May 21, 2024


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Young people should not cry out for favour to address the impacts of Climate Change

A delegation from Rwanda while attending the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP25, which took place in November 2019. | Ministry of Environment - Rwanda/Flickr.

By DUSABEMUNGU Ange de la Victoire

Dealing with the effects of Climate change is not a problem that needs to be addressed by protests or the use of guns as it is normal in our societies when there is a need for a solution to a political crisis. And again, the issue of the effects of climate change will not be solved by prayers, rivalry or any other method we are accustomed to in resolving disputes.

Because the world is threatened by the effects of climate change, the root causes are human activities that have been around for hundreds of years. Human beings in this world have continued to seek wealth at the highest level, ignoring the effects on natural resources including the environment, the ecosystem, the universe, its environment and its ecosystems.

As time went on, innovators or inventors increasingly needed to replace old systems with new ones that accelerated development from the time. Historically, inventors have always wanted to solve existing problems that were hindering the development speed. Surprisingly, the discovery started to be at the forefront of environmental degradation followed by other effects including epidemics, extreme sun shines or heavy rainfall, and more.

For example, the inventor of a car engine knew that it has to use gasoline to get the desired answer to the existing transportation problem. However, the oil eventually caused problems both in its use and in its extraction.

It is well-known that the vapours given off when gasoline evaporates and the substances produced when gasoline is burned (carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and unburned hydrocarbons) contribute to air pollution. Burning gasoline also produces carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas.

Finding solutions to such problems will not require someone to be old or to be young and that’s why young people should not dare to continue crying out for favour in finding solutions to the problem that will end human life if no changes happen.

In a Twitter Space discussion that took place on Thursday, 26th May 2022 under the theme “Protection of the Environment for Sustainable Development” in Commonwealth Countries, speakers who are very young people demonstrated the understanding on why finding solutions to the climate change impacts does not require to older than others.

Mr. Olumide IDOWU

Speaking at the discussions, Mr. Olumide IDOWU, the Executive Coordinator for Africa Initiative on Climate Organisations across Africa and the co-founder of International Climate change Development Initiative said that he has tried to create a network of young people that use different tools to actually amplify their voices for environment protection.

He said that through his initiative they are trying to see how they can create a climate smart generation across Africa, and to see how they can continue to change the mindset of young people in building a sustainable future.”

Having this mindset among young people is something needed a lot in these times when the whole universe is fighting against all effects of climate Change.

For David Toovey, the communications advisor for Rwanda’s Green Fund, “Climate Change issues whether we like it or not, they affect all of us”

“Whether we live in a small island state, with beautiful beaches, whether we live in a mountainous country, in the middle of a continent like Rwanda, issues of environmental protection, pollution, biodiversity conservation, and climate change, affect all of us.” He added.

Ms. Teddy Mugabo, a young Rwandese woman, the Chief Executive Officer for the Rwanda Green Fund also is an example of how young people can play an overall role in fighting Climate Change, Protecting the Environment and even go beyond advocacy to shaping policies that can yield good results.

Responding to why she became passionate about environmental issues, Ms. Mugabo said that “When I really look at how Climate Change affects and impacts different sectors of the economy, then I realise that this is actually something that we all need to take seriously.”

“So, for me, that’s where the passion comes from. Is not looking at the environment as just a way to Protect and rehabilitate.” She added.

Global Green Growth Institute
FONERWA and GGGI sign a MoU to promote a green & climate-resilient economy in Rwanda — Global Green Growth Institute

“Of course, I’m an environmentalist, I’m passionate about that. But it’s also one way to, while addressing environmental issues and building resilience to climate change, we will also be able to address poverty issues. So, it’s really that linkage, like climate change and development are two fundamental issues that go hand in hand.” Ms. Mugabo elaborates

 She however went into depth and revealed that her passion on a personal level when she grew up, she was wanting to work on projects on the ground that provide access to water or access to energy, and really, with a focus on rural communities and supporting rural communities.

“I think, entering this sector of climate change has given me that opportunity, and now working under the finance state. It’s really that kind of passion that drives me and the fact that I’m working to mobilise finance that comes into the country and supports different projects that have a significant impact on livelihoods, reducing poverty, and so on.” She explained.

It is clear that not only Rwanda, or Africa but also the whole world should know that putting together the voices of adults and young people will always be the answer to the challenges such as global warming, poverty eradication, innovations among many others.

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