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Climate activist Vanessa Nakate appointed UNICEF Goodwill ambassador

by Editorial Team
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By Ahmad Muto

Climate activist Vanessa Nakate, 25, has been appointed a Goodwill ambassador by UNICEF for role in climate justice activism. She also has her attention on food insecurity that has intensified in parts of Africa. She looks forward to meeting children and youth in places hard hit by climate change.

Nakate has also received massive applause online the last few days after a video emerged of her throwing a trick question at country representatives during a conference where she was part of a panel on climate change. It was an extension of her cry from last year when she stunned the audience at the Youth4Climate Summit in Milan, Italy where she accused world leaders of failing to honour funding pledges they made in 2020 to help poor countries.

In the video she cunningly asks ministers from the “global north”: “Do you think that the people who are least responsible for the climate crisis and the ones who are suffering the worst impact of this crisis deserve your help? Thumbs up? And the representatives from the UK, Grenada among others are seen with their thumbs up. She continues: “So, the people who are suffering now deserve our help.”

Secondly, she asks: “Will your countries commit to putting money and funding loss and damage for those countries at COP27?” This time no thumbs up but murmurs.

Then she explodes: “Now that is where the problem is. My first question is like your statements. You are promising us what you are going to do and my second question is about real action. Loss and damage is happening right now. We can’t adapt to the loss and damage of cultures, histories, identities, extinction and starvation. So, the first question equals your statements, promises, pledges and sweet nothings. The Second question is about action but everyone saw how the ministers were hesitant to say their countries will commit to funding loss and damage at COP27 in Egypt.”

COP27 will be held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt from 6 to 18 November 2022. It will be the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Nakate earned her chip in January 2020 after she got cropped out of a photo with other climate activists that also had Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. The photo that was taken at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland caused global outrage and Nakate suddenly became a sensation.

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