By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
The African Coal Network (the Network), with 55 members in 21 African countries have called for a deep recognition for upholding the founding principles of the international environment treaty – established to combat the dangerous human interference with the climate system.
This is even as the Network said it will review the outcomes of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP27 based on its position and demands for climate justice.
According to the Network “As a collective, we are unwavering on the standpoint that any transition process discussed and negotiated needs to talk about justice, people’s economies and improve community services and provisions to build resilience in the face of the climate challenge.
They noted that the IPCC’s Six Assessment report on the impact of the climate crisis paints a continual spiraling and widespread devastation due to human-induced climate change. Strong recommendations from the report are urgent, immediate, and ambitious actions to address climate risks. The window of action is narrowing.
We are facing the impact of the climate crisis. Each day is an attempt to survive the extreme weather conditions, the displacements due to floods and cyclones, the destruction of homes, crops, and herds, the hunger due to droughts, and destroyed food sources. At this moment, we are in solidarity with all communities in the Global South that endure the most suffering, despite contributing the least to the climate crisis.
In our minds, it is very clear that there is no future for oil, gas, and coal. Particularly in the future world that we are trying to create that is regenerative, democratic and respects all peoples on this planet. We must ensure that getting there is just, not just for the global community but for African people—especially those who go to bed each night without electricity and food.
They also said they will among other issues view the outcomes from the strong national positions they collectively shared in September 2022 on what needs to be addressed which include Protecting human rights, democracy, and free spaces, Consultation, hearing, and acting on War and Violence and also the Energy mix as the current energy mix across Africa is heavily in favour of fossil fuels with leaders are pushing gas which impacts on communities across the region at the local level of extraction and production to those impacted upon by climate change. We want renewable energy that serves the African people first.
Other issues include Climate finance, Destruction of food systems, Destruction of land, Migration, and Health
Stating that It had become increasingly clear that the fossil fuels industry will stop at nothing to win the fight to delay a just transition and shift to cleaner energy production systems that serve people first.
They alleged that “Sadly, institutions such as the UNFCCC that should be protecting the people on the ‘front lines of climate injustice and in particular African interests and sustainability are aiding and abetting this continued exploitation, destruction of the environment and natural resources and the displacement of lives and livelihoods in the region.
The Africa Coal Network (ACN) works with 55 organisations in 21 African countries and is recognised in the region and beyond.