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CODE sponsors 5 youth climate activists, journalists to attend COP 27 in Egypt

Connected Development (CODE), a leading civil society organisation has selected five Nigerian youth climate activists who are being sponsored to participate at the 2022 United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP27) in Egypt. 

CODE Climate Fellowship to COP 27
CODE Climate Fellowship to COP 27

Connected Development (CODE), a leading civil society organisation has selected five Nigerian youth climate activists who are being sponsored to participate at the 2022 United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP27) in Egypt. 

Hamzat Lawal, the chief executive of CODE, said this at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja.

Mr Lawal said the sponsorship was through the organisation’s Ewah Eleri Climate Justice Fellowship launched in October, which received over 700 applications from young Nigerians.

He said the fellowship was launched in honour of climate change activist, Ewah Eleri, the executive director of the International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED), aimed at providing opportunities for young Nigerians to join world leaders in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt for the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP27).

The winners of the fellowship consisted of three journalists and two climate activists.

According to CODE, Mr Etta Bisong, Abuja Bureau Chief, EnviroNews, Mrs Gift Samuel, Editor, The SightNews and Mr Samuel Nwokike, a mass communication graduate of the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka were the journalists.

Others were  Ms Hyeladzira Mshelia, a Climate Change Activist and CODE’s Programmes Associate and Mr Gregory Odogwu who is an Environmental Columnist at Punch Newspaper.

According to Mr Lawal, the COP was the supreme decision-making forum of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“This year, the UN Climate Negotiations (COP27) will be held in the city of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from Nov. 7 to Nov 18.

“This conference could be a chance to turn the Glasgow outcome into action, through implementing climate change adaptation, mitigation, and financial strategies,” he said.

Mr Lawal said that many young people in Nigeria were being lost because they were not given opportunities.

According to the CODE’s chief executive, Ewah Eleri has continued to show transitional leadership and build the next generation of climate justice leaders.

“Eleri embodies values that talk about service for community and environment and this is one of his legacies that I build upon. He is an example of a godfather.

“I believe that Eleri is a model of mentorship where people should come and learn and we are working to ensure we are able to start a mentorship in his honour but I felt we should first start this Fellowship in his honour,” he said.

He also said CODE was committed to sending at least five people annually to all the COP meetings to support the government, civil society, private sector and the international community on the issues of climate change.

Speaking, Mr Eleri, commended the organisation for instituting the fellowship in his honour.

He said climate change was imposing a lot of challenges, not only on the environment but on livelihoods, the economy and the chances for young people to have a sustainable future and hope in the country.

He added that the unprecedented climate crisis has seen 30 of the country’s 36 states submerged due to the 2022 flooding.

“As the world gathers in Egypt for COP27, there is the need to seize this opportunity to turn the challenges of climate change into new opportunities by making it the climate of opportunities for our own people.

“To identify ways to leverage on the energy transition from dirty fuel to renewable energy; and to build new resilience not only in our cities and rural areas but also in our people through education, sound healthcare, and training for young people.

“We need to expand our view about how we address climate change, when we build resilience in the Nigerian people, then even the awareness of the environment also changes.

“If we do it that way, we will reclaim the future so that climate change becomes climate change, not only for our livelihoods and the environment but climate change for new opportunities for our people; We must act for the climate. I am very proud of the legacy Hamzat Lawal is building,” he said.

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