YEAC-NIGERIA, PARTNERS ENGAGES, SENSITIZES COMMUNITIES IN BAYELSA STATE ON JUST ENERGY TRANSITION IN NIGERIA
Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC-Nigeria) in collaboration with Spaces for Change with funding support from Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) engages stakeholders, communities in Bayelsa State on Just Energy Transition in Nigeria. The event was hosted in Emeyal 2 community in Ogbia Local Government area on Monday, January 30 with participants from various neighbouring communities in and beyond in attendance.
The event which held at the community town hall was part of activities being implemented by Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC-Nigeria) in collaboration with Spaces for Change and funding support from Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Ghana. The event was also part of activities to disseminate the findings from a research report titled “ENERGY TRANSITION IN NIGERIA’S OIL-RICH COMMUNITIES” published in 2022 under the “EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRY AND CLIMATE CHANGE GOVERNANCE PROJECT” of the partners.
In her goodwill message declaring the event open, Spaces for Change represented by Jecinta Mbamara said the project is aimed at creating awareness about just energy transition plans in Nigeria and for community folks to know how it is going to impact them and the need for their involvement in the plans by the government and other stakeholders. She said by 2060, Nigeria is expected to transit from fossil fuel to gas which is Nigeria’s energy transition fuel and that the fossil fuel that they have would no longer be useful thus, there was the need for the government and oil companies to address the ills of the fossil fuel era before major shift to a new energy source.
Speaking during the event, the Executive Director of YEAC-Nigeria, Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface started by thanking the community leadership for accepting to host the event and the people for turning out in their numbers for the event. He said a report titled “Energy Transition in Nigeria’s Oil-Rich Communities” has been published under the project and the sensitization was being derived from the findings.
He told the participants that the event was part of activities in “EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRY AND CLIMATE CHANGE GOVERNANCE PROJECT” being implemented by YEAC-Nigeria with funding support from ACEP with part of the objectives is to advocate for the inclusion of community stakeholders and those engaged in act of artisanal crude oil refineries in the informal and illegal sector in the national transition plan to be it a “Just” exercise that leaves no one behind. Hence the slogan “FROM EXCLUSION TO INCLUSION IN NATIONAL JUST TRANSITION PLAN”. Sensitizing the community stakeholders further, Mr. Fyneface spoke about what a just transition should look like and stated that;
- Environmental injustices endured by oil communities must be resolved first before major shifts away from oil are implemented.
- A clear road map for righting the wrongs of the fossil fuel era in extractive communities must be provided.
- National and corporate-led energy agenda should address the flaws of the fossil fuel economy before transition.
- Involvement of local communities must be prioritized in the green economy.
- Alternative livelihood schemes should be made available in communities with a concentration of artisanal refining.
He further said “COMMUNITIES SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN ENERGY TRANSITION THROUGH:
- Having spaces and direct and indirect platforms for debates and engagements on the energy transition models proposed.
- Incentivizing the local youth to explore other legitimate low-income generating alternatives.
- Community-based monitoring and evaluation for compliance with contracts and agreements.
- Making skills and jobs available for communities”
In the area of women in relation to just energy transition, Mr. Fyneface said women Women are key stakeholders in energy efficiency and environmental sustainability initiatives; They have borne the brunt of environmental and economic damages of the fossil fuel era and they should be involved, included and their voices heard in energy decision-making in the green economy.
Highlight of the event was the unveiling and distribution of stickers and fliers with messages that spoke to the summary of the project activity.
The community folks including persons with disabilities, now aware of the energy transition plans asked questions and made comments about the plans and got responses.