Adenike Oladasu's letter to G7 leaders

Adenike Nigeria

Dear G7 leaders, 

As you gather for the 45th meeting of the G7, I want to ask you two things; how far have you gone in closing the gap between action and words? And how many women will this time sit at the decision-making table to ensure there is action on the crucial issues of our day?   

Twelve years ago, at a United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen, you made a significant pledge - a promise of developed countries collectively providing US$100 billion a year by 2020 to developing nations, to help them adapt to climate change and mitigate further rises in temperature. This promise has never been kept and more lives and livelihoods continue to be lost. From a recent IPCC AR6 Report, we know it’s getting worse. 

In May 2021, you also launched the G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Crises Compact promising about 8,5 billion dollars of aid to priority countries, including Nigeria.  Today, aid agencies and governments of humanitarian affected countries struggle to know how much aid this Compact has really generated, 

My name is Adenike Oladosu and I live in the Lake Chad area of Nigeria, where there are now 4 million people in need of food assistance. As the lean season begins, I am fearful of the tragedies and hardship that lie ahead. 

In rural Nigeria women tend to be closest to nature and the environment and more dependent on natural resources like land, water and forest. Therefore, when natural resources are depleted, women are the first victims. As Lake Chad dries up, women have been forced into trading sex for fish to feed their families. Climate change exacerbates of gender-based violence and sexual exploitation in my region. I see climate and gender injustices every day.   

As the leaders of the richest nations and the biggest historic emitters of carbon, decisions at your table should consider workable solutions for the best interest of all. There needs to be a focus on Africa because millions of people are being displaced by climate change impacts and its interactions with other crises, which we are seeing through a stream of cyclones, droughts, floods & conflicts. Do you have to wait to the tipping point at which it escalates into war before you act?  

Women in regions like mine bear the brunt of the climate crisis, despite having the smallest carbon footprint. And when you, the G7, gather we hear only more promises and dialogues than action. I can tell you promises won’t save us from destruction.   

Noticeably there is also a lack of women’s representation in parliament is 25.5% globally and a shocking 6% in Nigeria. Women need to be an important part of the decision-making process if we are to fight the climate crisis. Power has been entrusted to men since the inception of these meetings, it’s now time for women to take a lead. Without a woman leader in the G7 nation states this year, ask yourselves how you are ensuring women’s voices are heard, when creating solutions for climate-changed induced crises? 

Yours Faithfully 

Adenike Oladasu, Lake Chad, Nigeria