COP28 did not meet expectations of frontline communities – ERA/FoEN

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Executive director of the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Barrister Chima Williams has described the outcomes of the UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates as far cry from the expectations of communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis.

Williams, while speaking at a media debrief on COP28, explained that the gathering which lasted for two weeks turned out to be a mere jamboree where fossil fuels deals were promoted and negotiated instead of addressing the root causes of climate change which is fundamentally to end fossil fuels extraction.

The ERA/FoEN boss said aside from the pittance voted by the rich industrialized nations for the Loss and Damage Fund, the only marginal gain at the conference was the mention of the need to transition away from fossil fuels even as he noted that there were no concrete measures to actualize this goal.

“As anticipated the dilly dally continues because the mention of the need to transition from fossil fuels was not backed by any significant plan of action that would require shutting down coal plants or ending dirty energy deals that were negotiated in that space”

He insisted that the ERA/FoEN’s campaign to hold International Oil Companies (IOCs) accountable for their harmful extractive practices was in line with the growing movement in the Global South, especially countries in Africa for reparations for communities impacted by climate change.

According to him, the situation in Nigeria’s Niger Delta is a stark reality of what awaits other oil-bearing communities in Africa, even as he pointed out that the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project was already an unfolding nightmare for communities in Uganda and surrounding countries.

“The solution to the climate crisis is clear and unchanged. It is about cutting emission at source and transitioning to safe, affordable and clean energy that is controlled by communities”, he insisted.

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