Focus on climate issues, environmentalists tell Rivers guber candidates
As campaigns gather momentum in Rivers State, environmentalists have urged governorship candidates in the state to put climate issues on the front burner as they canvass for votes.
The environmentalists, under the aegis of Lekeh Development Foundation, said critical area such as the environment, especially issues of climate justice have not been in focus.
Speaking with The Guardian, the Executive Director of the group, Friday Nbani, said the group would rally support for any candidate that has best agenda on climate change in the state and in the Niger/Delta region.
Nbani said: “As a non-profit making organisation that cares for the environment, that promotes climate justice and cares for the livelihood of women and young people, we feel it is good we organise a campaign, dubbed Vote for Climate.
“This is an idea that will enable us demand from candidates their plans for the environment, especially as it relates to the climate. This year, there will be a general election and political parties are canvassing for support from community to community and nobody is talking about the environment.
“So, we are looking out for candidates will represent climate justice,” he said.
He noted that the environment is a critical aspect of human lives that should not be underrated, emphasising that it should not be underrepresented.
He further stated that candidates should make a clear roadmap for transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy.
“We need to ask all candidates about their roadmap to put an end to climate crisis in this part of the country.
“We want a just transition. Fuel seems to be the mainstay of the economy and it is rapidly destroying our environment because as we use fuel, it emits gasses that cause illnesses. So, we are looking for a candidate, who will after winning, put a policy that leads to a transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy.
“We are looking for a candidate that will put a stop to funding fossil fuel and a stop to funding any corporation that will extract oil and pollute our land the more.”
Nbani urged youths, who care for the environment, to use their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to resist any candidate without the environment at heart.