Rise for Climate: Abuja Climate Summit

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Abuja Climate Summit
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On the 8th September 2018, thousands of people participated in hundreds of actions across the world in towns and cities, universities, places of worship and community spaces – sending a clear message to governments and ourselves to ‘Take Ambitious Climate Action’.

“We want people to know that climate change is one of the biggest problems we face in the world today – for the rich, for the poor – no one is exempt,” said Mike Terungwa, Executive Director of Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation the (GIFSEP).

Terungwa, who is also a Climate Reality Leader and African Climate Reality Project’s West Africa Coordinator, worked together with ACRP volunteers, 350 Africa, UNDP Nigeria, GEF Small Grant Program, Heinrich Boll Stiftung, Yar Adua Foundation, PACJA, Citizens Climate Lobby, and Nigeria’s Department of Planning and Research and Federal Ministry of Environment in an effort to advance this message on this global day of climate action – Rise for Climate.
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The Abuja Climate Summit was aimed at bringing together key stakeholders to share thoughts and perspectives on Nigeria’s current progress towards fulfilling the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions.

Although Nigeria is a signatory of the Paris Agreement, several red flags show the country is still a far way off from keeping to their commitments. “We should seriously implement the Paris Agreement,” said Terungwa. “As a country, it’s high time that we stopped gas flaring. The energy sector is heavily dependent on petroleum for electricity production, which has slowed down the development of alternative forms of energy.”

During the summit, commitments to the full implementation of Nigeria’s NDCs were renewed by representatives of the Federal Ministry of Environment, political party Alliance for New Nigeria stated their commitment to 100% renewable energy, and religious leaders and figures expressed the importance of carrying the climate action message back to their communities.
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Representative of the Federal Ministry of Environment delivers a goodwill message on behalf of Minister Ibrahim Usman Jibril
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The spokesman of Nigerian political party, Alliance for New Nigeria, commits to 100% renewable energy
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Tiv Farmers performed a traditional cultural dance to express how climate change affects them
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Representative of the Abuja Muslim Forum explains what Islam says about climate change, and how important the fight for our environment is
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Rev. Sister Lilian represented the Catholic Church, and talked about the Church’s commitment to renewable energy during the panel discussion of Religion and Climate Change
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All summit attendees made the GIFSEP environmental pledge to commit to climate action and environmental protection
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In closing, all participants of the Abuja Climate Summit took a pledge to commit to climate action and environmental protection.

After a successful summit, the volunteers took to the street the following day for the Abuja Climate March and Walk for Renewable Energy.

“We’re rising for justice for communities being affected by climate change right now,” said Terungwa, ”for a safe climate for future generations, for the 100% renewable energy future that we need, and a fair transition that leaves no-one behind.”
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