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Our Commitment To Address The Pressing Environmental Challenges Faced By Niger Delta Region Is Unwavering, By Igbotako Nowinta

  • Leo Atakpu, ANEEJ’s Acting Executive Director

THE Africa Network for Environment & Economic Justice (ANEEJ), has declared that the organization’s commitment to address the pressing environmental challenges faced by the Niger Delta region in Nigeria is unwavering.

This view was made by Comrade Leo Atakpu, ANEEJ’s Acting Executive Director, when delivering his welcome address at a One-Day Stakeholders Meeting/Dialogue On Climate Advocacy with the theme: “Nigeria’s Framework And Policy Response To Climate Change”, held at the TM Palace Hotel, Warri, Delta State, on Tuesday March 26, 2024.

Leo Atakpu said the dialogue on climate advocacy was organized to discuss emerging issues that have severe implications for the environment in the Niger Delta region.


According to the Acting Executive Director:
“Our gathering signifies a collective commitment to address the pressing environmental challenges faced by our region knowing that our deliberations will pave the way for meaningful change.
The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) is currently working with some donors to further our work on climate change and the environment. Particularly, we are interested in advancing the implementation of Paris Climate Agreement by encouraging oil companies and their investors to adopt the call for carbon emission reduction targeting 1.50C and below, and fossil fuel phase-out with a just energy transition projection to protect the natural environment from pollution and over-exploitation.

Despite the urgent need for the world to quickly move away from fossil fuel or at least drastically reduce carbon emission, to meet the 1.50C target set in Paris, and save the planet from destruction, oil and gas companies have failed to provide realistic plans that will ensure global comfort. Major oil companies have abandoned initial climate commitments for short term profit because of increased global demand for crude oil. In 2023, the Church of England Pensions Board, a major investor in Shell and other oil companies announced that they were withdrawing their funds from Shell and other companies because such companies have abandoned their climate commitments for profits. More investors like the Dutch healthcare pension fund, PFZW have also dumped some oil companies for lack of credible climate strategy. A new report by the Reuter on February 8, 2024, says “Dutch healthcare workers’ pension fund, PFZW on Thursday said it had sold almost all its holdings in fossil fuel companies, including oil majors like Shell, BP and TotalEnergies for lack of a credible climate strategy”.

The very interactive dialogue which was attended by relevant stakeholders who are knowledgeable and working on environment and climate issues, including journalists, community representatives, representatives of National Climate Change Council and the Delta State Ministry of Environment, featured a presentation on the role of the National Climate Change Council whose mission is to strengthen national initiatives to adapt to and mitigate climate change in a participatory manner involving all sectors of Nigerian society, including the poor and other vulnerable groups (women, youth etc.)

The timely dialogue which feautured a very insightful presentation by an expert, Dr. Uyi Ojo, also succeeded in putting on track key advocacy steps and strategies which were adopted to push for the phaseout of fossil fuels extraction in Nigeria; a Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) statement on emerging issues impacting on the environment and the peoples’ livelihoods in the Niger Delta, was articulated and adopted by the participants.

The Stakeholders dialogue which was organized to present the “Sustainable Energy Transitions for African Petroleum Producers” report published by African Climate Foundation (ACF), and discussed Nigeria’s framework and policy response to climate change, was also used to increase participants’ knowledge on the existing Climate Change Act and Nigeria’s energy transition policy; it equally discussed emerging issues in the Niger Delta impacting on the environment and the peoples’ livelihood.

The event which critically emphasized partnership between government and civil society organizations, on the need to take proactive action on climate change issues, was part of the implementation of Advocacy for fossil fuel phase out in Nigeria project supported by African Climate Foundation (ACF).

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