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COP 27: Students demand climate justice with artworks

Over 100 students from 18 secondary schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) converged on the Millennium Park, Abuja, with paintings and drawings demanding for…

Over 100 students from 18 secondary schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) converged on the Millennium Park, Abuja, with paintings and drawings demanding for climate justice ahead of the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) 27 kicking off today in Egypt.

The students, who called themselves Green Champions, displayed artworks which depicted themes of climate change effects like flooding, excessive heat, erosion, desertification and their devastating impacts on communities.

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The event was organized by the Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP) and Oxfam Nigeria, under the auspices of Africa Climate Caravan and Art for Climate Change.

A student of the Government Girls Secondary School Dutse, Miss Oluomachukwu Okafor, said the artworks illustrated the impacts of climate change on the Nigerian environment and the need to take action.

“The arts show that climate change is already here with us and the relevant authorities must take urgent action to address it effectively,” she said.

Another student, Tersoo Silas, from Government Science and Technical College Garki, said climate change was impacting food systems in Nigeria and said if action was not taken, Nigerians will face severe food insecurity.

He said the recent floodings which have destroyed farmlands and displaced many have made a bad situation worse, hence the need for climate justice in terms of adequate financing to mitigate the effects of climate change.

“We believe that if everybody stands up to the challenge of climate change, we can apply the solutions, recycling of waste, phasing out fossil fuels and building resilience around our agricultural practices, and we can come out of the crisis,” he said.

Meanwhile, GIFSEP and Oxfam Nigeria joined the students in demanding for climate justice, saying Nigeria needs adequate climate finance to address the impacts of the climate change crisis.

Executive Director of GIFSEP, Mr David Terungwa, said the demand for climate justice became necessary, considering the upcoming COP27, which will take place from Nov. 6 to 18 in Egypt.

He said climate justice is all about inclusion and protection of the rights of those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

He said, “This is a very important issue, the art displayed by the students shows that the students are not ignorant of the climate change impact on the country.

“We call on the government to go beyond signing agreements and policy statements without real action on the ground.

“We lost over 600 people to flood, with farms and farmlands washed away, so many households are still living in Internally Displaced Camps, with a very slow response.”