An international environmental organisation, 350.Org, has called on African leaders to show more commitment to phasing out fossil fuels, while channeling resources to the development of the renewable energy sector.
Ms Rukiya Khamis, Regional Organizer, 350Africa.org, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), ahead of the launch of the “Power Up” for climate solutions initiative.
“We are calling on (African) governments and financial institutions to power up the continent safely by channeling finances to people-centered renewable energy, committing to phasing out fossil fuels, and for the fossil fuel industry to pay up for its role in the climate crisis.’’
Khamis said the heavy reliance on fossil fuels to generate energy had contributed to a lot of environmental and social problems, especially in Africa.
She stressed the need for Africa to look inward and fast-track the development of its vast renewable energy potentials, especially wind and solar.
“As we experience escalating climate impacts, to which the African continent is the most vulnerable, we are hopeful that a livable future is possible.
“Africa has an abundance of renewable energy potential that presents a unique opportunity for the continent to drive the global renewable energy revolution and foster an equitable transition away from fossil fuels,’’ she said.
The environmental activist said that as part of efforts to demand a clean, peaceful and equitable future for Africans, the NGO was leading a global month-long campaign ‘Power Up’ initiative.
She said the campaign was meant to put pressure on governments to change the narrative.
“Starting from Nov. 3, we will be calling on governments to get their act together and reclaim the excessive profits of the fossil fuels industry.
“Whether it is through taxes, ending subsidies, or stopping investments in new fossil fuel projects, they need to use this money to supercharge a global renewable energy revolution—one that is fair and shares resources equally.’’
According to her, the NGO is working closely with local groups and communities to raise awareness on the need for community-centered renewable projects, so as to evolve a clean/sustainable environment.
“The rapid heating of our planet is no accident; it is a crime perpetrated by a greedy few (Oil companies).
“For years, they have blocked climate action; all to protect their absurd wealth.
“It is time to break free from the chains of coal, oil, and gas and make the polluters pay for the urgent transformation we desperately need.
“We are taking to the streets not just in anger but with a burning hope in our hearts. We know there’s a better future, and we are determined to build it.
“People all over the world are already leading the charge towards a clean, just, and renewable world.
“Wind and solar power are smashing records year after year and getting cheaper by the day; we have got the tools and technology to make this transition a reality; what is missing is the political will,” she said.
In Nigeria, the NGO has slated series of ‘Power Up’ activities to take place in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ogoni land in the Niger Delta to raise awareness on oil spills, environmental degradation and need for shift to renewable energy.
350. Org is a leading civil society organisation with sustained advocacy to end fossil fuels exploration in Africa and have a just shift to renewable energy.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)