Group Tells African Govts to Demand Payment for Carbon Debts from Rich Countries


By Adibe Emenyonu

The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has called on African governments and delegates to the CoP26 holding in Glasgow, Scotland to be resolute in their demand for climate change liability and payments for carbon debts by rich countries.

ERA/FoEN, made the call in a statement in Benin City, noting that in recent times, rich countries showed some appreciable effort to address climate change with a few countries such as the USA, Germany and the United Kingdom taking the lead in renewed pledges to the UNFCCC climate fund to address mitigation and adaptation measures in developing countries.

The environmental group however, insisted that rich countries’ efforts so far have grossly fallen short of expectations and are unlikely to be on target to close the gap on limiting global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

In the statement signed by ERA/FoEN, Executive Director, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo, to secure ambitious outcome, it stated that there was need to address the lack of equity and fairness in addressing climate change impacts.

Ojo, noted that catastrophic events due to the impact of climate change compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic had continued to buffet vulnerable countries especially in Africa.

He stated that given the rate of fiscal responsibility and allocations in addressing climate events in Europe and America and the robust response to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was an undeniable dichotomy between the rich and poor countries that betray the lack of equity and fairness in addressing these issues in the developing countries.

“According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, climate change impact will continue to be on the rise and with growing intensity hence the need for urgency.

“Firstly, the pledge to mobilising $100 billion annually by 2020-2025 as funds to addressing climate change actions stands at about 30 per cent and is nowhere near its mark. Therefore, the Earth Summit meeting of the Conference of Parties (CoP26) in Glasgow should be a rallying moment for rich counties to step up their commitments and show solidarity by walking the talk and putting their money where their mouth is.

“Secondly, CoP26 provides the opportunity to amplify system change and a transition from carbonised economy and fossil fuels dependence to renewable energy. Developing countries should redouble their stand to demand for a fair, just, and equitable energy transition and the climate finance to address climate change.

“There is the need to end addiction to fossil fuels, discard the false solution of net zero, and enthrone system change in the modes of production and consumption while plugging the widening gap of social inequalities at national levels and on a global scale.

“CoP26 should not be a process to reinforce energy colonialism on Africa but should liberate the continent’s energy potentials through cleaner technology and finance.

“Africa with low technology intake should not be taken advantage of or seen as a market expansion opportunism for developed countries’ renewable energy sector that is out-competing to dumping of obsolete technologies and petrol-diesel combustion engines.”