Free Press Critical To Addressing Climate Crisis, Says Federal Gov’t

Uefa

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to commemorate the World Press Freedom Day, the Federal Government has called for commitment to the principles of a free and independent press.

The minister of state for Environment, Dr. Iziaq Adekunle Salako, made the call on at a press briefing in commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day, with the theme: “A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the Face of the Environmental Crisis,” in Abuja on Friday.

He said press freedom is indispensable to promote transparency, accountability and social justice, critical to communicating the threat posed by climate crisis and making informed decisions to be more environmentally responsible.

“You as journalists have a critical role to play in driving environmental policy formulation and implementation and also in shaping public perception about the crisis. Let us therefore work together, across sectors and borders, to harness the power of media in addressing the environmental crisis and advancing sustainable development.

“A press for the planet at this point in time is therefore most needed if we are to get the public behind global and national agenda like net zero, energy transition, biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction, 30 by 30, ending plastic pollution and such other pathways set forth to address the environmental crisis,” the minister said.

Salako noted that journalism plays a pivotal role in advancing enviromental agendas, serving as a catalyst for change, a watchdog for accountability, and a voice for the voiceless.

However, he said ignorance, lack of awareness and appropriate knowledge about the climate crisis were still rampant, while calling for more support in the drive for environmental advocacy and citizenship so that all creatures on earth thrive in harmony with the planet.

“We know that our behaviour and life styles is driving environmental crisis. We also know that changing behaviour and life style is not easy to achieve. Therefore, we must remain persistent in our advocacy, our awareness creation, our sensitisation and educating the public,” the Minister stated.

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