OP-ED: Why African youths mustn’t take backstage in climate action, By ‘Seyifunmi Adebote and Adenike Oladosu

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The effects of climate change are manifesting all over the world, evident in wildfires and hurricanes including the recent cyclones in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Tanzania, which have left thousands dead, millions displaced and billions of dollars’ worth of property destroyed.

 

Africa could have lost infrastructure worth US$1 billion as a result of Cyclone Idai battering Southern Africa. Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe are affected and to a lesser extent, Madagascar.            Photo Credit: CAJ News Africa

 

The major argument about climate change on the African continent is the relevance of urging Africans to take climate action serious, considering the fact that African countries are almost zero emitters of carbon, which is responsible for warming up of the planet.

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Regardless of the standpoint from which we view the climate crisis from, the reality is that its impact is beyond any region of the world – it is global! It is therefore pertinent that everyone is passionately concerned about climate change and its disastrous consequences – regardless of colour, race, gender or age. We all want a peaceful world to live in; we all want a good environment to inhabit, one that would not threaten our safety and 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 us the people; as individuals, organizations, businesses and governments. These answers are but a reflection of our actions and inactions, alike.

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The effects of climate change are manifesting all over the world, evident in wildfires and hurricanes happening  across the globe including the recent cyclones in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Tanzania, which have left thousands dead, millions displaced and billions of dollars’ worth of property destroyed.

From the repeated outbreak of malaria to the strange diseases and insurgencies the world over and everyday environmental challenges such as drought and floods, all these are but sending a strong message that we, as Africans, must break the cycle of silence and inaction by standing up to take action against climate change so that relevant stakeholders will act against the menace of global warming – the single greatest environmental threat to our collective existence on planet earth

Therefore, African governments, religious institutions, businesses, civil society and academia, amongst others, must begin to take deliberate actions targeted at managing the climate crisis on the African continent.

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We can’t afford to continue to remain passive about an issue that is evidently very critical to our survival and that of our future generations. As Africans, we can’t afford to fold our arms and do nothing; it is equally not enough to fast and pray! Thus, we need youths from across the continent to sit up, unite and demand for action against climate change, whose disastrous effects we are already living with.

African youths cannot afford to take the backstage!

 

‘Seyifunmi Adebote is an environmentalist and climate change activist while Oladosu Adenike is an ecofeminist and climate activist as well. The views expressed in this article are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of African Newpage

 

 

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