Saving Our Planet: The Critical Role of Journalism in the Fight for Climate Change.

Climate Africa Warsha successfully brought together a community of journalists and industry leaders to promote the development of renewable energy and climate change journalism across Africa.

The event was a celebration of World Press Freedom Day, On May 3rd, and highlighted the importance of journalism in promoting positive change.

The virtual event was hosted by the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP). Media professionals from across Africa were in attendance and engaged in meaningful discussions while sharing insights to promote sustainability in the climate sector.

“The timing of the event is excellent, as it coincided with World Press Freedom Day. The theme for this year recognizes one of the most important global concerns in our generation, the climate crisis. It intertwines the crucial role of the press as interlocutors, explainers, and interrogators of the global journey to net zero,” commented Prof. Yemi Osinbajo Global Advisor GEAPP and Former Vice President of Nigeria.

This year’s theme “A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the Face of Environmental Crisis,” highlighted the essential role of climate journalism in increasing awareness and inspiring action towards a sustainable African future.

“The press in Africa has always been at the forefront of every significant battle that the peoples of the continent have fought, whether it is decolonization, human rights, civil and political rights, or epidemics. And despite the existential nature of the climate crisis, there has not been the same enthusiasm or sustained focus around the climate issues. Perhaps because of the way the core issues have been framed mostly around technical themes. However, there has been some excellent work done, and we must applaud the journalists who paved the way with award-winning stories that have shifted conversations in Africa’s sustainability, energy, and climate space, “added Osinbajo.

Africa has experienced a warming trend greater than the global average in the last 60 years, making it the epicenter of the climate crisis according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The implications of climate change continue to worsen as droughts and floods are currently being experienced in parts of Africa. Regrettably, the situation is projected to continue prompting a multifaceted approach to addressing the issues.

During the event, the attending journalists emphasized the need to report on why pledges made on climate change haven’t been implemented to curb the ongoing effects. It was stressed that investigating the reasons behind the failure to fulfill these promises is of the utmost importance, especially to the audience.

“To our audiences, these pledges sum up to numbers that sound abstract. The role of the media, generally, is to give people an understanding of what these numbers and pledges represent in a real and connected way. Reaching out to those affected by climate change would humanize our reporting and increase audience reach.” said John Allan Namu, CEO/Editorial Director of Africa Uncensored.

Journalists were also tasked with challenging governments and non-governmental sectors to triple renewable energy capacity and double efficiency by 2030.

“If we have constant renewable energy, we can help businesses flourish too. Civil society also helps to work between government and the community, to convey the community’s issues, “commented Adenike Oladosu a Climate activist.

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