You will be hearing a lot of words from politicians today. So here’s what COP26 looks like for Precious Kalombwana, a 27-year-old climate activist from Lusaka, Zambia.
I grew up in a village surrounded by beautiful green forests. Now when I go back, the forest has been destroyed. I’ve been involved in activism for four years, engaging youth in Zambia to demand climate action. I’ve been able to create awareness in my village by planting trees and advocating for climate justice. This has been a great journey for me.
But where I live, when you explain to people here that climate change is real, they argue and say it’s not. It’s really affected me – when you’re explaining that you’re facing floods, deforestation, sickness through air pollution and they do not believe that climate change is real.
I’m a delegate at COP26. My message to world leaders is that they are giving us fake promises. Since 1995, they have been talking a lot – “blah, blah, blah” – and not acting. They’re not taking it seriously.
Here in the global south, our voices are not heard.