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New ECW Climate Champion Adenike Oladosu Calls for Integrating Climate and Education Action

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On World Environment Day, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) appointed Adenike Oladosu, a prominent young climate activist from Nigeria, as its new ‘ECW Climate Champion.’ Known as ‘@TheEcoFeminist’ on social media, Oladosu has been a leading voice for climate action in Africa, representing Nigerian youth at the Conference of the Parties (COP) Climate Talks since 2019.

Adenike Oladosu emphasized the urgent need to link climate action with education to address the interconnected crises of armed conflict, forced displacement, environmental degradation, and climate change. “To tackle the growing education and climate crises, we must act #RightHereRightNow to ensure access to quality education for millions of crisis-impacted girls and boys worldwide,” Oladosu stated. She highlighted how climate change is devastating regions like Lake Chad, leading to displacement, hunger, poverty, and violence, and called for robust action from global leaders at upcoming summits.

ECW Executive Director Yasmine Sherif praised Oladosu as a tireless advocate for climate action. “As our new ‘ECW Climate Champion,’ Adenike Oladosu is leading a global movement to merge climate and education initiatives, addressing the severe challenges of rising seas, extreme weather, and natural disasters that threaten children’s right to quality education,” Sherif said.

Oladosu is the founder of the “I Lead Climate Action Initiative” and was a key figure in launching the Fridays for Future movement in Nigeria. Her advocacy has mobilized millions globally. In 2019, she received the ‘Amnesty International Nigeria Ambassador of Conscience’ award for her climate justice efforts. With a degree in Agricultural Economics, she is also a research fellow for Alexander von Humboldt, focusing on climate change and ecofeminism, and has developed a curriculum benefiting people across Africa.

At the COP28 summit in Dubai, ECW called for US$150 million to support education for 2 million children affected by climate change, armed conflicts, and displacement. Denmark responded with an additional US$6.5 million to ECW, aimed at scaling up educational opportunities for children on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Sherif urged other public and private sector partners to follow Denmark’s example.

The World Bank warns that climate impacts could cost the global economy US$7.9 trillion by 2050 and displace up to 216 million people within their countries. Extreme weather events, exacerbated by climate change, are disrupting education and increasing dropout rates. Currently, 75 million children have their education disrupted by conflicts and natural hazards, with over 99% exposed to at least one major climate or environmental hazard.

In response to climate-induced emergencies, ECW is delivering rapid aid and long-term solutions in crisis-impacted countries like Bangladesh, Chad, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Syria. These efforts include building climate-resilient infrastructure, implementing disaster risk reduction strategies, and providing school meals.

World Environment Day underscores the necessity to integrate climate action into education efforts worldwide. ECW believes that with comprehensive education opportunities, every child can contribute to #GenerationRestoration.

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