“Don’t underestimate the important role of youth in climate change mitigation efforts,” says a Kenyan-born young environmental scientist

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TunisiaTunisia, May 15, 2023 /PRN Africa/ – Young African Ambassador for the Environment, Karen Wanjiru KimaniHe called for policies that encourage young people to take part in protecting the planet, particularly through climate change mitigation measures.

“It is important that we, the future generations, not be left out of certain programs or activities aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change,” said the 10-year-old Kenyan environmental expert. Our leaders must engage us from an early age. After all, we are the ones who will benefit or suffer tomorrow from the policies and procedures implemented today. »

Karen, who has received numerous awards for her efforts to protect the environment, particularly through tree planting, was speaking ahead of the 2023 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group, which will be held in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in May. 22-26.

The theme of the event is “Mobilizing Private Sector Finance for Climate and Green Growth in Africa”.

The meetings are an opportunity for Bank Group Governors, businessmen and international investors to share their experiences in mobilizing national and international private capital? Including Harnessing Africa’s Natural Capital?, to bridge the climate finance gap and drive the transition to green growth in Africa.

The associations also provide African governments with a platform to discuss the nature and level of support they need from development partners, such as the African Development Bank Group, to achieve their climate ambitions.

Karen expressed hope that these meetings would yield “tangible results”.

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“Africa’s contribution to global climate change is very small, but the continent is suffering the most,” she said. “Our countries need a lot of money to fight climate change and protect the planet. So I would like more concrete steps to be taken when they meet; we have heard enough talking.”

Karen has received many local and international awards for her tree planting efforts. I’ve planted over 10,000 so far? And for other actions in favor of the environment. Specially awarded the MTM Environmental Excellence Award in Bristol, UK and Winner of the 2022 Green Kid Award at Kenya, which rewards children who have made an impact on nature through their actions in favor of combating climate change and protecting the environment. It was also welcomed by the African Development Bank and the Global Center for Adaptation during COP27 in Egypt.

“Protecting the natural environment is a good thing. We find beautiful trees and flowers there that give us life,” says Karen, who started planting trees when she was four.

She plans to open a factory that will produce biodegradable bottles.

Africa lost between 5 and 15 percent of its per capita GDP growth between 1986 and 2015 due to climate change-related impacts, according to estimates.

According to the African Development Bank, in the absence of strong policies in combating climate change, Africa could lose up to 12% of its GDP by 2100, according to different scenarios. For comparison, losses are less than 1% for the United States and the European Union and do not exceed 5% for China.

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SOURCE African Development Bank Group (AfDB)

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