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German Consulate Remarks at the Press Conference to Announce the Finalists for the Naija Climate Now Project

Good morning, everybody! 

Being still new to Lagos and to Nigeria, I was delighted to learn about the ongoing collaboration of the German Consulate with Creative Youth Community Development Initiative, CYCDI,  on the ‘Naija Climate now by the Green Entrepreneurs’ Project. Innovative initiatives of this kind are more relevant than ever now, we are happy to support it with our modest means. The German government recognizes climate change as one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century, and has committed to significant emission reduction goals in order to reach a carbon neutral economy.  The fight against climate change is also a key element of German foreign policy. In this context, our missions partner with governmental institutions and particularly with civil society to promote climate resilience, mitigation and adaptation.

As we speak, humanity as a whole appears still to be set on a path of head-on collision. The dire warnings are written on the wall, and the latest report published by the UN has drastically underlined how far we are off the mark to reach the 1,5 degree  goal, and how little time we have left to mend our ways. The biggest net polluter of the atmosphere, China, is yet to commit to concrete emission reduction targets. This year in particular, has so far served as a grim reminder what our future will look like if we don’t change tack:  floodings of unprecedented scale, raging wildfires, tropical storms of a destructive strength we have not witnessed before, extended droughts, food shortages and widespread hunger.  Large sections of Lagos are predicted to be under water.


Against the long complacency of, we have to admit, my own generation, and that would include also most of those who are in a position of political power in any given country, it is the young generation which has forced us to face this unprecedented global challenge and to take more determined action. It is their future which hangs in the balance.


In my country as elsewhere on this globe, it is the young people who have realized quicker than anybody else that nothing can stay the way it is, if humanity is to survive. They have grasped the reality that we have to change everything: the way we live, the way we work, the food we eat. And they lead in the way – both in adapting their own lifestyle, as well as in finding and creating sustainable solutions for society as a whole.


It is in this context that CYCDI has placed its “Green entrepreneur” initiative, a contest for creative solutions in Climate change adaptation designed by innovative young minds. The 34 finalists of this contest will be presented shortly.


I do believe this project, limited as it might appear in its scope, will have a significant impact because it focuses on realistic and sustainable solutions; solutions that cut across every aspect of the people’s daily personal and professional lives. Solutions that will inspire others to follow in these footsteps.


That said, I would like to wish Mrs. Foluke Michael, who has been the driving force behind all of this, and all who have contributed to this project continuous success. Keep up the good work!


Thank you for your attention

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