Just half a century ago, the Niger Delta was inland Nigeria in fertile growth. Then oil was found in the region and multinational companies such as Shell appeared with it. Now, after decades of exploitation, pollution, gas flaring, and numerous oil spills, the region has completely changed. Areas of land that were previously fertile are covered with tar and ash. The fishing industry is virtually extinct. Drinking water is oily and thick smoke hangs in the air. People’s livelihoods were destroyed, life expectancy decreased. Communities around the Niger Delta have asked Shell on several occasionsgive up I rooted. But instead of taking immediate action, the multibillion-dollar oil giant refused to admit responsibility. Instead, they spent millions going to court evasion of responsibility.
This is an example of the consequences of an oil giant establishing itself in one region – it constitutes only a small part of the consequences for the fossil fuel industry globally. According to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), fossil fuels are the main cause of global warming. In 2018, fossil fuels accounted for 89% of the world’s total carbon dioxide emissions. If we are to succeed in keeping global warming at 1.5 degrees, new oil and gas fields must be developed Already discontinued this year. But as we saw in the case of Shell in the Niger Delta, it is a matter of winding up projects in which large sums have already been invested, and of no concern to the leaders and shareholders of the fossil fuel industry. So, while investing millions in greenwashing campaigns, you try to confuse the public, as with net zeroThey keep pouring billions of dollars into oil and gas. It is true that they are also investing in renewable energy. but according to a report From the International Energy Agency (IEA) Goes less than one percent of the annual investments of fossil fuel companies in the global south in clean energy.
The economic interests of the oil and gas giants are at odds with the world’s need to deal with climate change. However, more delegates from the fossil fuel industry are attending COP26 – the global summit to tackle the crisis – than delegates from any country. From Global Witness passed In the list of conference participants, they found that 503 participants were from the oil and gas sector. It is more than twice the number of delegates representing Great Britain, who hosted the conference. This does not mean that more delegates from Western authorities such as the UK will lead to better solutions. They represent the most powerful countries, which continue to benefit from fossil fuel companies. They are the ones who benefit the most and suffer the least from the negative consequences of their actions. They are responsible for the historically high greenhouse gas emissions that now affect the formerly colonized global south. Although the entire world suffers from climate change, it is the rich nations of the West that stand the most and least gain from taking the climate crisis seriously — at least in the short term.
Some civil society representatives, including myself, were granted observer status during COP26. This will enable us to participate and monitor the process. But my yellow flag does not give access to the forums where the negotiations are taking place. We are excluded from the places where decisions are made. Sometimes entire areas of the conference were cordoned off for us, as if that wasn’t enough thirds Of the civil society organizations that usually send delegates to the COP who are prevented from attending the already restricted conference. Despite repeated assurances by the conference organizers, the participants from the countries of the South visa refusal, they could not have access to the covid vaccine, UK travel restrictions were refused, or they were unable to attend due to a lack of accommodation in Glasgow.The COP has always been reserved for the elite and has been exclusive, but this year’s conference is unique in its marginalization of those who suffer the most during the climate crisis. What we’re left with at COP26 are many strong men in small rooms. We are facing a process led and pressured by countries responsible for severe pollution and industries that care most about the impression that they are Leaves in the press, of hundreds of millions of people who suffer.
COP26 ended up being an essentially illegitimate international summit where the voices of those who are least responsible – and most vulnerable to climate change – are silenced. We need to change this failed model. Fossil companies and their lobbies – who occupy the most profit – must be taken off the negotiating table. Civil society groups representing hundreds of millions of people – whose biggest concern is survival – must be accommodated. We need a COP with a focus on people who can ask the critical questions of justice. What we need is a COP that can put an immediate end to all new oil and gas projects rather than the elite market for environmental criminals that COP constitutes today.
The article was translated and first published in African arguments.
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