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The award-winning Ghanaian climate activist who steered his nation away from coal

Chibeze Ezekiel, Climate activist   -  
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Ghanaian environmental activist Chibeze Ezekiel alongside a colleague walk the streets of Accra to raise awareness on environmental issues. In 2020 Ezekiel won the Goldman Environmental Prize for Africa, in recognition for steering his nation away from coal.

"Europe and the developed nations dwell so much on the fossil fuel to develop their respective economies and now that Africa wants to industrialise we have our own Africa agenda 2063. How do we industrialise? Do we still follow the use of fossil fuels or use the new trend of clean energy? Ezekiel, the Climate activist and Nobel Prize Nominee wonders. 

"So these are some of the issues we need to grapple with, and Africa yes we want to industrialise so if we are being encouraged not to use fossil fuel, then we need the necessary technology when it comes to the use of RE (renewable energy) or clean energy." he stressed.

Deploying the hashtag #coalkills and together with a group of activists, Ezekiel's campaign in 2016 countered the Ghanaian government's proposed coal power plant and their message that the coal would be clean.

Now he is campaigning for more funding to build the "technology to develop renewable or clean energy", a demand echoed by developing countries at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt's seaside resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. 

"We see climate change as a problem but climate change is also bringing about some innovative ideas. It is actually becoming a solution. So let us look at the opportunities that climate change is bringing our way so we can tap into those opportunities to help us even meet our developmental deficit. For example, in the North, if sunshine is creating heat waves how do we tap into the sunshine or into the heat from the sun to generate power through solar energy. So that can become a solution? " 

Ezekiel’s work hasn’t stopped. With the Strategic Youth Network for Development he works alongside a new generation of young people to educate them on renewable energy, climate change and on future challenges.

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