By Usman Aliyu
Enviro News Nigeria
A group of COP27 participants, operating under the aegis of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, on Friday, November 11, 2022, staged a peaceful protest in Egypt, demanding an end to wars across the world.
The protesters, who called for demilitarisation and climate reparations, blamed the global severe climate crisis on wars across the world.
Addressing the gathering, Mr Nnimmo Bassey, a Nigerian environmental activist, said the world engages in wars at the time building climate resilience and adaptation measures weren’t necessary.
“The basic message of this protest is that war is one of the major reasons we are having global warming, because a lot of the wars we are having in the world today is not because politicians don’t like themselves, but because they want to grab resources.
“It is a war for all; war for coal; war for gas; war for other minerals and at the time when we need to build resilience, when we need to adapt to problems we are having; climate change issue; build adaptation measure.
“War is extremely disruptive. It is not only disruptive; war is also diverting the budget from things that are productive to things that are destructive.
“The world does not have a problem spending $2 trillion every year in war, but to find a hundred billion dollars for vulnerable countries; that becomes a problem.
“In this COP, people are discussing about loss and damage, but what of the damage caused by war?
“Nobody talks about it and war is destroying everything. Nations have been destroyed; Libya destroyed, Iraq, Ukraine ongoing and other territories destroyed,” he said.
Bassey, who is the Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), also noted that the way resources were been extracted in Africa could be declared as war.
“The Niger Delta is a place assaulted by the Military on behalf of oil companies. So you can see that over and over again. So COP itself is just a gathering of people who are not ready to say the truth.
“It is a kind of gathering of hypocrites, hypocrites of government and this is why we say instead of looking for loss and damage, the COP itself is lost and damaged. It lost direction many years ago.
“We are calling for real climate solution; real climate action. Stop the wars in the world. Stop extracting fossil fuel; we have to move to renewable energy.
“Rather than doing that, we are seeing more investments in fossil fuel particularly in Africa. Governments are busy promoting carbon trending and carbon market,” decried the environmentalist.
Other speakers such as Moneka De Oro, Sharif Zakout and Ramon Mejia said militarism is the number polluter, killer and coloniser in the world.