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Climate activist to African countries: Stop playing the victim, leap to cleaner energy

Climate activist to African countries: Stop playing the victim, leap to cleaner energy
October 08
13:09 2021

Joy Egbe, a Nigerian youth climate activist, says Nigeria and other African countries should quit making excuses of contributing little to global warming and greenhouse gas emissions. 

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In an interview with TheCable, Egbe said it is time for Africa to start taking responsibility for its actions and build resilience for its people. 

She said developing nations should not be dependent on the promised $100 billion from the developed world, but should use the resources at their disposal to leap to cleaner energy. 

“I’m not comfortable with the statement that developing nations have contributed little to climate change. Climate change is no respecter of no nation, most times it is you who has contributed little that has the severe impact,” Egbe said. 

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“So this is not time to play the victim card. Every nation is experiencing climate change in one way or the other. The purpose of the $100 billion is not for developing nations to fold their hands and do nothing. No, it’s for the developed nation to be accountable and responsible for what they have done and for this funding to help to build resilience  and adaptation measures.” 

Egbe, who represented Nigeria at the 2021 Youth4Climate summit in Milan, said Africa should start using its abundant clean resources to meet its energy needs. 

She said there was no need for a slow transition to cleaner energy, and that Africa needs to leap away from fossil fuels. 

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“Africa should leap away from fossil fuel. There is no need to say we’ll build our economy to some point then we transit. No leap! Developed nations used landlines for phones and horses for transport, but when GSM phones came to Africa, we did not say let’s go and use landlines first before we grow to using other phones or go and use horses first as a transport mechanism. No we leaped, we swift,” Egbe said. 

“There is so much potential in Africa, we have sun, intense sun is beating people in Nigeria. So let’s utilize those things as energy resources to build our own economy. We have lands, let’s build agriculture because food scarcity is a major thing as well. Let’s build adaptation and mitigation measures for ourselves, let’s walk on our drainage system instead of flooding, taking peoples properties and damaging their homes.

“We don’t have to rely on one other nation. In as much as we are holding  those developed countries responsible, Africa too should be responsible for their own  contribution, they should be responsible for all the lives that are here in Africa and their own actions as well.”

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This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.

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