ENVIRONMETAL JUSTICE CAMPAIGNERS CALL FOR PUBLIC AND COMMUNITY-LED RENEWABLE ENERGY TRANSITION

Environmental campaigners across the globe have called for the need for radical energy transition from fossils to renewable energy alternatives that are in public and community led.

They say fundamental challenge facing just energy transition is global fossil fuel dependency; and an energy shift is required by envisioning post petroleum economy and fight against corporate capture of decision makingfor people both in rich and poor countries.

This was during an International Conference on Just Energy Transition that was held in Abuja Nigeria on 2nd and 3rd November to open up 2018 Biannual General Meeting of Friends of the earth International Federation. The conference that brought together environmental campaigners, opinion leaders, and academia and community leaders across the globe was aimed at drawing attention to sustainable energy solutions.

While opening the conference, Nansen Karin, the Chairperson of Friends of the Earth International said climate, energy, food and biodiversity crisis are all as a result of unsustainable and unfair production and consumption systems as well as privatization and devastation of nature for the benefit national elites and transnational corporations whose major aim is profit maximization.

She added that the crisis is already leading to the displacement of people and the devastation of community livelihoods yet they are least responsible for causing the problem.

“The answer is nothing less than system change, system change implies a radical transformation of our energy, food and economic systems and the way we manage forest and biodiversity,” Karin noted.

She also added that, “it requires building people’s power in fighting against offensive and corporate capture in decision making.”

HERE IT IS: Nansen Karin, the Chairperson of Friends of the Earth International International speaking at the Conference on Just Energy Transition in Abuja Nigeria

Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo, the Director Environmental Rights Action- which is hosting the 2018 FoEI BGM noted that just transition means moving from fossil fuel to clean, renewable, decentralized and people –controlled energy; that is built on the principal of justice for people and bridging the social disparity gap.

“Africa should start by clear adoption of a new development model to transit from fossil fuel driven economy to renewable energy alternatives. Therefore, it must start by recognizing that oil dependency needs to end and to orient the economy by envisioning a post petroleum economy. This is because, there is life after oil,” she noted.

Hon. Uche Onyeagucha, from Friends of the Earth Nigeria who was one of the lead speakers said a just transition of renewable energy should give power to people not the business corporates.
“A just transition can’t put renewable energy in the hands of big business. We must democratize the transition process. If this transition gives big business control, we have failed. It must be translated to real people’s power,” he explained.

Kureeba David, the NAPE’s project coordinator for Forestry and Biodiversity who is also the Regional Facilitator for FoEI in Africa said there is need to democratize energy solutions by ensuring citizen participation and support local communities with skills and training in renewable energy solutions.

“As NAPE and Africa we are already adopting community led approach in all dimensions. We are already sensitizing people on agro ecology and food sovereignty as real solutions and training communities especially women with clean energy skills like making charcoal briquettes and energy saving stoves,” Kureeba said.

LISTEN: Kureeba David, the NAPE’s project coordinator for Forestry and Biodiversity making a point at the International Conference on Just Energy Transition in Abuja Nigeria 

Samuel Okulony from African Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) who was on the panel to discuss prospects on energy transition in Uganda said though government of Uganda introduced Rural Electricity program to enable access to grid electricity in rural communities, the uptake is very low due to high tariffs and communities have been empowered with information and skills to lobby and advocate for clean energy.

Jennifer Amejjer, the Monitoring and Evaluation officer and Precious Naturinda, representing Young Friends of the Earth Uganda are also representing NAPE in the BGM

STORY COMPILED BY PRECIOUS NATURINDA IN ABUJA NIGERIA

 

Community Green Radio partners with Real World Radio to attend the 2018 Global Campaign week in Geneva Switzerland

Community Green Radio was part this year’s annual Global Campaign week in Geneva, Switzerland. The annual campaign week was launched on Sunday 13th October 2018 at the UN square with a huge procession in the European city.


Community Green radio was represented by Julius Kyamanywa, the radio station Manager, who was facilitated by Real World Radio.


“It was a whole learning and experience sharing moment for me. It created a whole new perspective of activism and development journalism that is geared towards fostering human rights”, Kyamanywa narrated on his return home.


Real World Radio’s José Elosegui believes the experience gained during the Global campaign week can go a long way to changing the face of the media, radio in particular, in relation to human rights advocacy, especially because it puts the faces and voices of the victims of TNC abuses all over the world at the centre of this issue.


“Media is at the top of everything now. Radio in particular is everywhere. This means for any endeavor to be successful, media engagement is vital and the experienced gathered here is vital for reporting on human rights from a victim´s perspective”, explained Mr. Elosegui.


Mr. Elosegui also believes that partnerships between different media outlets and from different regions of the world is vital for effective communications built with social movements and organizations from all the continents.


“If such partnerships continue, we can build a force to reckon with. The need for a legally binding treaty on TNCs is a subject all media practitioners must take interest in, since the TNC violations of human rights, sadly, are a reality all over the world”, narrated Mr. José Elosegui.


The campaign week, also known as the Week of Peoples Mobilization, ended on 20th.October 2018 and was attended by representatives of the Global Inter-Parliamentary network, affected communities, movements, trade unions and other networks and organizations.

TOGETHER AS ONE: José Elosegui (LEFT) of Real World Radio and Julius Kyamanywa of Community Green Radio at the Global Campaign week in Geneva in October.

 

The Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity (Global Campaign) is a network of over 200 social movements, networks, organizations and affected communities resisting the land grabs, extractive mining, exploitative wages and environmental destruction of transnational corporations (TNCs) in different global regions, particularly Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Campaign is a people’s global structural response to unaccountable corporate power. It provides facilitation for dialogue, strategizing, exchanging information and experiences and acts as a space to make resistance visible and deepen solidarity and support for struggles against TNCs.

At the same time the Campaign proposes an International Peoples Treaty which provides a political framework to support the local, national and international movements and communities in their resistances and practices of alternatives to corporate power and the TNC model of the economy. It also participates in the campaign for UN Binding Treaty to regulate TNCs, stop human rights violations, end impunity and ensure access to justice for affected communities.

The Week of Peoples Mobilization in Geneva also coincided with the 4th Session of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group mandated to develop a UN Binding Treaty on Transnational Corporations and other business enterprises with respect to Human Rights (OEIGWG).


Real World Radio, also known as Radio Mundo Real (RWR) is a multilingual web-based radio station. RWR works as part of and in close cooperation with the communications functions of the environmentalist federation Friends of the Earth International (FoEI). It was created in September 2003, during the World Trade Organization’s Fifth Ministerial Conference, as an initiative to increase and support the resistance to the event. Ever since then, RWR has covered the struggle of the social, indigenous and peasant movements worldwide, among others, addressing a wide range of social and environmental issues. The different themes it covers have been organized to foster and facilitate interaction with FoEI programs. Friends of the Earth International groups across six continents are mobilizing to highlight the climate emergency, fight dirty energy and false solutions and to call for a people-led transformation of our energy system.


Community Green Radio is an initiative of National Association of Professional Environmentalists, NAPE and partners. The mission of the radio is to amplify the voices of local communities in oil rich Albertine region in Western Uganda to actively participate in natural resources management processes. The radio’s currently operates on an affiliation status on a local fm station in Hoima Town in Western Uganda.


Story Compiled by Julius Kyamanywa