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Expert tasks FG on transition from fossil fuels to Just Energy

The Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo, has advocated for transition from dependence on fossil fuels to Just Energy Transition in renewable energy alternatives in order to have harmony with nature.
A Just Energy Transition is a transition towards a sustainable, low carbon and equitable energy system which is better for people and the planet.
He stated this during an event organized by Frontline Energy and Environmental Services to mark the year 2021 World Environment Day with the theme: “Ecosystem Restoration.”
He insisted that environmental sustainability not only requires ecosystem recovery but also that socio-political and economic domains are subsumed as subsets of development.
“The way forward is living in harmony with nature and ourselves and not in agony. Living in harmony with nature is a crucial challenge that requires a deep transformation in global production and consumption patterns,” he stressed.
Dr. Ojo argued that the failure of leadership in Nigeria is mostly felt in the area of natural resource management, environmental sustainability and the protection of traditional livelihood sources.
According to him: “Nigeria’s dependence on oil and gas revenue that is accounting for 65 percent of government expenditures and 88 percent of foreign exchange earnings has also witnessed weak institutions, lowering environmental standards and lack of enforcement and compliance to extant laws and regulations.
“As a result, the government that is unwittingly practicing internal Colonialism join forces with neo-colonial forces of neoliberalism to suppress the people.
“Therefore, transnational corporations at the behest of their national governments are allowed to get away with environmental racism because the standards deployed in USA and Europe are different from the standards deployed in the global south especially in Nigeria.”
He, however, noted that lack of justice  will continue to fuel ecosystem disturbance in Nigeria.
“Ecosystem disturbance will continue due to increasing lack of access to justice.
“Environmental injustice impinges on ecosystem restoration and resilience. Access to justice is denied or narrowed in ways that favour the companies to continue environmental degradation with impunity.
“The concept of victims sleeping on their rights, or where violations are apparent, yet, the burden of proof on environmental issues that require scientific proof and huge legal fees are placed on the victims of environmental destruction.  
“Rather, the TNCs should have the responsibility to discharge their responsibilities and show how they are meeting regulations and standards to preserve the environment and ecosystems restoration which they often neglect.
“As a result of impunity in the extractive and mining sectors, ecosystem disturbance is left unaddressed,” he stressed
The environmental activists, however, revealed that there are over 10,000 oil spills sites in the Niger Delta and none has been adequately cleaned up and in northern Nigeria desertification and drying up of Lake Chad has put pressure on water supply, fisheries and rural livelihoods. Ecosystem restoration includes conservation efforts, and the need for local people to be involved in environmental protection, remediation and conservation.

Written by ExpressDay

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