Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has said that the application of renewable energy solution as a measure to minimize climate change challenges is anti- African.
Speaking to journalists at the ongoing Climate Change Conference in Paris, Governor Ayade said that applying renewable energy as a solution mitigating the effect of climate change will mean that developing countries like Nigeria may have to stop the exploration of its hydro-carbon.
Ayade noted that the exploration of hydro-carbon is key to the development of the economies of a good number of African countries.
He said that there has been so much talk about measure against the challenges of climate changes but that the commitments to these agreements has been very weak.
He was of the opinion that the major resources for African nations are the forests while for the Europeans, it is their technologies.
He explained that while Europeans are struggling to sell technologies to Africans, they (Europeans) are telling African to stop deforestation so that carbon can be conserved.
“Renewable energy is not the way for Africans at this point in time, renewable energy means put an end to the sale of your hydro carbon, it means Nigeria should stop exporting crude oil, but they are busy doing research, inventing technology using solar energy and wind power.
“When all of that happens, when the oil price goes down, when you stop producing oil, what are you going to use as an alternative?
“The in balancing of the livelihood that is the alternative to that renewable energy must follow with development, must follow with technology, Africa cannot be in a haste to adopt renewable technology.
“I would rather have you use fossil fuel with mitigate measures than to cap it and focus on renewable energy.
“While that technology works for them, it is harmful for our economy and until we provide an alternative economy for now. We cannot cap it.
He advised that African should shut its doors and reinvent themselves.
According to Ayade, there has been a growing concern about the reality of climate change adding that adaptation is not the way to go.
He explained adaptation is like accepting the situation and learning to live with it.
Ayade who led the African Governors Forum to the event said that mitigation as against adaptation is the way to go.
He said “We are here for COP 21 but there is a side event which is very critical for me which is the Governors Forum for Climate Change and I am leading the African Forum for Governors Forum.
“My optimism has since been burnt to cold impotent ash because strong commitments are very weak and the applicability of all the discussions are not seen in the course of time, so essentially, there is this strong feeling that there is so much talk with little work.
“But far more importantly is the growing concern that climate change is real, as real as it is , African must continue to survive and feed.
Our key resource is our forest, for the developed country, their key resource is their technology. So while they struggle to send technology into Africa, we are told to stop deforestation and maintain our forest stock so we can conserve carbon.”
“As Africans, we must shut our doors and reinvent ourselves, adaptation is not the way to go because it is adjusting yourself.”
“In all of these, there is very little Africa is doing in terms of technology, in terms of even mechanical cultivation of young plants that have capacity for the assimilation of carbon dioxide.
“We have also been very inefficient. But I ask you as we come here for COP 21 what is Africa’s position, what have we brought to the negotiation table, we cannot continue to play the role of a victim,
“Africans own the largest tropical rainforest; we stand at the middle between the West and the East. It is that place that sinks all the carbon dioxide that comes even from the US, Canada, Asia, they all come into Africa.
Africa must have a stronger say and have their own pre COP conference before they come to COP. Africa’s negotiation must be single, firm, clear.
Africa cannot come cap in hand always looking for alms.
“That is what I want to say that Africa must stop coming to the international community to seek funds, we must seek technology, seek equality and relevance, because indeed, it is one of the most blessed continent.
“And as a professor of Environmental Science and the leader of the African Governors Forum for Climate Change these are some of the articulations I have made here in some of the side events I attended.
“Today, our black colour is no longer a colour but an attitude, the black man signifies the man who comes and say we don’t have money, that has to end we don’t have the earthquakes that characterize their environment, so why is Africa always on the international scene seeking fund?
“Why don’t you seek partnership, why don’t you seek technology, let’s put an end to that.”