The Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Mr Nnimmo Bassey, has called on Nigerians to elect political leaders who understand the need to protect the environment beyond promoting profits from the sector.
Bassey gave the advice on Thursday, September 29, 2022, at a two-day National Conference on Climate Change, COP27 and Beyond, organised by the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) in Abuja.
The conference brings participants together to discuss climate change agenda for the 27th session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Conference on Climate Change billed for Egypt in November, 2022.
The environmentalist said that, as the 2023 general elections approaches, Nigerians should elect leaders who understand the impacts of climate change on the vulnerable people and communities.
“February next year, we are electing new political leaders. So, it is a good time to begin to ask questions.
“That, who among these leaders has a better understanding about environment beyond the dollars that come from the resources?
“Which of them will look at vulnerable communities who are suffering the impacts of climate change beyond the money that may come from solid minerals sector?” Bassey asked
He expressed the need to elect leaders who care about the wellbeing of the people.
Bassey, who described the impacts of climate change as obvious, added that it also had political factors, and that was why action was not being taken against the menace.
“The reason why action is not being taken is because people don’t want anything to touch their profits. It doesn’t matter whether the impacts of climate change are serious or not.
“But, as long as the financial bottom is not touched or affected, some big powerful nations and corporations are happy,” he said.
Mrs Priscilla Achakpa, the Founder and President, Women Environmental Programme, an NGO, expressed concern over the increase of flooding in the country.
Achakpa said this was caused by climate change and through what people gave out to nature.
According to her, vulnerable people and communities are now suffering the impacts because the flood submerges houses and displaces them.
She commended the management of CAPPA for giving people from the grassroots opportunity to participate in the two-day conversation.
In his remarks, the Executive Director of CAPPA, Mr Akinbode Oluwafemi, said that the conference was organised for participants to discuss energy transition from fossils to clean energy.
Oluwafemi added that it would build consensus on the need for adequate climate financing for the implementation of adaptation and mitigation plans in Nigeria and Africa.
“The conference will also assist in interrogating Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contributions and Nigeria’s Climate Change Act 2021,” he said.
By Deji Abdulwahab