Delta State governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan yesterday canvassed a restoration of the eco-system in polluted and environmentally devastated oil-producing communities occasioned by the activities of multinational oil companies operating in the creeks and riverine communities of the Niger Delta.
Speaking at the panel discussion on national and sub-national cooperation for the new green economy that would shape the future of the global community at the 2nd Governors Global Climate Summit with the theme â€˜On the Road to Copenhagen,â€™ Governor Uduaghan said he was delighted to be at that forum to learn from the rich experiences of other state actors and global players on climate change, while at the same time sharing his experiences in Delta State with the rest of the world.
Dr. Uduaghan called on the international oil companies, including Shell, Chevron, etc to show respect for the environment because the continued devastation and pollution of the environment would greatly impede any meaningful gains that have been recorded in the journey towards global climate change.
He said in Delta State, his administration is greatly committed to the building of a new economy that is diversified and less-dependent on oil or fossil fuel for economic development. He challenged the oil companies to join in the campaign and crusade for climate change and save the planet from devastation.
He said: â€œWe are delighted to be here to learn and also share our experiences with the rest of the world. In Delta State, we are committed to building an economy that is less dependent on oil and gas. We are building a Delta State without oil”.
We also want to partner with the UNDP in greening our environment, on this new deal for the states. â€œWe are committed to an agricultural green revolution in Delta State. But here, we would want to see concrete steps and efforts by Chevron and Shell in protecting our environment from degradation.Â I have not seen Chevron here at this forum. It would be important for them to be part of this campaign because in Delta State, the activities of the oil companies impact very negatively on our environment.â€
The Chair and moderator of the session, Jane Davidson, who is the Minister for Environment in Wales, UK Commended Governor Uduaghan for his forthrightness and commitment to climate change.
She said:â€I am told that Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, the Governor of Delta State has been adjudged by AFRIPOL and the Global Network for Good Governance based in South Africa and Norway as a great respecter of the environment and I am very happy with this. What he has said is that there are corporate bodies whose activities impact negatively on the environment and we all need to deal with that with concerted efforts.â€
Other members of that panel included the minister of environment from Algeria and chairperson of the TACC in Africa, Linda Adams, California Secretary for Environmental Protection, Rupert Posner, Director for Australia, The Climate Group, and Stephen Albrechtskirchinger of the World Energy Council.