benefits from fossil extraction is a fixation to climate change.
They said the African continent will be worse affected as evidenced by the hurricanes that struck Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi and South Africa in March and April 2019.
While noting that fossil fuel extraction has fuelled corruption, therepresentatives said “it has also led to state capture thereby stifling the prospect of development in Africa, subverting our economies, re-colonizing our continent and subjugating our people.”
“Fossil energy civilization is the bane for the current climate crisis and a compelling rationale to prohibit all forms of fossil exploration- fresh waters, oceans, forests, national parks – across the continent and elsewhere,” they said.
While supporting the oil pollution clean-up exercise taking place in Ogoniland, they demanded that the process be hastened and completed on schedule.
They, however, urged African governments to improve governance standards to end unbridled conflicts and related land grabbing inspired by fossil energy extraction interests.