Mohamed Adow, who walked 1,000 miles around the UK as part of Christian Aid’s Cut the Carbon march, has now gone a giant step further – pressing the case at the UN in New York.
How optimistic are you that the world will achieve a just solution on climate change?
I’m a climate optimist. New York was an opportunity to nudge world leaders to seize the moment and set the stage for national and global actions in the year ahead.
I’m seeing some game-changing shifts in countries such as the US, China and India to control carbon pollution. The 2015 Paris meeting is only the next stop on a long road to ensuring a just solution on climate change.
‘The climate problem is solvable by a just and ambitious response’
The good news is that people across the world have heard the message that while the climate problem is real, urgent and catastrophic if they don’t act, it is also solvable by a just and ambitious response.
So yes, I’m a climate optimist!
What inspires you about the climate change campaign?
I remember the great words of Nelson Mandela: ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.’
Last month, people around the world showed how much this issue means to them by coming out onto the streets in the biggest ever mobilisation for the climate. We’re seeing a popular, grassroots movement coming to life around the world.
How did your involvement with Christian Aid begin?
I joined Christian Aid from Northern Aid, a partner in Kenya that helps livestock herders adapt to the impacts of climate change.
I worked with the Christian Aid East Africa team for two years, helping to improve drought management, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, before moving to London. I now do my best to influence governments in favour of the world’s poorest people and countries.
What have been the decisive moments for you, personally?
I’ve had many, from the 1,000- mile Cut the Carbon march here in the summer of 2007, to high-level contributions and interventions in the Copenhagen, Cancun, Durban, Doha and Warsaw climate conferences, fostering South-South and North- South connections.
From Kenya to the UN… how do you feel about the way your own life is working out?
I’m extremely happy. I’ve the fortune of working on a subject I care strongly about – climate justice – and in an organisation working to make it happen.
Find out more
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