climate-change

… Nigeria, others need to take position at COP27 – Nnimmo

accuses polluting nations of poor attention on devastating effects of climate change

…says rich nations offloading problems on Africa

as other stakeholders call for practical, sustainable action to save innocent lives

By Gabriel Ewepu

AHEAD of 27th session of the Conference of Parties, COP27, the a nonprofit organization, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, CAPPA, Thursday, expressed concern over the devastating impact of climate change in Nigeria and other African countries and demanded urgent decisions by government of Nigeria and the polluting nations to address factors behind the deadly impacts.

In an address of welcome by the Executive Director, CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi, at a two-day ‘National Conference on Climate Change, COP 27 and Behold’ organised by CAPPA and held in Abuja, said the issue of climate change cannot be taken lightly as it is a crucial matter and also for generations unborn.

According to Oluwafemi, the two-day Conference focuses on articulating a common climate change agenda for COP 27 with emphasis on Just Energy Transition; Build consensus on the need for adequate climate financing for the implementation of adaptation and mitigation plans in Nigeria and Africa; Interrogate Nigeria’s NDCs and Nigeria’s Climate Change Act 2021 and synergy in their implementation; and facilitate the needed interaction among state and non-state actors including frontline communties in Nigeria.

The 27th session of the Conference of Parties, COP27, to the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, UNFCCC, is billed for Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt will hold in October 2022.

Oluwafemi while explaining the essence of the two-day Conference said, “Climate change is now an indisputable reality and experts have confirmed that Africa carries the biggest burdens of the climate crisis.

“In fact, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCc, 2022 report released earlier this year warns that going by current trends, by the year 2030 about 250 million people may experience water stress in Africa, with up to 700 million displaced. The figure of the current 1.4 billion population of Africa.

“For those who might be skeptical about the crisis we have at hand, we need not go too far to put the IPCC analysis into context.”

He also recalled the catastrophe caused by 2012 flood in the country as a result of water released from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon, which 23 States were massively flooded, and 400 people were killed, while large expanse of farmlands were submerged and food security seriously threatened, and he added that other neighbouring countries were not spared as well.

However, he (Oluwafemi) said, “The COP27 will present another opportunity for parties bro assess their climate ambitions and how to collectively chart a path to addressing the global menace and particularly the need to reinforce demands for counties of the global North to demonstrate the seriousness in making available Climate Finance for vulnerable countries.

“Nigeria’s delegation will also be attending the COP. How are we faring in relation to our climate ambitions? How are we faring with our Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs?

“We must use this opportunity to also x-ray Nigeria’s Net Zero plans and Professor Yemi Osinbajo’s debt for climate swap proposal where bilateral or multilateral debt is forgiven by creditors in exchange for a commitment by the debtor to use the outstanding debt service payments for national climate action programmes. Is this initiative feasible? Is it a false solution? What do we really want? What is the real solution to the climate crisis.”

Meanwhile, the keynote speaker and Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, Arc Nnimmo Bassey, said Nigeria needs to present a strong position at the COP27.

Bassey lamented the danger polluting nations have placed Nigeria and other African countries whose activities are insignificant as far as environmental degradation is concerned.

He said, “We are losing the fight against climate change. The status quo on climate policy is a suicide.” Now that was said in 2019, and I assure you that even as we go to COP27 nothing has changed.

“In fact, now it is even more glaring that the policy direction globally, is leading the world to suicidal destinations, which means that the COP itself is not only colonial in nature, is a failure.

“The Secretary General of the United Nations, you can see the frustration, and every comment he makes before policymakers, negotiators meet, especially before the policymakers take over after the first week of each of the Conference of Parties you find that instead of going forward the debate is going backward.

“Climate change has we know and see, the impacts are very glaring but we need to understand that it has political roots.

“The reason why real action is not being taken is because some people don’t want anything to touch their profits. It doesn’t matter whether the world is drowning or whether people die but as long as the financial bottom line is not touched, some big powerful nations and corporations are happy.

“They want the current way of life to continue and that is very selfish because this way of life can only continue the short term. The future we are talking about is that your children and your children’s children are going to face situations that you cannot imagine today.

“And this is why we have to be frank with ourselves, especially as Africans that the current direction of the negotiations is not going to resolve the crisis.”

He also accused the polluting nations of spending heavily on building war armaments and conflicts to the tune of over $2 trillion annually but neglect the countries they have plunged into the quagmire of climate change.

He emphasized that it is time to re- examine what government and private sector call developments, what kind of life Africans want to live.

“We need to look at where those know we tried to copy how did they get there? I can tell you, one word through slavery, which was not just for extraction of natural or minerals, also extraction of agricultural products”, he said.

However, as solutions to the issues of climate change in Nigeria and other African countries, he said, the real action is to be taken the Nigerian government; COP needs to be decolonized; Demand that polluting nations should be held responsible for their activities, and others.

Also, in a goodwill message, the National President, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said, “The reality of climate change today confronts us as a people as a nation and as workers it has become one of the most devastating threats to the world of work made worse by the onslaught of neo-liberal globalization.

“However this threat must be seen as a wake-up call by the global community to rethink and recast the driving motivation for excessive profit accumulation above human consideration.

“We look forward to COP 27 to make bold, sincere and decisive action towards a greener and safer world.”

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