Last Updated on: 26th January 2023, 09:01 am
Editorial: climate change remains a global challenge and world leaders have always been implored to “act now”.
Dear world leaders,
My name is Adenike Oladosu and I’m a climate justice activist in Nigeria. I was recently at COP27 to demand climate justice for countries like mine that are facing the worst effects of climate change.
Our ability to adapt to soaring temperatures and increasingly extreme weather is life or death. I’ve launched the petition with ONE to highlight the crisis millions of people are facing in the Lake Chad region and demand that wealthy nations deliver the funding that climate-vulnerable communities need to respond to the climate crisis.
Right now, the climate crisis is affecting every country in the world. As a climate activist in Nigeria, I have seen firsthand what happens to communities that don’t have the means to adapt to climate change.
Lake Chad was once one of Africa’s largest lakes. Its mineral-rich shores spanned Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon, sustaining the lives and livelihoods of around 30 million people.
But when climate change led to the lake shrinking by 90%, communities were unable to cope.
With no means to make a living, families fled their homes. Hunger and disease spread. Violent conflict broke out over the scarcity of resources. Extremist groups took control.
Millions of displaced people were forced into extreme poverty. Today, the Lake Chad region is in a major humanitarian crisis.
While communities like mine have contributed the least to climate change, we’re facing the worst effects. We’re seeing loss and damage to our economy, our lands, our cultural sites, and our livelihoods.
We demand justice. Climate justice means building more resilient communities — not leaving the most vulnerable behind.
The first step towards climate resilience is to be ready for the disasters of today. That means wealthier nations take responsibility for driving global warming and deliver the money that climate-vulnerable countries need to adapt and invest in green technology.
As global temperatures continue to rise, crises like Lake Chad will become all too common.
Whether it’s building flood defences, switching to drought-resistant crops, or investing in small-scale farming, we must have the tools to respond to the biggest crisis of our lifetimes.
We don’t want promises for the future, we want action now. We want world leaders to deliver the funds for climate justice today.