An Energy conference has called on the Nigerian government to prioritize national and community energy needs over global economic models that promote inequalities.
The one-day conference organised by the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the earth ERA/FoEN Nigeria and funded by Friends of the Earth Norway, called for a reform of the renewable energy policy and proposal for a renewable energy policy bill.
The conference, the sixth in the series, told government to promote decentralized alternative energy with a focus on renewables which must be affordable and environment- friendly.
The conference demanded that “Clean and safe community alternative energy models be vigorously pursued to deliver on community energy needs that are off-grid and mini-grids.”
It said that the Nigerian government should match words with action by allocating a reasonable per cent of its annual income to funding for research and development of alternative energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass, among others.
The renewable energy conference demanded for the establishment of appropriate institutional infrastructure and frameworks to support expanding energy supply and access and their sustainability.
It stressed the need for the harmonisation and integration of sustainable energy policies in development at all levels and development of a renewable energy model that is back by an Act of Parliament as well as zero tariffs on renewable energy products to allow greater energy access.
“Government should divest funding, loans and subsidies from fossil fuel development and oil prospecting and instead invest in renewable sources of energy.” it said.
The conference brought together civil society, development groups, government officials and community-based groups who shared experiences and analyzed critically issues concerning energy policy in Nigeria, the environmental and social impacts of extractive processes.
It brought to the fore, serious issues on the growing energy deficit in Nigeria and renewed aggressive extraction of natural resources including oil and gas from Nigeria and other parts of Africa to meet increasing demand in North America, Europe and other countries like Russia, Brazil, India and China.processes
It also proffered solutions and energy models to address energy deficit and addressed peoples’ right to a new energy model in Nigeria.
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:
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.
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.
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”
Twenty-three members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) have expressed solidarity with people in the global community standing in support of the human right to water, with particular mention of the dangers of privatisation of water in Lagos.
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.
“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.”
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.”
“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.”
“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
“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.