4 November, 2021– “Climate change is real, it is here, now. It is not something from the future” – GPM Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr is part of COP 26, pushing for urgent climate action and the involvement of mayors and local leaders for addressing the consequences of climate change.

She has highlighted how in Freetown, Sierra Leone, climate change is seen in heavy rains, land slides that affect the crops, and having droughts throughout the country. Enough water, but not drinkable. The effects and real impacts of climate change are visible all over the world, and cities are at the forefront, facing these difficult challenges.

Still, there is not enough city voices coming into the mix when it comes to addressing climate change. COP, and all international efforts, need to include mayors, local voices, and private stakeholders, and moreover it needs to create a system of accountability of the compromises made by nation-states.

Lastly, she has made a pledge to plant and grow a million trees. Her project – Freetown to Treetown, involves the citizens, creating jobs and income to ensure the planting and growth of the trees in the city. This portrays a good example of what communities and leaders can do, and accomplish, together.

Mayor Aki-Sawyerr has also signed and supported the GPM Call to Action – Climate Change, Cities and Forced Migration: advancing knowledge, action and collaboration, to face the challenges of climate migration. Join her and support our call to action. You can find more information here: https://globalparliamentofmayors.org/calltoaction/

To view Mayor Aki-Sawyerr full interview: https://www.channel4.com/news/freetown-to-treetown-mayor-outlines-plan-to-plant-a-million-trees