The European countries come to mine for fossil fuel in Africa with colonial attitude, CEO of Green Touches Company in UAE says
Adrienne Doolan from Ireland, CEO/Founder of Green Touches Sustainable Company in UAE
Do you see that the financing for countries affected most by climate change, especially in Africa, is enough?
At the end of COP26 in Glasgow last November, they made commitments with billions of dollars for small island nations, for Africa, for underdeveloped countries, but so far no money has been actually paid. The global North continue to profit from the global South. The island nations will have no homes anymore; there’s already economic and non-economic destruction in their countries. We’ll end with having billions of migrants having to find homes again, and this will cause anarchy and sorts of problems in the world. Europe is already bad to migrants, and migrants are dying daily in the sea in the Mediterranean. We need as a world to come together for humanity. In the Horn of Africa, there are more than 860 million people suffering from starvation. There’s going to be a famine there, which we already fought for in 1984, and here we are in 2022 and it’s the same thing. The fossil fuel companies have seen their biggest profits in 15 years, and that is totally unacceptable. Now, loss and damage is on the agenda, and this is a great step forward, because the island nations have already been fighting for more than 30 years. In Africa, we see the European countries coming in again and starting to mine, and they come with the same kind of colonial attitude as happened before. We can’t continue like this. We need stronger leaders. Most leaders serve only three- or four-year terms and are only concerned about votes and their constituencies, but climate change knows no short term. I was impressed with President Sisi during the opening, because he was really powerful and outspoken, along with Antonio Guterres and Al Gore.
Climate change isn’t just affecting the weather, but is also affecting food security. How can we handle this issue?
Food security and water security are huge problems now. About 70% of the planet is water, and we can only drink 1% of that, yet we’re constantly polluting it. More and more droughts means that countries are looking for water to water their crops for food, and this will become a problem, because the ground water will dry up. It’s a finite source, and we can’t drink the fossil fuels that are coming out of the ground. In Africa and the Middle East, food security is going to become a huge issue, as the temperatures continue to rise and there is less and less water. We need to be worried about food and water security. The war in Ukraine also has shown that we have become very reliant on what has been called the “bread basket of Europe”, and we’ve been held ransom by this Russian-Ukrainian war. Europeans were talking about renewables until the war happened, and then everyone started to panic. We need transparency, openness, data sharing, collaborations, partnerships, because the only way to push forward to make change is to work together.
Do you think that COP27 will make progress on the ground?
I feel a lot of hope. I’ve met a lot of NGOs, especially African NGOs, that are working hard within sustainability, but it’s not enough people. There are 30,000 people here but a population of 8 billion in the world. There are a lot of smart people developing smart solutions, but sometimes they don’t supported because it’s not financially viable, because everyone is still looking to profit. But we can’t be buried with money; it’s going to be of no benefit to us. Rich people are going to die as fast as poor people with climate change; money isn’t going to save anything. We need to find the solution to making everyone aware. But you can’t expect a man in Africa who is starving to even think about not using plastic when he can’t even put food on the table. Developed countries need to step up and start looking into the underdeveloped countries, and they have to start financing and helping. People aren’t looking for money; they’re looking for solutions. Don’t just throw money at people, but go in and actually help them.