10 June 2014, Lagos – The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has advised the Nigerian government to wean itself off its fossil fuels dependence, blaming the trend for sea level rise that continues to swallow coastal communities and oil-ravaged communities of the Niger Delta.
ERA/FoEN call is premised on the theme of the 2014 World Environment Day commemoration which is Small Island Developing States with the slogan “Raise your voices not the sea level”.
In a statement issued in Lagos, ERA/FoEN said the 2014 event reiterates the ominous catastrophic impact of climate change and the need for collective action to stem the threats of sea level rise on coastal communities, especially in developing nations of the global South.
ERA/FoEN Executive Director, Godwin Ojo said: “The 2014 World Environment Day commemoration is a wake-up call to governments across the globe and particularly the Nigerian government to go beyond mere talk and artificial measures to critically addressing the impact of climate change on coastal communities already ravaged by extractive activities. Rising sea levels is one of the most serious threats to coastal communities.”
Ojo explained that, “At the global level concrete actions should include a legally binding mechanism to ensure appropriate measures in mitigation and adaptation measures to curb climate change. In Nigeria the impact of sea level rise is particularly noticeable in communities like Aiyetoro in Ondo State, parts of Lekki and Epe in Lagos, and across the Niger Delta that are now being swallowed by the Atlantic Ocean. These developments are instigated by unrelenting and reckless extraction promoted by transnational oil corporations that feed the voracious appetite of countries of the global North.
“In spite of its evident documented impact on the environment and global climate, the Nigerian government is yet to stamp its feet by insisting that oil transnationals like Shell stop gas flaring continues in the Niger Delta. We have said it time and again that the burning of fossil fuels in the Niger Delta heats up the skies, pollutes the immediate environment and causes acid rain even as it plays a key role in intensifying the downward match of deserts in the north.”
“The Nigerian government must as a matter of utmost priority, detach itself from its unholy matrimony with oil corporations that promote fossil fuels. It must embark instead, on a sustained energy transition to alternative sources in renewables as the way forward to the energy future that is clean and sustainable while guaranteeing community livelihoods”, Ojo stated.
– Daily Newswatch