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A Decade of Political Will


lack of political will undermine climate action progress. In this decade, one of the indicators of action needed is more political will not less. 

A Decade of Political Will by Oladosu Adenike

All said but not done at the leaders climate summit but my generation have questions for world leaders to respond especially to those who are setting the goal of 2050 for carbon neutrality; will they still remain in power till then? Why not this year? why 2050? Why can’t today’s leaders be committed with what their administration can give to humanity in the course of saving our planet from destruction rather than 2050? Will the next set of leaders for each administration continue in such agenda till 2050 as claimed? We have to be realistic at this point to every bit of promises made because we can’t run away from the reality of climate change. Hence, this is a decade of reality that should be defined by action.  During the leaders climate summit, I hold on to what the president of China said, “common but differentiated responsibility” from developed countries to developing countries. This is a forgotten term which big polluters usually shy away from that invariably means climate reparations but are they ready to walk the talk?.

As beautiful as the speech were, if our actions are on same scale we would have gone a long way in saving our planet from further destruction. I’m surprised that most leaders therein are making promises beyond their leadership framework which should not be - that is an indirect way of denying the existence of climate change. In our world today, most countries heads of state emerged from election so there is definitely inter-party. For example, in US, we have the democrats which are known for their fight for “climate justice” while the republicians are know as the “business as usual” class people. So once there is shift from one party to another (inconsistency in leadership), it will definitely disrupts climate action. Why then do we aim beyond our leadership capacity?– we can’t safe the planet that way. Another thing world leaders need to do is to stop postponing climate action into the future. They need to start making decisions within their leadership framework.

In 2015 at Paris where the UN Climate Agreement were made, world leaders agreed to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius and to aim for 1.5 degrees Celsius. The world is not warmed to 1.5oC yet we are faced with these unprecedented crises of our time. What do you think will happen if the world warm by 1.5oc? – we are doomed. We are yet to have a summit that will call for leaders accountability and transparency on the promises made in various summits so far. Raising more promises is not what can safe our planet. We aren’t taking about which country has the most ambitious plan, what we want is for world leaders to act by action not by words alone. How do we meet up how timeline of actions that are needed in this decade without political will? Political will is fundamental to all.

According to the report by the UN office for Humanitarian Affair (UNOCHA), a record 29 million people will need humanitarian assistance in the Sahel and the Lake Chad in 2021 amid a deepening crisis. Also report further shows that, roughly 22.7 million people annually are being displaced by climate-related events while climate-related disasters could double the number of people requiring humanitarian assistance to over 200 million each year by 2050. We are seeing this figures rising everyday as everyday come with a breaking news of one climate catastrophy or the other. Climate change is worst than a pandemic. And to many of us here in global south, climate change means survival of the fittest. Winning this race against climate change needs a political will. Climate change is time driven so we need to work with time in all we do.

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