An Environmentalist, Ms Gloria Bulus has called for a transition from coal mining and usage to renewable energy alternatives.
Bulus, the founder of Bridge-that-gap Initiative, an environmental Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.
The environmentalist harped on the need to embark on a coal transition campaign to curb the negative impact of coal mining activities on the environment.
“The coal transition campaign is a campaign seeking for a fair transition from the use of coal to other clean energy sources that secures the future of our environment and livelihoods.
“It entails a transition to a low-carbon economy. It is a call to shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy, hence boosting sustainability.
“Coal is one of the dirtiest fuels available and coal-fired power plants are the single biggest global source of greenhouse gas emissions in the world.
“Burning of coal releases carbon dioxide, which negatively impacts on the environment and climate change effects. In addition, coal also emits pollutants that causes acid rain and is associated with a range of human health problems.
“Coal mining destroys the environment, depletes its resources, and also contaminates the air space and water affecting food production,” Bulus explained.
She also called for the attainment of green resilience in the country, a situation where Nigerians would depend on only clean energy sources.
Bulus advocated for coal transition campaign to target the extractive industries as well as rural communities where they were domiciled.
“Green resilience can be achieved by transition to low-carbon economy where we have smart cities with clean energy sources which are also renewable energy.
“In other words, green resilience movement is aimed at supporting low gas emissions into the environment, resilient urban planning and sustainable development.
“We need to stop being fossil fools. A fossil fool means a person who uses up or invests in fossil fuels without concern for the environmental and health impact it produces.
“The campaign should be targeted at fossil fuels production companies, extractive industries, the funders or donors of coal plants projects and the government.
“The coal transition campaign needs to be taken to people at rural communities because this is where most coal factories are located and the people are ignorant of the impact and how to negotiate for their rights.
“Coal can be replaced with renewable sources such as wind, hydro-power, biomass and solar energy which are readily available to harness into energy,” she said.
Bulus asserted that strengthening environmental laws that would mitigate the impact of coal mining and its consumption was paramount.
“We need to intensify and support a just transition from coal use to renewable energy use,” she said.(NAN)