The new approach, according to experts, has the potential of reducing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.
They have demanded climate change solutions that address the root of climate change and reject all false solutions including market-based ones such as REDD+, Carbon Trading, Carbon Capture, Geoengineering, and Genetic Engineering masked as Climate Smart Agriculture.
The health of Mother Earth Foundation held in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital yesterday, experts called for concerted effort in tackling the crisis arising from global warming, as it affects everyone regardless of location or economic status. Maintaining that action should be taken from the perspective of justice.
Addressing the school, a renowned environmental rights activist and director of an ecological think tank, and Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF),
Nnimmo Bassey said mankind would be living in a state of willful denial if they continue to act as though all is well. He said it was shocking that no climate action had been taken to address the crisis at the source.
“With desertification eating up 11 states in the Northern part of the country, 850-kilometer coastline in the South and with species going extinct, it would be unfair to claim neutrality.
“Ours is to provide a platform for participatory learning, for agreements and disagreements, for debates and for the expression of our deep-seated positions. Our learning must lead to action. Action without application can be dangerous,’’ he said.
Bassey who is a co-recipient of the 2010 Rights Livelihood Award regretted that flood has affected 80 percent of Nigeria between July and September 2018 with 141 persons reported dead and 265 others suffering diverse injuries while similar calamities have happened before especially in 2012.
“Climate change determines the way we produce food, our access to water, our health, where we live and the diversity of plants and animal species found around us, ” he said.
He accused fossil fuel companies of promoting climate falsehood and denialism for claiming that there is no viable alternative to current fossil civilization. Adding that they “build on and subvert social imaginaries hinged on flawed conceptions of what they insist lead to sustainability, justice and community.”
Bassey, therefore, maintained that Climate change/global warming is driven by human activities which include the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, industrial agriculture, urbanization, and others.
Also addressing the school, Duncan McLaren, a visiting researcher at Linkoping University, Sweden called for urgent actions to cut emissions and to transform the societies so that “we can provide a sustainable life for everyone.”
He said there should be a collective effort in solidarity between people of the global north and the people from the global south and expressed disappointment that actions taken so far were not far-reaching enough which he said had led to a rise in temperature of up to 3 three degrees Celsius in the world.
Joyce Ebebeinwe, HOMEF’s project Officer on Hunger Politics in her lecture spoke on the need to adopt and promote the Agroecology system of agriculture as this has been demonstrated to ensure increased food productivity, economic stability, and climate resilience.
Babawale Obayanju, an environmental justice campaigner and communications expert who spoke on Climate Action: Youth Engagement and Environmental Justice Defence stated that youths have to do more in advocating for climate justice as their future is seriously threatened. He added that to encourage youth activism on climate justice there must be extensive environmental education and capacity building.
On the way forward for climate justice, Ifeoma Malo, Executive Director of Clean Technology Hub, Nigeria and country director of Power for All, spoke elaborately on the need to transit to renewable energy use and on practical steps towards it. According to Malo, the world is fast moving from the use of fossil fuel energy and soon there will be no market for the oil. She advised that Nigeria must quickly take steps towards setting up renewable energy alternatives such as solar energy systems.