AFRICA: Greenpeace supports Guterres’ call to abandon fossil fuels

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AFRIQUE : Greenpeace soutient António Guterres pour l’abandon des énergies fossiles

At the invitation of the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), a World Summit on Climate Ambition is being held on 20 September 2023 in New York in the United States of America. António Guterres is using the occasion to call for a shift away from fossil fuels. Greenpeace has mobilised hundreds of activists to support the UN chief's call, with more than 550 actions organised in 60 countries, including Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

From the Pacific nations, heavily affected by rising sea levels and storms, to Mumbai, Manila, London, Nairobi, Kinshasa and Yaoundé, more than 550 demonstrations were organised in 60 countries, culminating in a march in New York on 17 September 2023. This initiative by the environmental organisation Greenpeace is in support of António Guterres’ call for nations to make ambitious commitments to phase out fossil fuels, at the Climate Ambition Summit he is convening for 20 September 2023 at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

In Yaoundé, Cameroon, Greenpeace activists gathered on Friday 15 September 2023 at the Tsinga sub-division esplanade to call for a halt to fossil fuel production. “Fossil fuels are poison for all generations. They are the primary cause of climate change. Over 90% of plastic, for example, is produced using fossil fuels. And here in Yaoundé, as in many other towns in Cameroon, we are experiencing the effects of climate change. Families are increasingly suffering the horrors of flooding. It’s a well-known fact that plastic clogs the gutters and when it rains the water doesn’t circulate properly. We have to stop producing it,” says Marie Grace Ngo Mbog, coordinator of Greenpeace volunteers in Cameroon.

“In a city like Kinshasa, where more than 15 million people are exposed to the toxicity of fossil fuels, all we can do is take our courage in both hands and display a sign with a strong message: “Oil, gas and coal kill”, says Jersey Mpanzu, coordinator of Greenpeace volunteers in the DRC.

The World Climate Ambition Summit is being held in conjunction with the 78th General Assembly of the United Nations. The aim of these meetings is also to evaluate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Adopted on 25 September 2015 by the Heads of State and Government meeting at the Special Summit on Sustainable Development, the 2030 Agenda sets out 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) broken down into 169 targets. These follow on from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to meet the challenges of globalisation, based on the 3 pillars of sustainable development: environmental, social and economic.

Boris Ngounou

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