Ghanaian environmentalist wins the 2020 Goldman Environmental Prize

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EZEKIEL Chibeze, a Ghanaian environmental champion has been announced as the recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize 2020, citing his commitment to pushing for good governance in Ghana’s environmental sector and for his climate leadership in Ghana, across Africa and globally.

The Goldman Environmental Prize is the world’s foremost award honouring grassroots environmental activists.

Chibeze joins an illustrious list of past Goldman Environmental Prize winners from Africa including Wangari Maathai, renowned Kenyan social, environmental and political activist; Ken Saro-Wiwa, Nigerian writer who fought for environmental justice and human rights; and recently South African activists Makoma Lekalakala and Liz McDaid.

Through the 350 Ghana Reducing our Carbon (G-ROC), the leading environmental grassroots organisation in Ghana affiliated to 350.org, Chibeze champions for climate justice, fighting tirelessly to stop the Ekumfi proposed coal plant while raising awareness about the possibility of a carbon-free future and the potential of renewable energy in Ghana. Chibeze’s work demonstrates the power of grassroots movements in ending the era of fossil fuels.

‘We at 350 are in awe of Chibeze’s achievements. His work pushing for a sustainable, resilient, and coal-free Ghana is admirable, more than deserves the global recognition it has just received. The climate crisis requires us to interrogate the key drivers of climate change, especially the negative effects of the fossil fuels industry. People like Chibeze, who organise and motivate grassroots movements seeking to bring lasting solutions to the climate crisis, are our true climate leaders, and are instrumental to this fight. We honor their dedication and commitment to the planet,’ commented May Boeve, Executive Director, 350.org.

‘Africa’s youth have been calling for climate justice that would see a transition from fossil fuels and building climate resilient economies powered by renewables. This is exactly what Chibeze and the G-ROC team have been fighting for. As a climate leader, Chibeze has shone a spotlight on the climate crisis while helping his country, Ghana to think of a socially and environmentally just, zero carbon future. Chibeze has been a strong voice of the youth and grassroots groups. The recognition of his and other allies’ work shows that collective efforts through community organising and campaigning can empower ordinary people to demand their rights and overcome social injustices and achieve inspiring wins for thousands of grassroots activists, frontline communities and local groups of Africa and beyond working for real climate justice,’ said Landry Ninteretse, Africa Team Leader,350.org.

The Goldman Environmental Prize (GoldmanPrize.org) honours grassroots environmental heroes from roughly the world’s six inhabited continental regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands & Island Nations, North America, and South & Central America. The Prize recognizes individuals for sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk. The Goldman Prize views ‘grassroots’ leaders as those involved in local efforts, where positive change is created through community or citizen participation. Through recognizing these individual leaders, the Prize seeks to inspire other ordinary people to take extraordinary actions to protect the natural world.

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