Beyond doubt 2016 was the warmest year on record. Global average temperatures have now risen about 1.1°C above industrial revolution levels. African countries contribute the least per capita to global warming emission overall but suffer from the worst consequences of climate change.
Africa’s growing addiction to fossil fuels such as coal for electricity production is a primary leading factor to human-induced emissions affecting the health, livelihoods, food productivity, water availability, and overall security of millions of African people.
In 2017, the extractives sector such as coal mining in South Africa and oil extraction in Nigeria, is a major contributor to both Africa’s energy and GDP yet over 600 million Africans are still without access to electricity. Additionally, the sector is slowing down the urgent roll out of renewable energy the world needs to meet the 1.5 warming target.
Activists across the continent are using every tool in their arsenal to dispel development plans based on fossil fuel expansion and ensure a safer more sustainable future for the region. Whilst renowned leaders such as Kofi Annan are encouraging coal as Africa’s solution to the energy crisis, divestment is one proven tactic to expedite the just transition away from fossil fuels and actively build the world we need where people and planet are safeguarded.
This May, from 5 – 13 May, individuals and institutions are choosing to take matters into their own hands as governments fail to take bold action to confront the climate crisis and halt fossil fuel expansion.
Here in Africa, the following actions are planned to take place:
- Ghana – Our Environment, Our Life: At Accra Ga-South, a peaceful walk will take place demonstrating civil society’s commitment and resilience toward the climate impacts caused by the fossil fuel industry.
- Cameroon – Pollution a Threat: Locals are standing up against pollutants threatening the air they breathe. Fossil fuel businesses care less for frontline communities who fall victim to dreaded diseases such as lung cancer due to fossil fuels.
- Uganda – Fossil Free Uganda: The Ugandan government has prioritised the financing of a destructive oil project that will cripple financial resources and displace thousands of people to make way for the project. Local organisers have one clear message, “We need to keep Uganda Fossil Free!”
- Nigeria – Boost Fossil Fuel Divestment: As the saying goes “he who wants to live the world comfortably, let him save it first”. Campaigners are calling on all students, staff and resources managers of Ibadan University to come help save the only liveable planet we have from fossil fuel destruction.
- Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University,(ATBU) Bauchi State, Nigeria: A one-day interactive seminar for environmental experts activists and civil society organisations to deliberate on climate change issues related to fossil fuel expansion, climate disaster and youth migration from Africa to Europe.
- Egypt – Marathon to raise Awareness to divest for a fossil free future: Local communities are acknowledging the importance of working together to fight for fossil free future. They plan to have a “Marathon” to shine a light on the future and sustainable development.
- Somalia: More actions are being planned.
Learn more about the Global Divestment Mobilisation.