Calling For A Fossil Free Nigeria
On March 19th, the minister of mines and steel appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari made an announcement that Nigeria will begin to generate energy from coal-fired plants by 2020. By March 21st, The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has rejected the climate change bill for the second time in less than two years. The climate change bill if passed will situate policies that won’t support fossil industry activities like President Buhari’s new agenda to generate energy from coal. This is unacceptable for a country that has signed the Paris agreement to transcend into low carbon emission.
We argue that this is a turn in the wrong direction, President Buhari should be focused on how to divest Nigeria from the fossil industry and transcend into clean energy models instead of expanding dirty fossil territory. In President Buhari’s attempt to reviive Nigeria’s coal industry, he is not just taking up a failed endeavor as the world is moving away from dirty coal but also endangering the future of our planet.
The best argument this decision by The President can present is that coal mining will provide jobs for hundreds if not thousands of people. However, the impacts of digging coal is tremendous, whether in open cast or underground mines, mining coal destroys nature, pollutes water, damages homes and forces relocation of entire villages. When you take into account health and environmental impacts and long term negative effects on ecosystems diving into coal production when the planet is in dire need of climate resolutions is simply a catastrophic approach
Energy efficiency can be achieved through investment in renewable energy, Nigeria situated in the Sahel can easily tap into solar power. This in turn can create jobs and integrate sustainable approach skills thereby reducing dependent on fossil fuels.
We launched the #CoalFreeNigeria campaign to demand climate justice against President Buhari’s decision to mine coal.
The government has failed to protect us the citizens, our livelihoods and our future, therefore we must take gross action towards the negligence of duty shown by president Muhammadu Buhari and his government.