ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF

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Amujae Leader Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr leads fight for climate action at COP26

Amujae Leader Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone recently featured in the Evening Standard in a piece highlighting her leading role in the fight against climate change.

Mayor Aki-Sawyerr, who attended the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow as part of the C40 delegation of global city mayors, spoke with the paper about her efforts campaigning for less-wealthy countries to receive more help to address the challenges of climate change.

During her interview, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr cited the Ebola outbreak as a turning point in her career which led to her deciding to run for office. Since being elected in 2018, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr explained how she has turned her attention to climate issues: 

“The decision to run for mayor was intrinsically linked to the environment and sanitation. We must never lose sight of the extent to which climate is impacting the day-to-day lives of all of my residents, and I dare say many people in the Global South – millions of people.”

Mayor Aki-Sawyerr was also quick to stress the differences between the challenges facing cities in richer countries, compared to cities like Sierra Leone and others in the wider Global South:

“The narrative around climate is generally geared towards the West…Some cities have access to far more resources than we do. It’s incomparable. The discourse needs to be more balanced and the finance needs to be far more balanced. The health of people is really at risk.”

Read the full article here.

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