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Sunday, March 3, 2024
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Retrospective

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Dear editor,

One of the most atrocious presidents in the world has gone to exile but wanted.

God created man to live with his fellow men to assist one another and live in peace and harmony.

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I am also quoting from an eminent lawyer, writer and bencher of the Inner Temple Church in London. He said in his Latin proverb ‘solus populi suprema lex esto ‘ let the welfare of the people be the paramount law and there is not anything in the world so much abused as that sentence.

Yahya Jammeh came to power by the barrel of the gun; that is to say he usurped power that did not belong to him. After a bloodless coup d’etat in July 1994, he ostensibly stood at the Independence Stadium to convince the gathering by saying that they took over the government of Dawda Jawara because they were corrupt, selfish and greedy. His slogan was that I am your servant. I came to salvage the people of this country and we grow what we eat and eat what we grow. Few years later Gambians discovered that he was an inveterate liar. After the July 1994 uprising, he set up commissions of enquiry some of the former government ministers, top civil servants were arrested, detained, incommunicado and later dismissed and their properties confiscated to the state. Here is a president who convinced his citizens by telling them I am clean, I am your servant, and I am here to wipe your tears. Later through the T.R.R.C, so many revelations were made indicating that Yahya Jammeh is the architect of all heinous crimes and inhuman degradation meted to Gambians. O. A. Jallow, ex-minister in the Jawara regime said he has forgiven Yahya Jammeh. There is no person so evil, greedy and wicked like Yahya Jammeh in this world. Jammeh, Jammeh, you can stay in Equatorial Guinea for the rest of your life. One day you will face justice in The Gambia or outside The Gambia.

Walley Sey

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Wellingara

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There is a way out of the climate crisis – but it is not through COP

Dear editor,

There have been a total of 28 United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) on the climate crisis to date, but only the last one, convened earlier this month in the United Arab Emirates, has ever mentioned ending fossil fuels in its final agreement.

COP28 secured a commitment from nations to “transition away” from fossil fuels, however, it offered little more than its predecessors in the way of real solutions to the climate crisis. Delegates did not agree to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions enough (43 percent by 2030) to meet the targets set in the Paris Climate Agreement, and wealthy nations did not make any meaningful contributions to the Loss and Damage Fund established by COP27 to provide financial assistance to nations most vulnerable and impacted by the effects of climate change.

Germany, for example, has agreed to contribute a mere $100m to the fund – the same amount it spent building just 430 meters of the A100 highway in Berlin. This sum is, of course, nowhere near enough to meet the needs created due to climate change across the world. To put things in perspective, the 2022 flood disaster in Pakistan, which killed 1,739 people and displaced two million others, is believed to have cost the country $30-40bn.

Meanwhile, fossil fuel producers, who have been making record profits as a result of the war in Ukraine, are planning to expand their production with no consideration for the destruction and suffering caused by the climate crisis. Thousands of fossil fuel lobbyists attended the latest COP and tried to disguise their assault on our common future as sensible progress. Moreover, leaked documents revealed that COP28 president and UAE national oil company boss Sultan al-Jaber has planned to boost fossil fuel business in meetings at the climate summit.

Instead of putting social justice at the core of the negotiations, fossil fuel producers are pushing false solutions. Across Europe, companies are promoting carbon capture and storage (CCS) – capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) at emission sources, transporting and then storing or burying it in a suitable deep, underground location – as a way to continue consuming fossil fuels while addressing the climate crisis. However, CCS technologies are inefficient and costly, and there is little indication that they could be scaled up soon enough to make a difference. As such, they currently serve no purpose other than prolonging the burning of fossil fuels with all its destructive consequences, from gas leakages and oil spillages to collapsing mines.

False solutions like CCS make it possible for those in positions of power to close their eyes a little bit longer, to further delay change that is long overdue, and keep on destroying the planet. And in the process, they prevent real solutions from receiving public attention and funding.

CCS expansion can be found in the programme of the German Green Party; fossil fuel companies, such as the German corporation Wintershall, are pushing for it, and it was even mentioned in the final text of the COP28. Why? Well, to keep capitalism running, fossil fuels burning, and European GDP growing – at the cost of lives and livelihoods elsewhere.

Another corporate delay tactic is promoting even more markets for carbon offsets, nowadays called “nature-based solutions”. Carbon offset certificates do not even reduce emissions in 80 to 90 percent of the cases. Despite this, nations like Australia and the United Kingdom are already extending their carbon markets to nature, while the European Commission is planning for biodiversity credits and water pollution trading.

Carola Rackete

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