For a Safer Earth, Healthier Climate

COP27: Paris Agreement Should Review Temperature Target Below 1.5°C- HOMEF

By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja

The Director, of Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Nnimmo Bassey has called for an upward review of the temperature target to well below 1.5°C

He said “the Paris Agreement should be utterly reviewed with a new upper-temperature target of well below 1.5℃ set knowing that 1.5℃ global average means 2.2℃ for Africa and that such a temperature scenario will utterly cook the continent”

The Director made the call in his remarks at the virtual edition of the School of Ecology today tagged ‘Real vs. False Climate Change Solutions

According to Nnimmo “The ravages of climate change on Africa and other vulnerable territories are by now clear to all who care to pay attention except those in sheer denial.

“Extreme weather events like the reoccurring flooding episodes in  the Niger Delta, cyclones in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Eswatini, and the heat waves in North America that have claimed thousands of lives and livelihoods are just the beginning of birth pains of the climate catastrophe if we keep peddling false solutions and avoiding real actions to tackle the crisis”

He said real solutions exist. The top of the list is to leave fossil fuels in the ground.

“Agroecology has been proven to cool the planet by enabling soils to retain carbon and reducing the number of greenhouse gases released in various industrial agriculture processes such as the production of inorganic fertilizers, transportation of food over long distances, intensive mechanisation, etc. In addition, agroecology builds biodiversity which is key in the resilience of ecosystems to climate change impacts”

The Activist noted that “the Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) ought to be a democratic space where real solutions such as agroecology are demanded with commitments made according

He charged that countries in Africa that have suffered the most from climate change and are at greater risk must be adequately represented and carefully examine the narratives driving the conversations and negotiations at the upcoming COP 27 in Egypt.

“We must wake ourselves up from the path of voluntary emissions reductions and so-called commitment to “phase down” the continued use of coal.

“Our leaders must demand for climate Justice and insist on the payment of climate debt for historical and current harms. The marketization of Nature, including through diverse forms of carbon trading must be denounced and rejected.”

He however lamented the recently released UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report, which he said exposes the alarming hypocrisy embedded in the climate negotiations.

“The report shows that the current pledges made by nations will lead to a temperature rise of between 2.2 and 2.6 degrees Celsius or even 2.8 degrees Celsius by the turn of the century. That would translate to about 3.3, 3.9, or 4.2 degrees Celsius—incineration of Africa and parts of the world.

He charged COP 27 to return to the drawing board and focus on binding emissions cuts with polluting nations accepting to do their fair share on the basis of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) rather than the so-called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that so far have not dented the huge store of carbon in the atmosphere.

According to the Emissions Gap Report, “The emissions gap in 2030 is 15 GtCO2e annually for a 2°C pathway and 23 GtCO2e for a 1.5°C pathway.”

The report clearly notes that “countries are off track to achieve even the globally highly insufficient NDCs,” and would merely cut 3 GtCO2 out of the huge stock in the atmosphere.

“African leaders going to the COP 27 must demand investment in agroecology with support for the majority farmers, rather than industrial, colonial or plantation agriculture that depends on fossil fuels, promotes risky technologies, and continues to devastate the environment, displace communities, and feed climate change.”

Bassey who decried the destructive activities including irresponsible extraction and consumption, industrial agriculture, and wars as the core of the climate change menace said any actions that do not target the root causes of climate change must be seen for what they are – fallacies.

Some technologies are worsening the problem and are no solutions since they lock in bad climate behaviors by allowing polluters to continue with business as usual and hoping to capture and sequester their pollution or somehow deflect them into space or into soils, oceans, or plants. Such technologies include intentional large-scale manipulation of earth systems otherwise known as geo-engineering – including solar radiation management, ocean fertilization, rock weathering, and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage.

Other common false solutions are carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), carbon trading, net zero/carbon offsetting, and REDD+. Carbon capture or even carbon removal must be approached from the sensible understanding that continual extraction and burning of fossil fuels are counterproductive and injurious to the planet, the people, and other beings. We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that landed us in the mess in the first place

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