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THE DECADE OF REALITY

 


THE DECADE OF REALITY

The realities of climate change are becoming clearer as days pass by. Decades ago, the spotlight on climate change was on temperature rising to wildfire and now we can’t mask climate change from the realities on ground – a direct implication that, green recovery is not negotiable. In places like Africa, climate change is coming in the form of a threat to our national security. This decade is the determinant towards tackling the defining issue of our time.  This is decade that will define the reality of every action we take for or against climate change. It is also the beginning of the decades to meet up the SDGs timeline, the race we must win against climate change in minimising our emissions and also the decade for restoration of our degraded landscapes. What other excuse do we have not to keep to this timeline? It is not always about the people’s will but most importantly the political strength as climate change is not far reaching, it is happening now with the speed of light. This decade defines reality - Climate change can lead to developmental reversals and systemic breakdown. 

“Climate change is not far reaching, it is happening now with the speed of light.”

Thus, scientist generally agree that climate change does not directly cause armed conflict but the underlining issues may indirectly increase the risk of conflict by exacerbating social, economic and environmental tension. As such conflict induced by climate change continue to cause massive suffering among people by intensifying inequality. Most conflicts are caused by fight for resource control – attributed to climate change. Political scientist have shown that climatic conditions breeds conflict in fertile grounds especially in agrarian communities. Intensifying climate change will increase the future risk of violent armed conflict within countries. These effects are seen in Nigeria’s Niger-Delta region where environmental degradation have led to violent armed insurrection. Studies have estimated that climate change has influenced between 3% and 20% of armed conflict risk over the last century and the influence will likely increase. Hence this have disrupted food production and availability - increase spread of diseases and weakness healthcare services. Notably, of the 20 countries ranked the most vulnerable and the least ready to adapt to climate change by the ND – Gain index, 12 are in conflict. In Nigeria, especially the Lake Chad region, increase environmental degradation have been the “bait” strategy of terrorist organization like Boko Haram. Invariably, according to ICRC; “In Yemen and Iraq, the water scarcity, which challenges health, food and economic security, is exacerbated by institutional weakness.” These cases differed from the Lake Chad region as armed conflicts is leading to serious climate change and environmental degradation.

In Lake Chad, the number of people that depend on it for survival is increasing, exacting much pressure on the natural resource while climate change creates an enabling environment that exacerbates crisis. The last 10 years has been the hottest though far. The bulk of carbon sequestration lies in us restoring our degraded landscape which will lead to a near and far reaching multidimensional solution. Also, the great green wall initiative is an ambitious plan that have been initiated since 2007 – quiet a long time but how far have we gone? We need a landmark changes in a positive direction for our ecosystem. This decade is the most crucial decade that needs us to be decisive : it is either we stop the climate change crisis or it stop us, we can’t stay on the fence anymore and any decision we take now count for the present and the future generation because by the end of this decade we must either win or lose the race against climate change.

“The bulk of carbon sequestration lies in us restoring our degraded landscape which will lead to a near and far reaching multidimensional solution.”

This decade of action between 2021 to 2030 is a crucial than previous decades. It is expected of us according to IPCC to stay below 1.5oC of warming while slashing down our emissions by 45% by 2030. As noted by Met Office projections, the Earth temperature for 2021 will likely be between 0.91oC and 1.15oC above what they were in the years from 1850-1900 with an estimate of 0.2oc warming per decade as attributed by the International Panel on Climate change to human activities - much is expected from us in making our world habitable. Already, Year 2020 has shown us the unpredictably of crises on our socio-economic way of life and democracy . living comfortably in this century requires us to fight for a liveable planet. Even if you are not affected by climate change induced factors, your descendant may be prone to such. I am fighting against climate change because I want my generations to live in a liveable planet free of pandemic and crisis so should you.

Oladosu Adenike ([email protected]) is an eco-reporter, climate justice activist and an ecofeminist.

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