Environmental campaigners have asked the Commonwealth to champion youth green jobs ahead of the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (CoP27) dubbed the ‘African CoP’ slated for Egypt in November.
In a statement issued last week, the global campaigners Renew Our World and Abundant Africa also urged Commonwealth leaders to rebuild trust with climate-vulnerable nations by providing the promised $100 billion annually for climate adaptation.
Lusaka-based Collins Lungu, who heads the Zambia Youth Environmental Network, bemoaned changes in rainfall patterns, saying this has negatively affected yields for many farmers.
He said “We used to have good yields, but now the produce is not what it used to be, we used to grow maize and we have an indigenous type of food called mponda, this has become scarce. I feel the pain of climate change in my day-to-day life.
“Coming from a family of farmers, I can see how climate finance could help with irrigation systems so we could adapt.”
According to Lungu, 26, the weather has become so erratic to the extent that weather experts often cannot predict what is going to happen next.
Another Zambian climate activist Jessica Bwali appealed to wealthy countries to deliver on climate finance urgently.
“This is a very important opportunity, [Chogm] brings together Heads of State of some of the wealthiest countries and some of the poorest countries most hit by the effects of climate change… We need this financing,” she said.
The movements submitted their calls to the leaders during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) held in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali last month.
Just like in Malawi, millions of farmers in Zambia rely on rain to grow their crops and this is where climate finance could help cushion yields during tougher weather conditions.
Renew Our World and Abundant Africa develop the capacity of young climate activists to campaign on the issues that matter to them most with support from the UK-based international Christian relief and development agency Tearfund.