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Climate Watch: World leaders make fresh promises — but Greta Thunberg is unimpressed

Climate Watch: World leaders make fresh promises — but Greta Thunberg is unimpressed
September 29
14:03 2021

Despite directly impacting our communities, health, and livelihood, climate-related reports usually take a back seat to dominant news beats like politics and business. Climate Watch aims to ensure you never miss important stories on climate change and actions being taken towards limiting its impact.

Here is a round-up of last week’s climate stories:

  • World leaders have called for decisive climate action ahead of COP26 — UN climate change summit — in November. The leaders gathered last week at the 76th UN general assembly, where they expressed concern over the dangers of not tackling climate change with the needed urgency. Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, said the UN roundtable is a wake-up call to instill a sense of urgency on the dire state of the climate process ahead of COP26. Boris Johnson, Britain’s prime minister, called on his fellow leaders to commit to major changes to curb further global warming, adding that COP26 will be a turning point for humanity. Meanwhile, leaders from developing countries charged developed countries to act more forcefully against a warming planet.


  • President Muhammadu Buhari also spoke at the UN general assembly, where he reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to the Paris agreement. He said the country is gradually transitioning to a low carbon economy. The president told world leaders that it has become pertinent for Nigeria to build a climate-resilient economy, as it is experiencing different manifestations of the climate crisis. Read more on what he said here.


  • In a bid to equip its residents to mitigate the impacts of climate change, Kaduna state collaborated with the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) to train people on safe climate practices. Muazu Usman, director of the environment, Kaduna ministry of environment and natural resources, said the workshop was designed to sensitise residents on how to handle and manage the environment for sustainable development.


  • A deeper look at the climate situation in Nigeria would reveal that no sector is spared of its impacts. The security of the nation is also affected when climate change leads to conflict over resources. Last week, Usman Baba, the inspector-general of police (IGP), said climate change is a major driver of poverty, crimes, and insecurity in Nigeria. He said human activities like desertification, deforestation, and competition for natural resources show a strong connection between climate change and internal security. Find out more about what he said here.


  • The UK government has pledged to support Nigeria in the assembling of electric vehicles. Catriona Laing, the British high commissioner to Nigeria, said the UK will back Metro Africa Xpress (MAX), a Nigerian firm, to champion the assembling of electric vehicles. She said the UK government is delighted to scale up support for MAX, given the company’s brilliant innovation and solutions. More on the story here.


  • Despite the promises made by world leaders at the UN general assembly, Greta Thunberg, the Swedish environmental activist, is not impressed. Speaking at the Youth4Climate conference in Milan, Italy, she accused the leaders of being all talk and no action. “They are clearly not listening to us, and they never have,” she said. “We can no longer let the people in power decide what is politically possible or not. We can no longer let the people in power decide what hope is.” Thunberg added that the “intentional lack of action” by world leaders is a “betrayal towards all present and future generations”.

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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