General News of Sunday, 15 February 2015
G-ROC Calls for action backing clean energy against fossil fuels to commemorate the Global Divestment Day
Climate change movement Ghana Reducing Our Carbon (G-ROC) is in solidarity with allies across the world calling for the abolition of use of fossil fuels as sources of energy generation.
Fossil fuels are energy resources with very adverse effects. Burning of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide, nitrogen monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide etc which have severe consequences on people’s health and encroaches on a healthy lifestyle.
Some of the adverse effects captured by key bodies such as Conserve Energy and 350.org include:
Environmental Hazards: When burnt they give out carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas which is the main aspect of global warming. Rise in temperature of earth have resulted in melting of polar ice caps, flooding of low lying areas, rise in sea levels.
Acid Rain: When burnt, sulphur dioxide gas is also produced which is the factor for acid rain. Acid rain leads to destruction of monuments made up of brickwork or marbles, and also crops are affected due to acidification of loams.
Human Health Getting Affected: The ozone layer is being worn-out due to the release of greenhouse gases from the fuels. Hence, ozone holes are being created from which harmful UV rays enter the earth surface that affect human life causing diseases like cancer. Skin cancer is the major form of disease that is caused due to the reaction of infra-red rays and the pigment present in the skin.
Non-Renewable: As the fossil fuels are extracted to an unlimited level it is for sure that they will deplete some day or the other. Since they are non-renewable it is likely that fuels expenses will face a hike in near future. It would take millions of years to replace coal, and oil, and we are using them quickly.
Impact on Aquatic Life by Oil Spill: Fossil fuels are needed in huge reserves wherever their plants are set up. This requires them to be transported to the desired location via truck, train, ship or airplane. Often we hear of some leaks in oil tankers or ship getting drowned deep under the sea that were carrying crude oil to get refined. The impact of this is that crude oil contains some toxic substances which when mixed up with water pose serious hazards to aquatic life.
Coal Mining: Extraction of coal from areas that have huge reserves is not only a difficult and dangerous task but also pose health hazard to the lives of several workers who work there. The coal mining destroys wide areas of land and results in ecological imbalance.
Eventhough Ghana is not a major user of Fossil Fuel, government’s plan to establish coal-fired plant raises concerns. Why would government opt for this technology when there are enough evidence of its harmful effect? Indeed, developed countries are even shying away from the use of coal due for reasons already stated. Certainly, Ghana cannot afford to take such a risk.
G-ROC is an informal network of youth-based grassroots movements or organisations actively involved in the fight against climate change. Chibeze Ezekiel, G-ROC National Co-ordinator believes that Renewable/Clean Energies are safer and sustainable sources of energy generation and consumption.
“Clean, renewable source of energy does not only guarantee regular energy provision but has inherent job creation opportunities for majority of unemployed or under-employed youth,” says Chibeze. “This weekend’s campaign is to call on government and world leaders to back clean solar and wind as better options than or fossil fuel”.