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ERA/FoEN wants AfDB, finance institutions to stop funding fossil fuel projects


The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has asked the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other financial institutions to stop funding fossil fuel projects to achieve a cleaner environment.It argued that if the institutions that currently deploy huge resources to upstream oil and gas projects stop doing so, countries would be compelled to transit from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

ERA/FoEN recommendation is coming on the heels of the World Bank’s announcement at the One Planet Summit that it would not finance such projects beyond 2019.

At the summit, convened in Paris by President Emmanuel Macron of France, United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Antonio Guterres and World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank Group said it made the announcement as part of new measures to mitigate climate change.

It stated, however, that in exceptional circumstances, it would consider financing upstream gas in the poorest countries where there is a clear benefit in terms of energy access for the poor and where the project fits within the countries’ Paris Agreement commitments.

A statement by ERA/FoEN’s Head, Media and Campaigns, Philip Jakpor, said the announcement was a good step, which further reinforces the group’s call for Nigeria and other countries that still largely rely on fossils to move to cleaner alternatives that are beneficial and easily manageable by local communities.

ERA/FoEN Executive Director, Godwin Uyi Ojo said: “In as much as we want to see the World Bank Group go beyond words and follow through with concrete actions, other financial institutions must divest from fossil fuel projects.”He noted that sustained funding from the financial institutions to projects in the upstream oil and gas sector have contributed largely in slowing progress towards the Paris Agreement and other initiatives that would make the world a cleaner and safer place to live in.

He explained that developing nations were worse hit by climate change, which has ruined livelihoods and compelled forced migration and its attendant fallouts in form of conflicts hence the need for radical actions that would reverse the trend.

Ojo asserted that aside cutting emissions from source as demanded by the vulnerable and most impacted nations in Africa, the only other way to compel a transition to renewables is the defunding of projects that contribute to the problem.

“By the World Bank’s announcement, there is a glimmer of hope in the horizon. Unequivocally, the AfBD and other institutions have been shown the way. We urge them to follow this step before it is too late,” he added.

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