OPINION: Attaining Economic Dev’t at the Cost Of the Environment is Equivalent to Murder

Charles Masereka Yoronimu

By: Charles Masereka Yoronimu

Industrialization in the world has taken a precedence is measuring the level of economic development of most countries. One with the most number of industries is considered as highly developed.

With this perception and with a lot of concern placed on competition for supremacy over industrial ownership, discount so many other aspects of life are left unattended to. With many industries in a place, symptoms the higher will be the amount of carbon emissions such an area is likely to encounter.

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A few days ago, I went into a discussion with a United States national on climate change and when I stressed the need to cut down on the amount of fossil and to create a fossil free future, he reacted terribly by stating that “You do realize that not having fossil fueled power is what’s keeping your entire continent (Africa) third world right?. He continued and said “so you really don’t see that in spite of Africa having incredible amounts of natural resources & fossil fuels you’re the poorest?

To me, I would say he is partly right especially with him referring to Africa, but of what importance is it to accumulate wealth at the expense of the environment and ultimately humanity? Can one really live longer to enjoy this accumulated wealth?

According to a 2015 report by The US Energy Information Administration, the United States alone accounts for over 5.2m metric tons of energy related carbon dioxide emissions. The Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data puts the United States in second place after china as the world’s top contributor to greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gases are produced through activities which release carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone chlorofluorocarbons into the atmosphere. These activities include among others, burning coal, natural gas and petrol, known as ‘fossil fuels’, cutting down of rainforests and other forests as well as poor land use practices that cause the earth’s surface temperatures to rise.

As the new generation of climate change ambassadors, we call upon global leaders to act as per the Paris Agreement and ensure that despite the love to build thousands of industries, there is a need to reduce on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions to ensure that global warming is maintained at below 2 degrees level.

The writer is a Climate Change Activist and Executive Director YAFRA Uganda.


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