By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
A network of organisations, known as Oilwatch, has called on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Conference of Parties (COP) to pay climate debts to victims of fossil fuel damages.
They have also demanded that the payment of social justice by Keeping fossils in the ground, paying the climate debt, creating corporations out of UNFCCC, and ultimately creating Annex 0 is a good start towards ensuring climate justice for victims.
This is even as they called on the global body to name fossil fuels as the primary source of greenhouse gases driving climate change.
The Network in a signed statement by the Organisation’ Media/Communication Lead Kome Odhomor alleged that the UN has studiously avoided naming fossil fuels as the Primary source of greenhouse gases driving climate change, further lamenting that after about 27 years of international negotiations, global warming continues to worsen with no effective and real solutions.
Oilwatch also alleged that the COPs have become a treadmill, an annual weird ritual that needs to recommit to its global focus and to make justice its core principle as initially conceived in the Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR), just as Climate finance issues have been addressed as though they were charities of new business. This ignores the historical roots of the crisis
Oilwatch believes that the right thing to push for now is to demand payment of the climate debt. The declaration of the Peoples Summit of Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth (Cochabamba, 2011) includes obligations by States and humans.
It recalled that Reports published in late October 2022 showed that profits at the world’s biggest oil companies have soared to nearly $173 bn as Russia’s war on Ukraine pushed upped energy prices, according to estimates from analysts.[ Jasper Jolly and Jessica Elgot (October 2022). Profits at World’s even Biggest Oil Firms Soar to Almost £150bn this year. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/oct/27/profits-at-worlds-seven-biggest-oil-firms-soar-to-almost-150bn-this-year-windfall-tax]
They affirmed that with skyrocketing profits it is evident that the time for real climate action is now, outside of dire cons like offsets and NDCs as the world cannot afford one more moment of procrastination.
In this scenario, one of the obstacles has been the direct influence that corporations linked to fossil fuels have had on the Convention’s decisions. Emitting, capturing, and sequestering carbon is a false solution that ignores the root cause of global warming or heating. The surest way to halt the upward temperature rise is to stop emissions at source by halting the opening of new fossil fuels mines or wells. It also means winding down further extraction from existing oil and gas fields. Other proposals for solar radiation management and carbon trading mechanisms, may yield profit but will not tackle the climate crisis.” They said
They further stated that “Real climate champions are communities, territories, and nations that have decided to keep the Oil in the Soil and the Coal in the Hole where they belong”
The Oilwatch recalled that in 1993, Shell Petroleum Company was driven out of Ogoni land because of massive pollution and neglect of the rights of the people, maintaining that the resistance of the Ogoni people to all forms of extractive activities in their land led to the execution of the Ogoni nine including Ken Saro-Wiwa, a famous environmental activist, and author.
Saro-Wiwa was hung by the then Military head of state, Late General Sani Abacha in November 10, 1995.] France has also decided not to carry out any fossil fuel extraction in their country. This has, however, not stopped their international oil companies, such as Total, from exploiting these resources in other countries, including in very volatile places in Mozambique and Nigeria.
Quoting articles on the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth [Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth (2010). https://www.garn.org/universal-declaration/, the Group said “Loss and Damage is a topical issue at COP27, having strongly entered the books at COP26. Whereas the idea is that irreparable damage caused by climate change should be compensated, it is obvious that measuring such damage may lead to inadequate reparations. Nevertheless, vulnerable countries see the payment of loss and damage as extremely important.”
“The clamour is understandable since the mechanisms for obtaining Green Climate Finance (GFC) are heavily weighed against victims of climate change as they tend to lean towards profit-generating projects mainly controlled by the private sector and financial institutions and linked to carbon offsets plans and a rise of indebtness.”They said