The Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has made a strong case for the West to provide a climate equalization fund for Africa.
Mr. Ayade, who spoke at the ongoing Climate Change Summit in France, said to reduce green house gas emissions, Africa must be supported to find alternative means of livelihood for its people.
The governor is a professor of Environmental Science and the leader of African governors to the Summit.
He was of the view that the climate equalization fund is necessary for the continent before any move towards forest conservation could be taken.
“Decarbonisation is sequestration of African economy. A climate equalization fund for livelihood adaptation is imperative if Africa must conserve her forest, cap its oil wells and shut its coal mines,” Mr. Ayade stated.
He advised African leaders against the total adaptation of the approaches employed by the West and other developed nations in tackling ckimate change.
The governor, who was the only African governor to address the Summit, called on leaders of the continent to design their own solution to the climate change challenge.
According to him, “Africa must respond but slowly to renewable energy. We copied democracy without modifications, so we are about copying climate change battle without designing our own solutions,” he said.
“Africa must not come to the international community cap in hand begging for pittance. Indeed, Africa is the CO2 sink of the world and must be treated as mother earth.”
Mr. Ayade also made a case for Africa renaissance, imploring the leaders of the continent to rise from their slumber and reinvent the African story.
“As a continent, we have slept for far too long that our blackness is moved from colour to character.
“We must reinvent the story of the black man. Africa must rise above what divides and distracts us and chart a course that decoupled us from technology dependence.
“Only then can Africa be set on the path of renewable energy with cuts in carbon footprints and aggressive carbon tax,” he concluded.
PIX: Mr. Ayade discussing with a delegate at the Climate Change Summit in Paris, France