The world’s foremost award honouring grassroots environmental activists, the Goldman Environmental Prize, was this year bagged by Ghanaian environmental champion Ezekiel Chibeze.
The selection panel cited Chibeze’s commitment to pushing for good governance in Ghana’s environmental sector and 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, who include renowned social, environmental and political activist Wangari Maathai, Nigerian writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, who fought for environmental justice and human rights and more 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 www.350.org, Chibeze champions for climate justice, fighting tirelessly to stop the proposed Ekumfi Coal Plant.
He also raised 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. He more than deserves the global recognition he has 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 honour their dedication and commitment to the planet.” Executive Director May Boeve.
Chibeze is an avid environmentalist who serves on a number of platforms providing support in promoting good governance in Ghana’s environmental sector – specifically on climate change, biological diversity, forestry, and renewable energy. He is currently the Executive Coordinator of the Strategic Youth Network for Development (SYND), a youth-focused organisation which promotes youth inclusion in the governance of natural resources and the environment.
“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,” www.350.org. Africa Team Leader Landry Ninteretse said in praise of the environmentalist.
The director added, “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,” Ninteretse said.
- A Tell report