Six Nigerian youths – Hamzat Lawal, Joy Egbe, Adenike Oladosu, Chiagozie Udeh, Samira Ibrahim and Seyifunmi Adebote – will be attending the first ever UN Youth Climate Summit in New York City on Saturday, September 21, 2019. The Youth Climate Summit and Climate Action Summit precedes the 74th United Nations General Assembly.
The historic event will be a platform for young leaders who are driving climate action to showcase their solutions at the United Nations, and to meaningfully engage with decision-makers on the defining issue of our time. It will be the largest gathering of young climate leaders at the UN in history.
During the Abu Dhabi preparatory meeting in June 2019, Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, had stressed the roles of young people in focusing on solutions that will yield the greatest impact.
“As we look ahead to the Climate Action Summit in New York, we aim to ensure the youth play a critical role – we must empower young people and make sure their voices are heard,” she said.
“Youths are showing us the way on climate action,” said Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, Luis Alfonso de Alba. “I am eager for young climate leaders from all over the world to take their rightful place on the global stage and participate in this historic moment.”
At the summit, Lawal will be speaking at a side-event about the Great Green Wall and sharing his organisation’s efforts to improve transparency in the development processes. Lawal is the Co-Founder/Chief Executive of Connected Development (CODE), where he leads a growing grassroots movement of citizen-led actions through “Follow The Money” for better service delivery in rural communities. He is one of the leaders of the “Not Too Young To Run” movement and a board member of the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change.
From 7,000+ entries for the UN Green Ticket, Egbe is the only Nigerian among 100 selected youths to attend the Youth Climate Summit. A climate activist, educationist and a social entrepreneur, she co-founded Xigma and is also Chief Impact Officer at Newdigit – a clean energy company eradicating energy poverty and hydrocarbon base fuel in Nigeria and providing alternative clean fuel for electricity and cooking gas from water.
Oladosu is a climate justice activist, country ambassador for Fridays For Future, Earth Uprising an African Youth Climate Hub (at Mohammed 6 Foundation). For 45 weeks, she has consistently led the Climate Strike (Friday For Future) in Nigeria. She is a first-class graduate of Agricultural Economics from the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria.
Udeh is the 2019 Global Focal Point for YOUNGO, the youth constituency to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is central to the Climate Action Summit of the Secretary-General. He has worked closely with the Office of the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth (OSGEY) and the United Nations Secretary General’s team to facilitate meaningful youth engagement at the before, during and after the summit.
Adebote is a member of the 30 youths working group with the United Nations Office of the Secretary-General Envoy on Youth. He will be co-coordinating two of the Summit’s workshops focused on Government Access and the Art Build. He will also be sharing the successes of Nigeria’s recent Climate Innovation Hub at one of Nigeria’s side-events. An environmentalist and youth advocate, Adebote coordinates the International Climate Change Development Initiative (ICCDI) in Abuja and hosts the Climate Talk Podcast.
The Youth Climate Summit will feature a full-day of programming that brings together young activists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and change-makers who are committed to combating climate change at the pace and scale needed to meet the challenge.
According to the organisers, it will be action oriented, intergenerational, and inclusive, with equal representation of young leaders from all walks of life.