On Friday the 3rd of July 2020, we once again went live on our Instagram page, this time with Carpe Omatseye and Oluwatosin Akintan. The session focused mainly on the SDG 7 which is affordable and clean energy. The session began at exactly 4:55pm which Carpe Omatseye taking the introduction of his guest Oluwatosin who is a petroleum engineering student of covenant University in Nigeria. Tosin is an advocate for change in the energy sector and had a passionate desire to see the SDG7 achieved in Nigeria and the world at Large. Carpe Omatseye on the other hand is a final year Law student of the University of Lagos and also has an active and passionate desire for the achievement of the SDGs. The session kicked off with Tseye asking Tosin to give a brief insight as to what the goal means and what it entails along with how she as a person relates to it. Tosin responded by staying that the goal can be interpreted literally to mean we need to achieve a less expensive and cleaner way if generating and using energy because we currently are hurting the planet with our current energy consumption. She went further to state how studying petroleum engineering allowed her to see the harm that is being done by the petroleum sector which birthed in her the desire for a change in the energy sector.
This reply brought about the second question which borders on the fact that the current energy sector contributes 60% too the global climate change the world is currently experiencing and how we can go about this. Tosin answered this by restating how important it is for us to change the current narrative in the energy sector and highlighted the fact that the depletion of the ozone layer is caused by the emission of carbon from the production and use of fossil fuel noting the acts of gas flaring by oil producers as a major contributor to this unfortunate narrative. Tosin suggested that serious attention needs to be given to this goal or we better find a new planet to live on because there’s no use for the other goals if the earth becomes inhabitable for humans to live on.
Tseye proceeded to bring up the issue of the current Energy sector and it’s long history of mishaps and human rights violation using the Niger Delta and Bonny island incidents as example of how residents of oil mining area are affected by the mining activities because when these incidents happen, their source of livelihood is taken away from them as the leaked oil pollutes both land water and the air of the environment. Tosin replied to this by staying that the oil mining and production industry is a really high risk one and accidents are bound to happen but the issue with these human rights situations are more of accountability issue as the government of such areas or countries fail to hold the production companies accountable for these mishaps noting that situations like this happen in more developed countries but the companies are held accountable by the government and are made to clean up the are and compensate the residents of such areas with the swift and successful judicial actions.
The issue of some Countries dependency on the current energy sector which had been agreed to be unhealthy for the earth and what lies their fate if and when SDG 7 is achieved was raised by Tseye. Tseye highlighted how much some countries of the world today, using Nigeria as an example depend majorly on the trade and sale of its fossil fuel natural resource to finance it’s activities and development as a Country and asked Tosin what she thinks might befall countries like Nigeria. Tosin responded by saying that the transition from the current event sector into a fully clean and Affordable over doesn’t necessarily mean the end for fossil fuels and that it will still be needed although it’s importance might be drastically lessened. Tosin went on to state that countries might have to adjust to the transition and should be encouraged to source other means of generating revenue for themselves.
Tseye moved on with the session but asking Tosin about to outline the current and existing forms of affordable and clean energy and the most promising out of them. Tosin went on to list Solar, Wind and hydro as answers to the initial question, adding that Solar energy is one she strongly recommends for now as it’s much more reliable and has and unlimited source of energy which is the sun and so long as we orbit around the sun well continue to have energy. Tseye proceeded to ask about the affordability of this mode of energy and Tosin replied that Solar panels are really cheap and the only things expensive about solar event are the inverters and batteries that accompany them, noting that they can be purchased one time and wouldn’t require the usual servicing a generator needs and can last for years with good management.
Tseye asked Tosin if she feels Nigeria is doing enough to achieve SDG 7 to which she replied she doesn’t feel so because Nigeria isn’t showing enough seriousness in tackling the unhealthy energy situation and gas flaring is still a thing in Nigeria especially in the southern region where majority of the oil mining is done. She stated that although Nigeria has some processes in place already implementation is a big problem for Nigeria and corruption is a major contributor to this. Tseye agreed with Tosin and further asked if she feels SDG 7 can be attained by 2030 in Nigeria and the world as a whole. Tosin started that she honestly feels Nigeria cannot make the goal before 2030 as we lack the determination and drive needed to achieve this goal. She further stressed that concerning the world, more developed countries are likely to achieve this goal by 2030 and developing or under developed countries will most likely not achieve affordable and clean energy because it’s is not an urgent priority to them as they are either battling poverty and hunger or are engaged in wars that’s affect they’re development.
A Rumored fact was brought up by Tseye stating how he hears it in discussions and debates on the sustainability of the energy sector but doesn’t agree with it and requested Tosin’s professional expertise in debunking the myth that fossil fuels can one day finish and there’ll be nothing to mine, Tosin explained that the process or creation of Fossil fuels comes essentially from the overtime decomposition of Dead animals and plants as well as feces of Animals. She noted that because this process is one that naturally cannot be stopped, fossil fuels will forever continue to be present on the earth. Tseye agreed and thanked Tosin for the information.
In conclusion the session, Tseye stated how impossible Achieving the SDG 7 might seem to a lay man who feels his Government isn’t doing enough and asked Tosin what individuals can do from the comfort of their homes or while going about their daily activities to contribute to the above-mentioned of the goal. Tosin mentioned how citizens and private individuals can do a whole lot by making sure they reduce their carbon emissions and cultivate the habit of saving Energy. She gave practical exams like switching off a light bulb when not in use, changing from firewood or kerosene cookers to gas or electric cookers, replacing the generator with solar panels or compounds cooperating to use a single generator they can power all the flats instead of everyone having their own generator, by advocating for change and youth participation in this, mentioning YSDC as a good example for youths to actively engage and clamor for the change so needed in the environment. Lastly, she advised that the major way individuals can collectively effect a change is by exercising their Democratic Rights during the national and gubernatorial elections by voting in candidates that give a detailed agenda in how they play to effect charge in the energy sector and ride environment at Large. Tseye strongly agreed with this saying how youths need to actively participate in politics and how voters shouldn’t be swayed by empty promises but by seeing a very detailed and accountable plan proposed by a candidate which their ideas Aline with. This brought the session to an end by exactly 5:45pm.