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Nigeria holds Civil Society Consultative Forum Towards Marrakech COP22

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A National Civil Society Consultative Forum on TOWARDS MARRAKECH COP22.  is underway in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.

The forum, which brings together state and non-state actors from the six geo-political zones of the country including the media will focus on:

  • Identify national climate change priorities of Nigeria
  • Identify what Nigeria intends to and should focus on doing to address the impacts of climate change in the next 5-10 years and her commitment to Paris Agreement and other Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) including Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Assess Nigeria’s priorities for COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco and the critical role of CSOs in Climate Change processes in Nigeria and beyond?
  • Critically assess Nigeria’s national climate change policies, programmes, plan and actions that requires policy intervention.
  • Assess the current state of play in the climate change dialogue processes in Nigeria
  • Identify during the forum the  emerging issues  and  key pillars of negotiations such for Nigeria such as adaptation, mitigation, technology transfer and deployment, capacity building, finance, sectoral issues such as REDD/REDD+, Agriculture, and Energy
  • Outline how will CSOs will work towards influencing MEAs and its related policies in Nigeria.

The Forum is being organised by Climate and Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet) in collaboration with the Department of Climate Change, Federal Ministry of Environment, Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco, Abuja ,Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), Heinrich Boll Stiftung,Pan-African Media Alliance For Climate Change (PAMACC)

Climate and Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet)  is a network of about300 civil society organisations cutting across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria. We bring together organizations, comprising grassroots community practitioners, trusts, federations of slum dwellers and pastoralists, home based caregivers, youth, media, women and faith-based organizations, including those working on child welfare, the elderly, disabled and those focusing on livestock and animal welfare, to commonly promote and advocate pro-poor, climate-friendly and equity-based responses to climate change and sustainable development.

Background

The Paris Agreement, adopted last year in December at 21st session of Conference of the Parties (COP 21) by 196 parties (195 countries and the European Union) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) constitutes a landslide agreement in global efforts to mitigate climate change, as well as prepare societies through adaptive action to the likely negative consequences we are yet to encounter even if mitigation efforts succeed in limiting global warming to the below-2°C target.

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ERA/FoEN says water privatisation suggestion betrays public trust

era logoThe Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has described suggestions by the Speaker of Lagos House of Assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa that privatization is the answer to the water needs of Lagosians as “betrayal of the trust reposed on him by the electorate”.
Obasa had, while speaking during a media parley to mark the first year of the Assembly last week, stated that the Lagos State Water Corporation (LSWC) needs chemicals as well as new and modern equipment to make it deliver on its mandate of providing Lagosians clean water. He added however that the state does not have the kind of resources to ensure this happens, hence will subscribe to privatisation of the LSWC.
The lawmaker also revealed that a conducive environment was being put in place for foreign partners to come in, and argued that water was currently being sold to Lagosians at “below price”

Reacting, ERA/FoEN’s Deputy Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi said: “The proposal of the Speaker on an issue of such magnitude which bothers on the rights of Lagos citizens to a free gift of nature is not satisfactory and also reveals the depth of financial deprivation the water sector has been subjected to owing to the perception that water must be commodified for it to be more widely and readily available”

 “This unfortunate suggestion adds to the plethora of conflicting statements from the Lagos State government on its plans to ensure access to water as a human right. We recall that the Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejire had said last year said that the issue of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the water sector was “null and void”. The Permanent Secretary, Office of the Chief of Staff to the governor, Abiodun
Bamigboye, had similarly explained that the state was not considering privatization in the water sector. A few days after,  it came as a rude shock to us that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode sang a different tune, stressing the state would privatize.
Oluwafemi noted that the Speaker’s suggestion points to an attempt to legitimize water privatisation, playing on the faulty notion that private investors will turn around the Lagos water sector.
“We want to make the Speaker understand that the private sector does not bring capital investments. If they make any investment at all, they push the burden to the people while raking illicit profits. This happened in Manila, the Philippines, Nagpur in India and other countries where privatization in the PPP model was experimented”bode water
 “We fault the claim that Lagos does not have the funds needed to deliver on its water mandate. On the contrary, we feel that the state is not prioritizing water as it does security, road construction and other obligations it is delivering on at the moment”. Oluwafemi said.
Lessons to learn
He insisted that examples across the globe show that remunicipalisation was the answer to the failed PPPs promoted by the World Bank, revealing that Paris and Cochabamaba are the latest cities to take back their water from privatisers.
In his words: “The water wars of Cochabamba is one example that the Lagos government must learn from. Bolivians rejected the deal to hand over their utility rights to US-based Bechtel Corporation following rate hikes which made it impossible for people to afford water. Lagosians are now being primed for a similar experience if we are to take the Speaker by his remarks that we are paying “below price”.
 
“Like we had said time and again, there are no alternatives to a democratically-governed water sector in privatisation. The people must determine how water is managed. The solution has never and will never be in giving our public assets to privatisers whose only interest is skimming us off profits. We are open to putting forward our proposals on how to ensure this happens. Privatisation in any guise is unacceptable. We reject it and Lagos residents reject it,” Oluwafemi insisted.
 
