10 July 2019

Nigeria: Climate Struggle Is a Fight for Justice - Bassey

The Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, Nnimmo Bassey has said that countering climate change is a fight for justice.

He said climate change, if not tackled from the justice perspective, "we are bound to end up with a hollow victory, if any."

Bassey who made this known at the opening of School of Ecology on Climate Justice in Uyo, said justice demands that "we fight to free the world of all forms of domination and exploitation."

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"We have a duty to understand the root causes of climate change, to understand the unjust distribution of its impacts and why just solutions must be implemented," he said.

While noting that it is general agreement that climate change is driven mostly by human activities which include release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, among others, he said climate action to tackle the crisis at source is shockingly slow.

"If leaders are aware of the causes of the crisis, how come they are unwilling to act in a way demanded by science? Is it willful denial or are they propelled by some powerful forces behind their power? This requires interrogation, he stated.

He, however, said the present fossil fuels civilisation driven by unjust human relations, greed, domination, exploitation and irresponsible transformation of nature, is inexorably hitting the rocks.

The right activist said top among those promoting climate falsehood and denialism are fossil fuel companies claiming that there is no viable alternative to current fossil civilisation.

"They build on, and subvert, prevalent social imaginaries hinged on flawed conceptions of what they insist lead to sustainability, justice and community," he added.

"With desertification eating up 11 states in the north; with coastal erosion eating away the lands of our 850km long coastline; with many species going extinct from deforestation and accompanying habitat loss; with floods swallowing lives and properties, it is dubious to claim neutrality in this matter," he said.

Meanwhile the school aims, among other things, to build and share capacities towards advocacy for policies in favour of a just transition from polluting pathways and over-consumption of resources and promoting the rights of mother earth, sustainable biodiversity-based economies and respect of traditional knowledge and wisdom.

Nigeria

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