Previous Next

British Deputy High Commission Remarks at the Press Conference to Announce the Finalists for the Naija Climate Now Project

Good morning and thank you, it is a pleasure to be here with you all today and hello to those connecting to this event virtually. I am grateful to the United Nations Information Centre, for co-hosting with the British Deputy High Commission this press conference to announce the finalists for the Naija Climate Now project. And I wish to specially commend the Creative Youth Community Development Initiative for the ingenuity and hardwork behind this activity that we are here for – kudos to you Foluke and team.

It is our shared need for creativity that I’m going to speak about today. Naija Climate Now aims to work with a generation of innovators on ideas that address the climate emergency and to explore climate change through art as a means of bringing about behavioural change. The global climate crisis is arguably the greatest challenge for the 21st century. It is an issue that scientists from all over the world have been researching, discussing and urging us to mitigate. I am sure every one of us has seen that people are being displaced, and homes and businesses damaged and destroyed, due to the catastrophic effects of climate change. In whichever part of Nigeria you are joining us from today, you will have seen the impacts of flooding, heatwaves and changing weather patterns; and unless we act swiftly, the losses to our global community will be unimaginable and irreplaceable.


If we want to halt this trajectory, we need to work together to implement our most innovative ideas and approaches to address these climate challenges; and you may be wondering what the role of art is in the global climate change movement. The answer is simple: art can communicate in a different way than science the threat that climate change poses to our planet.


Environmental art addresses our relationship to the natural world and so when we look at art that has been stimulated by climate change, we become engaged in deep reflection and we contemplate things in a different way.


In my time as British Deputy High Commissioner, I have had the opportunity to engage with passionate Nigerians who create art to engage the public on the climate agenda. One thing that stands out for me is how well they can articulate the important societal issues using art –  whether it is inspiring people to begin to think of waste as a resource or how the livelihoods of people in local communities are affected by the changing climate, these artists are communicating the message of pro-environmental behavioural change. Not everyone can be a politician, scientist, or an investor, what some people have is their creativity and art and if these people understand their role as cultural influencers, they have the potential to be strong collaborators and influential leaders.


This is why in October, I am delighted to host the Naija Climate Now Art Exhibition at the British Deputy High Commission and I really hope you can join us and see how our artists have been able to transform the ideas from the innovators, and co-create scenarios for transformative change.


Addressing challenges relating to climate change is at the heart of the UK government’s agenda. We recognise the role that we, as a world leader in fighting climate change, have, to use our voice and our influence, to champion climate action.


The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties or COP26 which the UK is hosting in Glasgow in just under six weeks from today is an invitation for all of us to rethink our way of life. And we will use our platform at COP26 to focus this ambition.


The UK’s Creative Earth Competition launched in collaboration with the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) is a part of the Together For Our Planet Initiative and it encourages young people to use the power of art to capture their hopes and dreams for the planet in the future. The best pieces that were selected will be displayed at the COP26 Summit.


In conclusion, I look forward to the rest of this event, the exhibition in October and, crucially, the implementation of the climate solutions that emerge from Naija Climate Now. I celebrate the artists who will be working hard in the coming days to produce the artworks. I congratulate all of the finalists who made it this far. For those of you who are not selected today, I am confident that Foluke and the Team plan to continue to work with you to ensure that your ideas are better refined to build long-term success.


Thank you!


Venue: United Nations Information Centre, Ikoyi

Time: 11:00hrs

Connect with us

  • Tel: +234 815 503 6356

  • WhatsApp: +234 809 610 8715




Enter your email to join our community