Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Nigerian view of climate issues

Godwin Haruna in This Day (“African views on global news”): The climate change phenomenon comes in many variants. Disasters such as floods and droughts, a direct impact of the phenomenon, have already killed and affected millions. Other effects of climate change according to scientists include food insecurity, ill-health, pollution, desertification and biodiversity. They also point to social and political instability and economic decline, all which will be hardest on the poor as other derivatives of the disaster.

Speaking on the phenomenon recently at a media training in Benin, the Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Mr. Nnimmo Bassey said climate change was seen even by the die hard skeptics as a real crisis that must be urgently tackled for the preservation of the earth in a form that would sustain human and other life forms....

“We note that the global North has historically contributed disproportionately to the amounts of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere whereas the global south has been saddled with the impacts and is now being forced into a corner from where she has no option but to seek means foe mitigation of the impacts and adapting to them as well. It is instructive as we shall see that the slant of these official frameworks and mechanisms have been intimately tied to trade and have had the main slant of opening up opportunities for huge financial benefits for polluting industries while the south will be further pushed into the debt trap through the strategies of the World Bank and other international financial players,” he said.

….Coming nearer home, Bassey stated that the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP), uses as a main plank, the myth that the project would significantly reduce gas flaring in the Niger Delta. According to him, should the application succeed, Chevron and other promoters of WAGP would receive carbon credits or financial rewards for halting a criminal activity for which they ought to be held criminally accountable.

….He added that issues of climate change were basically justice issues and therefore, the frameworks and funds for combating climate change must recognise this. He opined that the rich industrialised countries owed it as an obligation to places that have provided a lot of the resources they have used to transform their societies while plunging others into situations from which adaptation is now presented as the only lifeline. He said carbon trading and programmes built around it are not the solution to climate change. He said it offered polluting industries opportunity to sin and reap benefits from their sins, adding: “This is unfair, unjust and unacceptable and has to stop”.

No comments: