Africa should hold climate polluters liable – VALD

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The Vision for Alternative Development (VALD), a health related non-governmental organisation, has called on African governments to be firm in holding big polluters liable for fuelling climate crisis.

VALD said such polluters must not to be allowed to self-regulate their activities as had been the case in most countries, rather they should be properly monitored and regulated by law to make them more responsible.

Mr Labram Musah, Programmes Director at VALD, while throwing his weight behind the just launched “Liability Roadmap,” a global tool that outlines how local and global decision-makers could hold polluting industries liable for climate damage, said Ghana and other African nations should be bold to demand for climate justice.

Mr Musah, at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, said the environmental harm and damage being caused by those big polluters, including fossil fuel producers, plastic manufactures and coal miners, were “worse than the benefit they purport to bring to us”.

“We cannot take a further risk as the future of our planet is uncertain. Government across the world must priorities the adoption of the liability roadmap into their national development agendas,” he stated.

Mr Musah said with the emergence of oil field in Ghana, it behoved on the country to begin to follow and adhere to global best practices to ensure that present and future generations were protected from the devastating effects of the big polluters.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had predicted that from 2030 to 2050, certain effects of climate change would contribute to an increase of about 250,000 deaths per year from conditions such as heat stress, malnutrition, diarrhoea, and malaria, he said.

Also, air pollution is known to be the world’s largest single environmental health risk, and a leading risk factor for non-communicable diseases, causing seven million deaths every year worldwide.

Mr Musah said in Ghana, however, skin diseases and associated ailments were being recorded in Agbogbloshie in the Greater Accra Region, with respiratory illnesses being the worst health problem.

He, therefore, called on the Government to ensure that activities that affected the health of the people were curtailed and the polluters made to own up to their responsibilities of solving the healthcare needs of the people.

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