Nigeria should not only take increasing carbon emissions and the climate crisis as a reason to discard this endeavour but also consider health, environmental, and socioeconomic dynamics. Coal accumulates numerous health implications – some of which results to over 800,000 premature deaths annually across the globe.
We must also take into account disastrous consequences on the environment such as air pollution, groundwater contamination, and land degradation. All of these amplify socioeconomic factors like hunger, poverty, human rights violations, displacement, land grabbing or dispossession and loss of landscape.
Dustin Benton, Policy Director at Green Alliance UK and member of The Resilient 40 emphasised on understanding Africa’s fossil fuel industry and the challenge economies dependent on oil revenues are likely to face in the future. He went on to say “We know that a 10% fall in market share for coal was enough to completely destroy the economics of the US coal mining industry, and countries across Africa would be wise to not invest heavily in fossil fuels when there is a similar risk of demand falling away. Put simply, don’t invest today in tomorrow’s stranded assets”
It is for this reason that we started the Coal Free Nigeria campaign, demanding that Nigeria divest from coal and focus its energy investment onto clean and renewable energy sources.