#ClimateWednesday: Youth Perspectives on Climate Justice By Prince Israel Orekha

What is Climate Justice:

The process of handling the issues of climate change with equitable, mitigative actions, using new resources and tools designed to help communities become more resilient and better protect themselves from the impacts of climate change.

According to Wikipedia. “Climate justice is a concept that addresses the just division, fair sharing, and equitable distribution of the benefits and burdens of climate change and responsibilities to deal with climate change”.

Issues:

64 years of oil exploration and exploitation in the Niger Delta region, Our states are plagued with the worst employment rate for youth, low life expectancy which is pegged at 40 years, high levels of conflict, criminality, banditry/kidnapping , poor education and poor health care , with massive pollution, that has led to loss of livelihood/ means of survival which are agriculturee and fishing , to ecological wasteland with a surge in internet fraudsters( yahoo, yahoo as locally called), prostitution and destitute people.

Political Will

Our current sets of leaders we have in authority don’t have the political will to delivered people centered demand, youth perspective here is to see leadership that is ready to create the change, that will be engaging in dialogue that places a special emphasis on truly listening to, valuing, and implementing the input of vulnerable communities. Involving them in the decision-making process, taking stock of community resources and knowledge, ensuring communities will not be displaced after positive change

Policy Implementation

That the government has continue to fail her citizens due to their inability to implement people centered policies, in the fight against climate change at the grassroots, where communities still suffer increase rate of environmental degradation, pollutions, deforestation, diseases and death occasioned by human actions to the environment.e,g The Niger Delta Development Commission and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, both established to tackled and resolve responses to the challenges in the region, but both has largely failed.

Glasgow Climate Pact

According to the UNIFCCC, describe PACT as a package of decisions consists of a range of agreed items, including strengthened efforts to build resilience to climate change, to curb greenhouse gas emissions and to provide the necessary finance for both. Nations reaffirmed their duty to fulfill the pledge of providing 100 billion dollars annually from developed to developing countries. And they collectively agreed to work to reduce the gap between existing emission reduction plans and what is required to reduce emissions, so that the rise in the global average temperature can be limited to 1.5 degrees.

The goals of COP26 were for countries to renew their commitment to securing net-zero targets by mid-century and to keep the 1.5degrees target within reach; protect communities and natural habitats; mobilise finance to deliver on the first two goals (i.e. the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement); and to work together to deliver on the various goals. How far has this PACT translate to mitigate climate crisis in the global South? young people will continue to demand for real action to tackle climate change at the grassroots.

Nigeria Climate Change Act signed since November 18th 2021, till date has no council to support the implementation of the framework. the council shall collaborate WITH THE NIGERIA sovereign green bond in meeting Nigeria nationally determined contributions and perform such other functions necessary for the fulfilment of the objectives of the act. No council.

Divestment plan: Shell, Exxon Mobil and Total have all announced plans to sell off their assets, move into the offshore (deep waters) or simply leave the region, this is cost of great concern to the host communities for our quest for ecological justice may never be achieved. Shell says it plans to divest its entire Nigeria Joint venture portfolio and make a clean break from the Niger Delta assets.as company divest, local actors take over oil assets and immediately deny responsibility for historical damage. If you will what has the Nigeria government done up-till this moment he has failed to established frameworks for oil company divestment, another concern will be though the government may bring a policy (comprehensive divestment policy, will that policy address the ecological devastation, environmental justice and other host communities oil producing area concerns?

The PIA -that gave 3% to host communities and 30% for fronter, when other nations are now transiting from fossil fuel.

The East Africa Oil Pipeline Controversy

In 1st February this year a total of US$10 billion investment decision was signed which has brought the longest heated oil pipeline in the world one step closer to fulfilment, corporate interest from France and China investors. Which comprises of the Tilenga and Kingfisher upstream oil fields on the shores of Lake Albert in Uganda through via 1,443km of heated pipes to a central terminal port of tanga in Tanzanian for export.

Young people’s Urgent Key Ask

Strengthening Community Action

Young people are saying llistening to the needs of the community, engaging with community stakeholders with skills and knowledge that will help tackle climate crisis.

Youth positions should be well captured at COP and policy implementation: That youth concern should be well articulated at COP and young people should be given the opportunity and support to drive climate action at the sub-national.

Capacity building to increase local climate smart education, that will improve grassroots engagement in mitigating climate crisis, through community organizing, smart advocacy campaigns and movement building for results.

Technology Transfer-That more investment should be channel to decent green jobs/initiatives, young people wants to champion #JustEnergyTransitionMovement, renewables solutions that will improved their means of livelihood at grassroots.

Policy Coordination and Implementation Reporting: young people want to lead a constituted entity to track data of interventions, analyze challenges and progress attained from the grassroots. Community Leaders we are saying our leaders must be accountable and responsible to the young people and our plants, so we must prepare to engage for climate justice is now!

By Prince Israel Orekha, Executive Director Connected Advocacy israel@connectedadvocacy.org.ng

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