Commence Immediate Withdrawal from Fossil Fuel Addiction- HOMEF Tells FG

Worried by the possibility of Nigeria attaining a net-zero target by 2060 as it projected, an ecological think-tank organisation, Health of Mother Earth Foundation(HOMEF) has urged the Federal government to begin immediate withdrawal from fossil fuel addiction.

Speaking at the School of Ecology (SoE) in Uyo Akwa Ibom State on “Weaning from Fossil Addiction and Healing Territories,” the Executive Director of HOMEF, Dr Nnimmo Bassey, described the 2060 projection to end fossil fuel as a ploy by FG to evade responsibility.

He said considering the urgency of the impact of climate change, government should immediately begin the process of detaching from fossil fuels and look for ways to heal the environment; not to wait till 2060 which he termed as a political statement.

He observed that 2060 projection was just attempt to over burden the future generation noting that all the leaders who made such projections may not be alive by then.

Bassey stressed that the opportunity to bring forward the green transition and wean humanity off its addiction to fossil fuels is achievable if government and relevant authorities are committed to doing so.

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According to him, “2060 fossil fuel projection is a milestone for avoiding responsibility and avoiding action, so there is no specific target that will bring about reasonable solution. Politicians are just buying time.

“You can’t buy time with climate change. Climate change is a matter of emergency and action is needed now not by 2060.

“One thing I tell the youth to do is to ask politicians, how old will you be by 2050 or 2060 or 2070? When they tell you the age then you will know whether they care about your future.”

Bassey also noted that in attempt to heal the environment, government and the international oil companies should prioritize proper decommissioning of abandoned oil wells in the Niger Delta.

He noted that most pipelines in the Niger Delta have outlived their life span as some of the oil wells that were shut down in 1970s are still leaking oil and polluting the environment.

“In all these, there should be arrangement for decommissioning, remediation and restoration of the environment. Most pipelines have outlived their life span, some of the oil wells shut down in the 1970sare still leaking oil and polluting the environment, people are still cultivating crops around there, you sow in pollution and reap corrupted harvest because the soil is polluted already.”

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Also speaking, Ken Henshaw, the Director of “We the People Foundation,” while calling for a clean up lamented that Niger Delta has become an ecological timebomb due to the incessant gas flares and pollution.

He said there are about 178 gas flare points in the Niger Delta noting that over 12 million tonnes of CO2 are being released into the air even as he noted that such has led the Niger Delta to be regarded as having the highest death rate in the world as research has shown that the life expectancy is 41 years.

One of the participants, Enyina Wilson the Secretary of Okoro-Utip village council, Ibeno in Akwa Ibom State lamented the health challenges his people face from the oil pollution which according to him has worsened the death rate in the area.

On his part, Tijah Bolton Akpan, the Executive Director,Policy Alert called for end to carbon offsetting and carbon speculation saying that they are false solutions based on the same market model that caused the climate crises in the first place.

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In his paper entitled, ” Carbon Speculation and Rupturing of Communities(the case of Stubbs Creek), Akpan challenged civil societies and community groups to resist in solidarity the last takeover of the Stubb Creek Forest Reserve in Akwa Ibom State by the fossil fuel industry.

He noted that with the oil refinery, a greater part of the reserve will be destroyed totally and the natural habitat of the reserve endangered.