Okyeame Kwame, youth activists unveil first Climate Clock campaign 

Okyeame Kwame, youth activists unveil first Climate Clock campaign

Some of Africa’s leading figures in music, diplomacy and youth activism on International Youth Day, launched the #ActInTime Ghana campaign in Accra City Triangle Park, the first campaign in Africa to use the CLIMATE CLOCK to push government officials to take greater action on the Climate Crisis, to confront the climate crisis at the massive scale required to avert the worst climate impacts.

Event organizers presented a CLIMATE CLOCK to the Mayor of Accra Mohammed Adjei Sowah, who was named Chief Patron of the Climate Clock, and to  popular Hip Life Musician and humanitarian, Okyeame Kwame, who was named Climate Clock National Ambassador for Ghana, and to Akwasi Agyeman the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, who was named Patron of the Climate Clock. A tree planting ceremony by dozens of young people was accompanied speeches by Sowah, Okyeame, and youth leader Portia Adu Mensah from 350 G-ROC, who is lead organizer of #ActInTime in Ghana.

#ActInTime Ghana is a coalition effort of several Climate organizations who are uniting together in advance of the upcoming UN Climate Summit (COP26). Members including 350 Ghana – Reducing Our Carbon (350 GROC) and Global Youth Empowerment Movement (GYEM), AbibiNsroma Foundation (ANF), Green Africa Youth Organization (GAYO).

#ActInTime Ghana plans to take the clock on tour throughout Ghana and then deliver it to President Nana Akufo-Addo, who serves as co-chair of the UN Sustainable Development Goals program.

The next stop is in Nigeria, where Portia Adu-Mensah, will be speaking at the TEDx Conference as an official representative of the Climate Clock about the Climate Crisis, and the need for governments to increase their Nationally Determined Commitments before the COP26 UN Climate Summit.

The event comes in the wake of a new UN IPCC Report describing the climate crisis as a “code red for humanity” that must be addressed immediately. #ActInTime Ghana will also be launching an open participatory process inviting stakeholders to submit climate proposals that will become part of a resolution sent to the Ghanain Parliament.

At the event, Ghanaian Hip Life Legend and Internationally noted humanitarian Okyeame Kwame was named Climate Clock’s official National Ambassador for Ghana. Going forward, his mission will be employing his widespread popularity to help mobilize communities to engage with government officials in making greater climate commitments in the months surrounding the upcoming UN Climate Summit and ensuring that the government then follows through.

He will also lend his voice & presence at the COP26 in November 2021.  He is working as part of Solidaridad, part of the Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, that has brought Kwame to over 52 rural communities in Ghana.

The Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, was named “Chief Patron” of the Climate Clock in Ghana, helping to bring the message of urgent climate action to other mayors across Africa. He represents African Mayors as Vice Chair on the Steering Committee of C40 Cities, an international Climate Leadership Group. He also serves on the Board of the Global Covenant of Mayors on Climate and Energy representing African Mayors.

The head of the Tourism Authority of Ghana, Akwasi Agyeman, was named as “Patron” of the Climate Clock in Ghana and recognized for his work on eco-tourism. He will be working with the campaign to install a monumental sized Climate Clock in Ghana, similar to the one in New York City, helping to establish Ghana as a climate leader and at the same time establish a new major tourist site.

The clock was first brought to the country of Ghana in March by Climate Clock’s global ambassador Jerome Ringo. Ringo first received the handheld clock on Earth Day in New York City in front of the famous giant Climate Clock in Union Square. Ringo  is the former Chairman of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), the first African American to hold that position, and has direct experience with climate change impacts. His own community in Louisiana has been severely impacted by increased frequency of extreme weather events tied to climate change.

Synchronized Clocks all around the World: The Climate Clock project aims to put clocks all around the world to mobilize the public and get world leaders to #ActInTime. The project made global headlines when the first giant clock was installed in New York City’s Union Square in September, generating widespread public attention.

A portable handheld version of the clock was recently released that climate advocates are now carrying around the world. More giant monumental clocks have recently been installed in Seoul, South Korea, Rome, Italy, and Glasgow, Scotland, which will be the site of the next UN Conference in November. Ringo has personally delivered clocks to leaders in Nigeria and Ghana, as well as to the UN Ambassador from ECO WAS, which represents 15 West African nations.

#ActInTime Ghana launch: On Thursday, August 12, Ghanaian officials recieved a Climate Clock in a high level ceremony that included Youth Climate Activists from 350.org, the Mayor of Accra Mohammed Adjei Sowah, and Legendary Hip Life musician and humanitarian, Okyeame Kwame. The clock will soon be delivered to President Nana Akufo-Addo, who serves as co-chair of the UN Sustainable Development Goals program.

What does the Climate Clock tell us? 

The CLIMATE CLOCK shows 2 numbers, a Deadline in red and a Lifeline in blue/green. The Deadline is counting down the critical time window we have left in our carbon budget, while the Lifeline is counting up and tracking our progress on key solution pathways, such as renewable energy. Together, they tell us what we need to do by when. The Clock frames our critical mission — a rapid and just transition to a fossil fuel free, safe climate future.

