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COP24: "If climate change gets any worse, we're simply going to disappear!", 12-year old Mounir Mbogo warns

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COP24: "If climate change gets any worse, we're simply going to disappear!", 12-year old Mounir Mbogo warns

At just 12 years of age, Mounir Mbogo wades into the climate discourse and has sounded the alarm on climate impacts to humanity’s survival.

On Tuesday 4 December 2018, Mounir from the Chadian capital N'Djamena made an impassioned plea for renewable energy, especially solar, in  the African Development Bank Pavilion at COP24, Katowice, Poland. Mounir, who had come for a session on the Desert to Power initiative of the African Development Bank, received a rapturous applause.

The Desert-to-Power, launched under the auspices of the Bank, aims to develop 10,000 MW access to solar energy across countries in the Sahel region. This includes Mounir’s country: Chad.

Below is an interview with this young ambassador for a green Africa, who came to COP24 under the auspices of Espaces verts du Sahel (Green Spaces of the Sahel), a Chadian non-governmental organization, and where he is a member.[i]

What message have you brought to COP24?

I would like to say that solar energy is one of the solutions to climate change. It is clean, non-polluting and renewable. You can use as much as you want – especially in a country like mine, Chad, where it is very hot and sunny. We have to use non-polluting energy sources such as solar, as well as wind, geothermal, biomass, and so on.

If you were Minister of Energy, what would you do?

I'd start by reaching out to those areas that do not have any electricity. I would take action to use less oil and to install solar panels everywhere, because Chad is sunny everywhere – and all the time! Then, I would build factories here in Chad to manufacture these solar panels. And as time goes by, the costs [of solar panels] will drop.

Do you have a message for young Africans?

We need more good citizenship. What I would say is, 'Become eco-citizens!' People need to understand the environmental issues at stake and move beyond solely focusing on their own problems. We have to understand that climate change concerns us all and that it will have an impact on everyone. Human beings have been on earth for 200,000 years. If climate change gets any worse, we're simply going to disappear!


[i] Espaces verts du Sahel is a Chadian NGO chaired by its founder Joël Yodoyman, who advocates for sustainable development through an approach based on education and youth action.

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