UN Summit: Nigerian group, global coalition commends UN Sec Gen, lead campaign to halt fossil fuel extraction

By Samuel Ogunsona

A leading Nigerian group, Human and Environmental Development (HEDA Resource Centre) and 46 other groups across the world have expressed support for the United Nations Secretary General, Mr Antony Guterres for his commitment in safe the world from further environmental peril.

The groups voiced their support for the forthcoming
Climate Ambition Summit billed for United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The Nigerian government led by President Bola Tinubu and other Heads of State are expected at the historic summit.
The event holds on September 20.

HEDA Resource Centre and the 46 coalition members commended the Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Mr. Guterres for his determination to help the world reclaim her diminishing natural resources in the face of disaster and human misery associated with climate change.

HEDA Resource Centre has been leading ceaseless campaigns for Sustainable environment in Nigeria and across the world.

The group also expressed Solidarity with his Deputy,
Hadjia Amina Mohammed for her dedication to address the global climate crisis.

In a letter signed by their representatives and transmitted through HEDA Resource Centre and its Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, addressed to the UN Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres and Ms Amina Mohammed respectively expressed the significance of Secretary-General Guterres’s “Roadmap for a Liveable Planet,” a blueprint designed for the summit.

The roadmap emphatically calls for an immediate cessation of all licensing and funding, both public and private, for new coal, oil, and gas projects.

“These directives closely align with the findings of esteemed institutions such as the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which have issued dire warnings about the catastrophic consequences of inaction. Both the IEA and IPCC stress that the critical target of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, a pivotal milestone in mitigating climate change, necessitates a radical departure from further investments in coal, oil, and gas extraction. Disturbing data reveals that current fossil fuel extraction plans would result in a substantial surge in emissions, significantly exceeding the limits mandated by the Paris Agreement.

The groups highlight a stark disparity in responses to the climate crisis between the global North, historically the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and the global South. While Denmark, a major oil and gas producer in Western Europe, has abandoned all future North Sea oil licensing rounds, several Northern nations have paradoxically accelerated new exploration initiatives.

“For example, the United Kingdom recently greenlit 100 new oil and gas fields in the North Sea, a move that directly undermines its climate commitments. Simultaneously, the United States, the world’s foremost historic polluter, approved the Willow oil project in Alaska, expected to emit millions of metric tons of greenhouse gases.

“Conversely, numerous governments and environmental justice movements in the global South have exhibited commendable leadership. Nations like Costa Rica, Belize, Colombia, and Ecuador have taken proactive measures to prohibit oil, gas, and coal exploration within their territories. However, many Southern nations remain hesitant to discontinue new licensing without a dedicated mechanism to compensate for future revenue losses.

The coalition fervently urges the Climate Ambition Summit to prioritize concrete proposals for compensatory mechanisms aimed at preserving untapped reserves of oil, gas, and coal. These mechanisms must extend beyond addressing climate justice and encompass redress for the historical ecological, climatic, and socio-economic damage inflicted by centuries of colonial exploitation perpetrated by the global North.

Furthermore, the coalition emphasizes that proposed financing mechanisms must not replicate or create commodity markets, such as carbon or ecosystem services trading, that perpetuate exploitative income streams. Instead, they should facilitate a transition away from colonialist practices, prioritizing the collective rights of all beings to survival over the accumulation of wealth by a select few.

Several financing proposals have already been advanced to bolster climate finance, including an international tax on windfall energy company profits, a Financial Transaction Tax, share buyback taxes, and a progressive global tax on oil, gas, and coal companies based on their CO2 emissions. Additional suggestions entail renegotiating unfavorable terms for existing oil and gas licenses and facilitating the return of revenues held in the global North.

The groups, however place great expectations on the United Nations to play a pivotal role in aiding negotiations and facilitating the return of assets acquired through corruption. The UN Development Programme and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime are viewed as vital platforms for these endeavors.

In conclusion, the coalition reiterates unwavering support for the Climate Ambition Summit and anticipates the emergence of concrete proposals for compensatory funding mechanisms as a pivotal outcome of the summit’s deliberations. “The urgent need for dedicated financing to enable global South nations to forego income from new fossil fuel licenses cannot be overstated, and immediate action is imperative to avert irreversible damage to our planet.”

The civil society coalition groups includes the Accion Ecological, Ecuador; FENRAD, Nigeria; CISLAC Nigeria; Transparency International, Mongolia Community Resource Centre; Thailand, Community Outreach for Development and Welfare Outreach, Development Action for Humanity, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, Nigeria; Initiative For Women Empowerement & Development (IWED); Society For Economic Rights & Social Justice (SERSJ); Neighbourhood Environment Watch Foundation, Nigeria; Institutional and Sustainable Development Foundation, Nigeria; Environmental and Rural Mediation Centre; Support Initiative for Sustainable Development; Centre for Rural Economic and Social Development; Policy Alert, Nigeria.

It also includes Entrepreneurship Initiative for African Youth; Initiative for Ideal Development and Emancipatory Leadership in Nigeria; Universal Health and Economic Empowerment Foundation, Citizens Right Advocacy; Centre for Peace Education and Community Development; Commuters Rights and Development Foundation; Nature Advocacy and Development Initiative; Save Life Community Initiative, SLICOM-I, Lagos Urban Development Initiative; Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED); Centre LSD; KebetKache Women Development and Resource Centre.

Community Information and Advocacy Initiative; CAFSO-WRAG for Development; Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development; African Coalition on Migration and Development; Global Witness MUSONET, Mali; HABITAT CARE and Protection; Rural Initiative for Change; Centre for Environment Peace and Youth Development; Grata Fund, Australia; African Network for Environment and Economic Justice Accountability Lab, Nigeria; Stephanie Peacebuilding and Development Foundation; Ogoni Solidarity Forum; Peoples Advancement Centre; Grassroots Advocacy Centre for Economic Development (GRACED); Re:Common, Italy; Initiative for Policy Intervention and Development (I4PID); Publish What You Pay, Nigeria; Cornerhouse, UK and The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA).

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