Posted in Press Releases

More than 224,000 call on UNFCCC to kick big polluters out of climate policy

KICK POLLUTERS

Corporate Accountability International and more than 224,000 organisations and  people have called on the parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),  in the final days of the Bonn Climate Change Conference,to protect the treaty and climate policy making from the undue influence of the globe’s biggest polluters.

The call comes as record droughts and rainfall as well as relentless heat waves claim lives around the globe and some of the world’s biggest polluters attempt to co-opt the treaty process and influence negotiating outcomes and a few months before the Paris meeting.

The call signals a global rejection of corporate capture of climate change policy making.

The meeting in Bonn is one of the last formal meetings of the Parties before the next full Conference of the Parties to the treaty in Paris—largely regarded as a make-or-break moment for the agreement.

Industry interference

 “Why would you let the professional arsonist join the volunteer fire department?” said Bill McKibben, author and co-founder of 350.org, “These are the guys who want to keep the problem going, not solve it.”

From aggressive lobbying of national governments to bankrolling of international meetings, the fossil fuel industry interferes at all levels.

Industry co-optation of treaty meetings has been a growing problem and a primary obstacle to progress. At the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP) in Warsaw, corporations with a direct conflict of interest in the treaty’s success not only sponsored the talks, they were given preferential access to delegates.

In May, it was revealed that COP 21 in Paris may be yet another “Corporate COP” with the announcement of EDF and Suez Environment as lead sponsors.

Suez Environment, infamous for its dealings in water privatization, is partially owned by ENGIE, formerly GDF Suez, which profits from fracking operations around the world, putting it at direct odds with the advancement of the treaty. ENGIE and EDF’s coal operations contribute to nearly 50% of France’s emissions.

The Petitioners say the cozy relationship between polluters and the UNFCCC has become increasingly institutionalized.  The Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA), a joint project of the incoming and outgoing COP presidents, the Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the UNFCCC Secretariat, encourages direct engagement with non-state actors—primarily identified as sub-national governments and corporations—as stakeholders in the policy making process.

“The fossil fuel industry is not a partner in the solution—it is the driver of the crisis. Giving big polluters a seat at the table glosses over the glaring conflict of interest fossil fuel corporations have in a real solution to climate change,” said John Stewart, deputy campaign director at Corporate Accountability International.

According to John, “Inviting gas, oil and coal corporations to shape climate policy is akin to looking to Big Tobacco to shape public health policy.”

The Petition

“We call on you to take immediate action to protect COP 21 and all future negotiations from the influence of big polluters. Given the fossil fuel industry’s years of interference intended to block progress, push false solutions, and continue the disastrous status quo, the time has come to stop treating big polluters as legitimate “stakeholders” and to remove them from climate policy making.”kick polluters 3

Today, we are facing the prospect of the destruction of life as we know it and irreversible damage to our planet due to climate change. Scientists are telling us with ever more urgency that we must act quickly to stop extracting fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But the world’s largest polluters have prevented progress on bold climate action for far too long.”  The petition said.

The petitioners called on the Parties to the UNFCCC to protect the UN climate talks and climate policy making around the world from the influence of big polluters.

According to them, “The world is looking to the next round of negotiations – in Paris this December – for decisive action on climate. This is a pivotal moment to create real solutions. We need a strong outcome from the Paris talks in order to seize the momentum of a growing global movement, and to urge leaders to take bolder action to address the climate crisis.”

They claimed that the fossil fuel industry and other transnational corporations that have a vested interest in stopping progress continue to delay, weaken, and block climate policy at every level.

“From the World Coal Association hosting a summit on “clean coal” around COP 19 to Shell aggressively lobbying in the European Union for weak renewable energy goals while promoting gas – these big polluters are peddling false solutions to protect their profits while driving the climate crisis closer to the brink.” They insisted.

A decade ago, the international community took on another behemoth industry – Big Tobacco – and created a precedent-setting treaty mechanism that removed the tobacco industry from public health policy. This can happen again here.

Corporate Accountability International will deliver this message and the list of signatures at the climate talks in Bonn, Germany, the first week of June. They will do another delivery by the end of COP 21 in Paris this December.

To view the petition, go to www.KickBigPollutersOut.com


Posted in Green Quotes

“Inviting gas, oil and coal corporations to shape climate policy is akin to looking to Big Tobacco to shape public health policy.” -John Stewart, deputy campaign director at Corporate Accountability International.

Posted in Press Releases

African Environmental Group commits to Halting extractive activities

A conference and Annual General Meeting of a civil society Network, Oilwatch Africa, has ended in Togo with a renewed commitment by the group to stand firmly with communities across the continent and globally in their struggles for environments devoid of the impunities of fossil extracting activities.

http://www.voiceofnigeria.org/africa/african-environmental-group-commits-to-halting-extractive-activities.html

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Group presents environment roadmap for Nigeria

By Ugonma Cokey

A non –governmental Organisation, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria has presented a 10-point Agenda on the environment to the Nigerian government and policy makers. Presenting the Agenda during an ERA meeting on Environment sustainability agenda for National Development in Abuja, Dr. Godwin Ojo, explained that the agenda was a result based on years of interaction with communities. The policy covers ten cardinal areas.

Source: Group presents environment roadmap for Nigeria | Climate Reporters