Protection of life and the sustainable conservation of the planet earth are significantly the most crucial tasks presently facing mankind. This is the current global challenge being tackled, observed as a life-threatening environmental issue and known as global warming caused by excessive accumulation of the carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas (GHG) that is generated and emitted into the atmosphere, through man’s daily activities in production and consumption of energy sourced from fossil fuels over a long period. The United Nations (UN) secretary general, Antonio Guterres has constantly raised alarms at annual global conventions against the imminent climate Armageddon that looms around man’s future existence, if urgent precautions are not taken to protect and safeguard the earth. Many years back (over thirty one years ago, precisely on 9th of May 1992) at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a UN framework was drafted and established as an international environmental treaty by 198 member countries of the world to combat “dangerous human interference with the climate system”, in part by stabilising GHG concentrations in the atmosphere; and became known as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The five principles of UNFCCC were namely; Responsibility; Reduce overall climate impact; Educate for climate action; Promote sustainable and responsible consumption; and finally, Advocate for climate action through communication. These enumerated principles are exactly the reverse (in totality) of what is being observed by the actions and inactions of both the culprits/illegal refiners and the monitoring authority, the Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Limited (PINL). The PINL recently destroyed about 35 clusters of illegal oil bunkering and refining points in the creeks off the Imo River on the OML 11 acreage operated by NNPC’s Exploration & Production Limited in parts of the Niger Delta areas covering Zone 3 of the Eastern corridor that is comprised of four communities. Those destructions of their kettles and reservoirs were done by setting all materials ablaze thereby, “adding salt to injury” by increasing the atmospheric carbon density (including the crude oil/raw materials seized and the recovered processed products that they have refined crudely by burning and heating their kettles with naked fire that produce unimaginable amount of black sooths that pollute the atmosphere). All these actions, which include the activities of the crude oil thieves, involve oil spillage and environmental pollution. They collectively escalate the extent of environmental devastations that continuously render the affected natural habitats (water, land and air) almost irredeemable and irretrievable.
Looking at the ESG factor that is meant to spell out the global best practices in all business operations with specific focus on environmental matters, social problems and the governance control measures, both the state actors and those committing the crime pay less attention in the manner they copiously generate carbon emissions on the environment through setting fire on the illegal facilities and dispensing of the stolen fossil fuels. Apart from the sorry sight for the host communities where these incidents take place, little or nothing is critically considered as the fate of the natives and the inhabitants of those host communities. With the sad and most unfortunate developments in countries like Libya, Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey, every living being is expected to contribute in this raging fight against global warming by lowering carbon emission concentration in any part of the world. All hands really need to be on deck otherwise, we await the consequences of climate Armageddon sooner than anticipated. The horrifying impacts and the harrowing pains witnessed by the affected countries with losses of life and properties are better imagined than seen.
The next climate summit, Conference of the Parties (COP 28) is billed to take place in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates from 30 November to 12 December 2023. It is expected to avail the opportunity to put the world on a more sustainable path. The international climate action is considered at a decisive moment. Temperature records are repeatedly broken with impacts of rain storms, floods, droughts and wildfires that do occur and are felt in unprecedented manner. Nigeria should take it more seriously and make desperate efforts to join in contributing towards the fight than deploying a damaging and dangerous approach (as mentioned above) that exposes her citizens to dangers of being flushed away by natural disasters as currently being experienced in many parts of the world. Part of the adaptation measures and remedies include the green action of reforestation by massive planting of neem trees. It is further advised that, although Nigeria’s hydrocarbon capital stock (both crude oil, and natural gas especially) remains a huge asset to be exploited for future economic gains and development; caution is also seriously advised to implement the carbon reduction measures through carbon capture and storage (CCS) as part of a decarbonisation strategy towards maintaining a net zero emission target by 2050; wth the global temperature ceiling maintained at +1.5℃. These green actions are vital climate action measures needed to be taken for the sake of man’s future sustainable existence on earth.