Support just energy transition

What you need to know:

  • UNEP report shows that the government’s plan is to produce and double the fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C. 

Last week on  November 14, the CNN reported that climate crisis is carrying a mounting health toll that is set to put even more lives at risk without bold action to phase out planet- warming fossil fuels, the annual lancet countdown report from more than 100 scientists and health practitioners released on Tuesday  found that delaying climate action will lead  to an early fivefold increase in heat-related deaths by 2050 underscoring that the health of humans around the world is at the mercy of fossil fuels. 

UNEP report shows that the government’s plan is to produce and double the fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C. 
This has made the national climate action plans  insufficient to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Marina Romananello,   lancet countdown executive director and lead author, told CNN that the world is moving in the opposite direction to where we should be. 

He added that financing going towards the fossil fuel sector and all in promotion of oil and gas burning is threatening our survival around the world. 
If the world continues down this fossil fuel-dependent path, Romanello stressed that the cascading consequences could be catastrophic not only for human health but also the economy.
The analysis reveals that although the aforementioned countries’ budgets intend to promote green growth, financial institutions continue to heavily invest in risky sectors such as oil and gas (Eacop), the debt burden  continues to affect the poor and vulnerable people and also has threatens the destruction of critical biodiversity, among others.

It is noted  that the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline has not only affected persons, infrastructures, displaced communities, endangered wildlife and tip the world closer to catastrophic climate change but also it  has caused increased temperature arising from environmental degradation which raises the concerns about potential human rights abuses like land grabbing, forced eviction and violation.
It has also eroded climate change of already poor and vulnerable communities in oil host communities. A lot should be done to protect our environment from destruction of oil curse.
The study from the lancet count down report shows that the planet has already warmed roughly 1.2 degrees Celsius since the pre-industrial era in the late 1800s and the world is 2 degrees warmer, it also shows that countries will start to see a 50 percent increase in warmth because of exposure to extreme heat which could lead to enormous economic losses and losses to livelihoods and wellbeing. 
More than half a billion people in the world will suffer food insecurity by mid century.

We should be mindful of what more will come out after the fossil fuels promotion in the coming years. 
Our environment will not be there anymore, there will be increased negative impacts on climate change which will lead to prolonged drought, floods leading to food insecurities. 
This has already happened in Kasenyi village in Buliisa District where thousand of people were affected by floods. 

Additionally, Rachel Licker, a principal climate scientist noted that managing of the health risks of climate change is not a new experience for some people but for many, it is a “wake up call to the new realities” the world will be facing if it continues to burn more fossil fuels.

The oil and gas projects have also raised concerns about the increasing of carbon emissions and environmental degradation through extraction and burning of fossil fuels that contribute significantly to climate change. 
Promoting fossil fuels will contradict the goals of mitigating climate change and carry a significant financial risk, which will lead to a stranded assets and financial losses for investors in fossil fuels projects like Eacop project as the world faces an urgent need to increasingly transition to a just energy that will last for ages and provide sustainable health life for people without any threats. 
In conclusion, I therefore call upon the United Nations to support a just energy transition which is clean to people and produce minimal greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to global efforts that combats climate change that affect different development sectors, especially agricultural sector as it is planning to have Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from November 30 to December 12, 2023.  

A just energy transition is crucial because it ensures that the shift to cleaner  energy sources does not leave behind marginalised communities, mitigates climate change and releases pollutants that lead to early death, heart attacks, respiratory disorders, stroke, asthma and degrade our environment.  
The United Nations conference should encourage global cooperation and establish policies that prioritise fairness and sustainability in just energy transition that is a proactive step towards a sustainable environmentally responsible future.
                Olive Atuhaire,         AFIEGO Research Associate    [email protected]