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The earliest time known to man when the environment was completely green (best form and shape) was at creation. Humans and animals eat only fruits and green herbs. No single human activity at creation was toxic to the environment. Interestingly, God gave man the responsibility to care for the environment around him. With the fall of man came the fall of the environment. The activities of men became unfriendly to the environment.

Climate change is caused particularly by human activities. According to Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness (CLEAN), “there is overwhelming evidence that human activities, especially burning fossil fuels, are leading to increased levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere, which in turn amplify the natural greenhouse effect, causing the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere, ocean, and land surface to increase.”[1] Amnesty international also corroborates this by stating that, “there is an overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is mostly man-made: 97% of climate scientists have come to this conclusion.”[2]

Many of the GHG occur naturally but human activity is increasing the concentrations of some of them in the atmosphere, in particular: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases. CO2 is the most produced GHG by human activities. It accounts for 64% of man-made global warming and its concentration in the atmosphere is currently 40% higher than it was when industrialization began.  There are additional greenhouse gases emitted in smaller quantities, they trap heat more effectively than CO2, and are stronger in some cases. Methane for example is accountable for 17% of man-made global warming, nitrous oxide for 6%.[3]

Rise in sea level, excessive rainfall, melting glacier, and sea ice, shortened life span and but a few to mention are shreds of evidence that the human environment has been held to ransom. Consequent upon these life-threatening effects is the dire need to regard Climate change as a human right issue by all. Kumi Naidoo, Secretary-General of Amnesty International said that climate change is a human rights issue not only because it’s devastating impacts affect the enjoyment of human rights, but due to the fact it is created by man and can be abated by governments.

Because the environment is gasping for breath and the ultimate victim is man, there is a clarion call for all to save the environment. It might seem a herculean task to eradicate climate change, but we can reduce GHG emissions to the barest minimum. Gas stove instead of firewood, refuse to drive or drive in a car that generously emits CO2, invest in renewables as a reliable and clean source of energy. From the government to the people, we must constantly be in the business of saving the environment as it was from the beginning.

[1] Human activities are impacting the climate system. Available at https://cleanet.org/clean/literacy/principle_6.html. Accessed 20th September 2020.

[2]https://www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/climate-change/?. Accessed 20th September 2020

[3] Ibid.

About Ayodeji (Contributor)

Ayodeji Adekanbi is a graduate of Physics from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. He is a social and energy enthusiast whose heart is keen on seeing an eruption of Renewable Energy alive in Nigeria and Africa. A current postgraduate fellow of Renewable Energy at the Prestigious University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. He is a staunch advocate of the SDGs and believes they are largely achievable by 2030, given our individual, and mutual contribution in our respective sectors and mode of living.

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