Why Rwanda should endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty #rwanda #RwOT


The creation story in the Book of Genesis describes how in just seven days, God created heaven and earth including air, water, plants, animals etc., and on the last day, he created human beings (Adam and Eve).

It is clearly outlined how and why God intentionally created the world, a place we all dearly call home.

In his wisdom, The Almighty designated man as a very special creature and bestowed upon him the responsibility to take good care of all other creatures, according to what is written in the Holy Book.

Collectively, he referred to everything he had put in place as the environment. Whether the creation story is true or not, that's a discussion for another day.

So, as custodians of God's very first assignment on co-existence in the world, human beings are expected to exhibit the highest level of discipline in ensuring environmental protection. Unless you are not a believer.

Modern science indicates that environmental sustainability helps in productive co-existence so much that if given attention, it would not only enhance environmental and health benefits but also foster economic growth and security of the world's energy future.

Environmental sustainability involves measures such as resource conservation, reducing waste, promoting renewable energy and promoting sustainable communities. This struggle begins with humanity.

Experts say that a reduction in reliance on fossil fuels reduces emissions thereby mitigating the world's carbon footprint, promoting renewable energy sources, and contributing to global efforts in mitigating global warming and climate change.

This is a substantive obligation requiring countries and governments globally to take action in unison.

It may be a negotiation by governments to reduce fossil fuels because as finite resources, their extraction contributes to environmental degradation and yet their conservation promotes renewable energy sources thereby enhancing the world's energy security.

It may be a relatively brief framework agreement or an extensively detailed policy. Either way, it would be grounded on fundamental principles of justice and equity considering all provisions to set up relevant institutions to enable a global just transition.

This is because depending less on fossil fuels reduces vulnerability to price fluctuations and geopolitical tensions associated with fossil fuel dependence.

Some scholars argue that investing in renewable energy infrastructure can stimulate economic growth and create new job opportunities in an emerging and thriving green economy.

This, they say, can boost local industries, attract foreign investment, and foster innovation in renewable energy technologies.

It means that with extra efforts, the goal of enabling the rapid, equitable, and comprehensive transformation needed to ensure a safe climate, healthy economy, and sustainable future for all people is not beyond reach.

Fortunately, Rwanda stands an advantage. The country has already established itself as a global leader in this regard. Energy policies aligned with long-term sustainability goals and preserving natural resources for future generations are already in place.

Rwanda's commitment to global initiatives aimed at fostering international cooperation to accelerate a transition to clean energy for everyone is undoubtedly visible.

Already, there are strong provisions relating to the promotion of green/clean energy that exist. Many of them relate to transparency and compliance with international standards.
Thus, there is a treaty in the offing (which I think Rwanda should consider) that requires capacity building to support the global cause of living up to the role of humanity as the original custodians of God's initial assignment on co-existence.

It requires the world to transition away from fossil fuels as a way of improving public health by reducing air pollution. This shift can lead to fewer respiratory diseases and other health issues associated with poor air quality. This is the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty (FFNPT).

The FFNPT initiative recognizes that the current climate crisis poses an existential threat as serious as the threat of weapons of mass destruction. It stipulates a design directed to incentivize independent country governments to take or avoid particular actions.

With international support, a collaborative effort is currently underway to explore ways to end the expansion of fossil fuels and phase out existing production, based on equity and common but differentiated responsibilities.

This will translate into an end to expansion of oil, gas and coal, and wind down existing production in keeping with what science shows is needed to address the climate crisis.
Accordingly, this threat requires comprehensive responses, like the way the world negotiated nuclear disarmament treaties, and a clear focus on phasing out the production of fossil fuels in line with the 1.5°C global climate goal.

Unfortunately, currently, only a few countries produce renewable energy equipment and technologies. Yet, a renewable energy revolution can offer opportunity for most countries and regions to actively produce equipment for their own needs.

But in my view, Rwanda's deliberate access to technology can be an appropriate safeguarding tool and an important basis for sound industrialization and economic diversification through environmental protection.

If Rwanda endorsed FFNPT, it would automatically benefit from a Global Just Transition Fund, an initiative set up to facilitate and support economic diversification and the transition to renewable energy.

Rwanda, like many nations globally, should consider embracing the Treaty for several compelling reasons. Besides, this can strengthen diplomatic relations and partnerships with other nations committed to addressing climate change.

From the look of things, significant momentum is building behind the call for a treaty as a means to accelerate a fair, fast and financed transition away from fossil fuels - the main driver of the climate crisis.

Rwanda stands to gain significantly from embracing it and that's why I think it should be endorsed.

Modern science indicates that environmental sustainability helps in productive co-existence so much that if given attention, it would not only enhance environmental and health benefits but also foster economic growth and security of the world's energy future.

Sam K Nkurunziza

Source : https://en.igihe.com/opinion/article/why-rwanda-should-endorse-the-fossil-fuel-non-proliferation-treaty

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