Mayor Koijee Speaks On Energy, Climate Change In Italy

 

Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee  has been speaking in Rimini, Italy as representative of the Convenant  of Mayors of South Sahara Africa (COM SSA) at a panel discussion on Sustainable Energy and Climate Change.

This year’s conference, which is been organized by the Directorate  General of International Cooperation and Development of the European  Commission, focuses on “Sustainable Energy and Climate Change ” and  the role of capital cities in addressing the Sustainable Development  Goals (SDGs), with emphasis on Goal Seven (Affordable and Clean  Energy) and Goal Thirteen (Climate Action).

Mayor Koijee was selected to represent the 119 signatories capital  under the Convenant of Mayors of South Sahara Africa after  his  splendid deliberation early this year at the United Cities and Local  Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) roundtable conference held in  Accra, Ghana from March 7-9.

He highlighted that in order to realize a universal access to  affordable, reliable and modern energy services in Africa, ”we must  envision first to expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for  supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing  countries, in particular least developed countries, small island  developing States, and land-locked developing countries, in accordance  with their respective programmes of support.

“African capital cities must begin to improve their infrastructures,  open doors for investors, rally citizens participation in response to  investors who are investing in energy, add value to our waste; making  it a resource instead of garbage,” Koijee said.

He added: “We can have an affordable and reliable energy by 2030 when  we put our minds to work, focus on innovation and providing the  enabling space for investment around Africa.”

Climate change around the globe, he noted, has become a topical issue  that need to be addressed.

The young mayor noted that the situation about climate change in  Africa and around the world is causing serious threat to the  survivability of our aquatic species, human lives and endangering our  environments, making it unsafe for living.

He stressed that there is a need for a collective approach in  addressing the situation, calling on the European Union, African  Union, UN, World Bank and other international organisations to invest  in helping poor African capital cities to address this global challenge.

Mayor Koijee lauded the European Union for funding the Convenant of  Mayors in Sub-Sahara Africa (COM SSA) and cautioned the European Union  that there is more needed to be done financially, logistically,  technically to help South Saharan cities and municipalities in  tackling climate change.

Mayor Koijee also highlighted three important issues that his city,  Monrovia, is currently faced with.

The issues include floods, waste management and the over population of the capital.

He lamented that as a city situated near the Atlantic Ocean; it’s currently devastating for residents of the city during this time of the year where we observe on a daily basis heavy down pour of rain.

“Many residents of my city are made homeless due to the flood situation and prior to my arrival here few days ago, the situation was becoming more worsening than previous years simply due to the climate change situation,” he said.

“I will like to appeal to the European Union and other international organizations to intervene in arresting this unfortunate situation about flooding in our capital,” Mayor Koijee lamented.

The Convenant of Mayors in Sub-Sahara Africa (COM SSA), which was  launched at the COP21 in Paris, seeks to increase access to  sustainable energy and to implement local actions to combat climate  change and its impacts on urban and peri-urban population (especially  the most vulnerable).

The Convenant of Mayors in Sub-Sahara Africa, which is the regional  chapter of the Global Convenant of Mayors, comprises of 119 signatory  cities and municipalities in 34 countries, and is organized to  strengthen the capacities of cities to develop and use urban planning  and implementing tools in local actions to energy access and combat  climate change, as well as adapt to its impacts.

Currently 13 cities received direct funding (Grants awarded through  the EU delegations in the country) with Liberia been one of the  beneficiaries.

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