The Science Behind the Clock: The CLIMATE CLOCK shows two sets of data. The deadline number shows when our global Carbon Budget runs out, i.e. the time left before we emit so much carbon into the atmosphere that we set the world on a course to exceed 1.5 C warming, which scientists say is a critical tipping point after which the effects of Climate Change are irreversible. In addition to this Deadline, the clock shows a “Lifeline” that displays the percentage of global energy currently supplied from renewable sources — 12.4 percent, and going up, but it needs to be going up much faster to meet our deadline. The world must do all it can to raise our lifeline to 100% before the deadline runs out. For more detailed information on the science behind the clock: https://climateclock.world/science.

Global Disparities, Differing Responsibilities: Ringo used the announcement to speak to responsibilities that different nations have for meeting our climate deadline: “Africa, like other developing regions who suffer climate impacts from CO2 historically released by industrialized nations, deserves a lifeline. Africa needs countries like the US, that are the greatest contributors to the problem, to contribute the most to this renewable lifeline that is on the clock. The United States is only 5% of the world’s population but is responsible for 25% of the world’s carbon emissions.”

“The CLIMATE CLOCK says we must do what the science demands and pursue solutions that leave no one behind.” said Laura Berry, research and advocacy director for CLIMATE CLOCK.

The Road to COP26 UN Climate Summit begins now: The Glasgow Climate Clock will run continuously every night for the six months from Earth Day until the COP26 begins, turning the eyes of the world to the upcoming UN Summit in November. The original Climate Clock in New York was co-created by Gan Golan, Andrew Boyd, Katie Peyton Hofstadter, and Adrian Carpenter.

The people behind Climate Clock #ActInTime campaign in Africa

Jerome Ringo – Global Ambassador

Jerome Ringo is the Former Chairman of the National Wildlife Federation and the first African American to head a major Conservation Organization. Ringo is currently goodwill Ambassador to the Pan African Parliament and Chairman of Zoetic Global. He has traveled to Africa over 80 times to Address issues of Climate Change and tangible solutions. Personally, he has been forced to evacuate from his home on the Louisiana coast from 7 Hurricanes since 2005. He has been a part of The U.S. delegation for Climate talks since Kyoto in 1997 and is a McClusky Fellow at Yale University.

Kwame Okyeame – National Ambassador for Ghana

Kwame Okyeame is “a voice for positive change in the bid to reduce the impact of climate change in Africa.” and is a World Bank Climate Ambassador and renowned Hip Life artist with a strong following in West Africa, who is influential in both politics and pop culture. He was the first African to receive a Presidential Service Award from Obama. He was recently unveiled as the Climate Change Ambassador for the Ghana Dedicated Grant Mechanism (DGM),  one of the leading projects of Solidaridad, an international Civil Society Organization with 50 years of global experience in  development. Okyeame uses his notoriety as a catalyst to draw the public into small and big gatherings where extensive interactions of climate smart activities and positive land use practices are discussed with communities.

Portia Adu-Mensah – #ActInTimeGhana Lead

Portia Adu-Mensah is the Founder and CEO of Dream Hunt, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that works in sustainable development and alternative source of Livelihood, as well as youth inclusion for development and social welfare. She is an activist on Climate Change in Ghana and secretary of a coalition of NGO’s in Tema. Portia affiliates with 350.org as a Creative Activist. Water Aid Ghana, Friends of the Earth US, Abibiman Foundation, Ghana Reducing Our Carbon (GROC) and Strategic Youth Network.

Matthew Mensah – Campaign Director Africa

Matthew Mensah is one of the original creators of the concept “Humanitarian PR” in Africa and the Founder of one of Africa’s leading PR & Communication Agencies, Rebranding Africa.

Rebranding Africa specialises in Africa and with focus on Public Affairs, Strategies, PR, Social development and Humanitarian campaigns. Matthew advises both Governments & International organisations in Africa and has with 15 years in the field extensive experience from campaigns with international agencies that includes UNICEF, UN WFP, UNHCR, WHO to mention a few.  His work with children & especially wartorn countries have earned him several Awards. He is the creator of national & continental campaigns for causes such as: Child Trafficking, Stop Child Hunger, Polio, Gender based Violence & Orphanages in Africa. He is a Spokesperson for several Orphanages & Abused Women’s Shelters in Africa, a TEDx speaker and as a proud Ghanaian, he is proud to represent Ghana as an Ambassador for Tourism, Arts & Culture

Ntokozo Moloi – #ActInTime Campaign Lead

Ntokozo Moloi is a human rights activist, media practitioner, and published author with extensive experience in civil society and the legal arena. She has anchored and produced several radio shows in her South Africa homeland and was Project Officer & Impact Producer for Southern Africa Resource Watch, where she fiercely advocated for justice for gold miners suffering from silicosis and TB. She has facilitated many courses on digital campaigning and advised a host of groups on campaign strategy. Ntokozo enthusiastically brings all these skills and more to her role as Climate Clock’s Campaigns Lead.

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