Monday 13th January 2020
Monday, 13th of January 2020
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Climate action: African youths can’t take backstage

One very controversial argument about climate change on the African continent is the relevance of urging Africans to take climate action considering that they are zero net emitters of carbon which is responsible for warming the planet. Regardless of what position we view the climate crisis from, the impact is beyond continental – it is global!

Nigeria climate youths
Dr Peter Tarfa of the Climate Change Department of the Federal Ministry of Environment with some Nigerian youth representatives at the 2019 Africa Climate Week in Accra, Ghana

It is therefore pertinent that everyone must be gravely concerned – regardless of colour, race, gender or age, we all want a peaceful place to live, and a good environment that would not threaten our health.

Why then do we get torn apart by war? Why are we daily scourged by the angry sun peeping through a punctured ozone layer? Why do we live in filth? These answers lie with we the people; as individuals, organisations, businesses and respective governments. These answers are just a reflection of our actions and inactions.

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From the climate change crisis happening all over the world, reflected in wildfires, hurricanes, and the recent cyclones of in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Tanzania, which has left thousands of persons dead, millions displaced, and properties destroyed. The repeated outbreak of malaria, strange diseases and insurgencies everywhere, to the everyday environmental crisis such as drought and flooding, all these adds up to send a strong message that we, as Africans, must break out this silence and stand up to take climate action for concerns stakeholders to act. Government, religious institutions, businesses, academia, amongst others, must take possible actions to manage the climate crisis on the African continent.

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We can’t remain quiet about those things that matter to us and our future. For an Africa we want to come our way, we can’t seat and fold hands; it is equally not enough to fast and pray. Like in decades gone by, our generation craves men that will stand to make an impact, men that will bring back an Africa that works.

In a country like Nigeria, there is enough to leave many devastated and wondering what happened to our past glory? What happened to the good leaders who cared about the people and the people over profit? Are the works of our hero past wasted? What are we going to tell the future generation as our efforts to make the planet habitable?

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Young people across the world must arise to take climate action and African youths cannot take the backstage.

By Seyifunmi Adebote and Adenike Oladosu, Abuja

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