Freetown Mayor Aki Sawyerr meets London Mayor Sadiq Khan as UN publishes report on climate change

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 9 August 2021:

The United Nations has today published its largest report on climate change, warning of global catastrophe ahead of the forthcoming Climate Change Summit (COP26) taking place in Scotland in November.

The UN report is calling on all countries to do more in taking urgent action to tackle CO2 emission and deforestation as global climate temperature climbs to dangerous levels across the world.

The report says that human activity accounts for the greatest impact on the environment, spanning over one hundred years, and calls for steps to be taken to keep rising global temperature down to 1.5 degrees.

The report shows that emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are responsible for roughly 1.1 degrees Celsius of warming since 1850-1900, and finds that averaged over the next 20 years, global temperature is expected to reach or exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The study is by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – a UN group that looked at more than 14,000 scientific papers.

With several countries today experiencing freak weather – heavy rains and flooding, extreme temperature, drought and forest fires, the world is fast edging closer to calamity – the report warns. (Photo below: Greece fires).

In poor countries such as Sierra Leone where the impact of climate change is all too visible, there is little evidence the government is taking concerted action to tackle deforestation and rising CO2 emission that is choking the atmosphere.

The Mayor of Freetown Yvonne Aki – Sawyerr is in London where last Wednesday she met with the London Mayor Sadiq Khan to discuss climate change among many other issues of interests to both cities.

Yvonne Aki – Sawyerr was also on Channel 4 television news, speaking about some of the measures Sierra Leone is taking to tackle climate change.

“Last Wednesday I met with the Mayor of London and discussed the cities’ agenda for COP26. Yesterday I was invited to share my thoughts on the ongoing climate crisis on Channel 4 News,” Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyerr told the Sierra Leone Telegraph.

You can watch Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr speaking on Channel 4 news here:


  1. Mr Herbert, you can’t divorce the two issues. climate change, and politices are mutually interconnected.They are simlar like day and Night. The Trump Administration and the Biden Administration have two opposing views on how to tackle the issues of climate change. In November 2015, the State department under the Democrats, the Obama administration denied the key Stone XL Trans Canada /USA a permit for works to commence.

    The impact to the environment was blamed for that decision . On the other hand, on the 24th of March 2017 the new Republican Trump administration issued a presidential approval through executive order for the Key Stone XL project to go ahead. And that is despite opposition from environmentalist, and Native Americans in South Dakota that made the case if the projects goes ahead, it will damage their ancestral lands. Now we are in a similar situation in Sierra Leone. Only this time we have a Mayor in Freetown that is determined to address the impact of Global warming on the lives of Freetownian residents that elected her to look after their intrest. On the other hand, you have President Bio, making public pronouncements about how his government is working hard to address the problems of environmental damage we are already experiencing. But as we all know, Bio is a late convert. The trouble is, Bio is all thing to everyone. It really depends who his audience happens to be. The reality of course, this president have only talk tough on this issue because he wants to satisfy our international partners or being nudge to do so. As long as he keeps talking about the environmental issues, his government will be held up as the lighting rod in the fight against the climate emergency facing us and millions of dollars that will never see the light of day will keep pouring in by our unsuspecting development partners . I think if our international partners wants to see any real action and a step change of how we tackle the issues of climate change, they should deal with both national, NGOs, and local authorities like cities that are already impacted by this climate emergency.

    Whatever funding coming from up stream to address this climate issue ,especially the funding coming from the biggest polluters of all, should be shared between city authorities, like Freetown city Council under the leadership of Mayor Akin and the national governments. In today’s world, there is politics in every issues. Whether is NFL players taking the Knee in protest of American police interaction with Young African Americans, to the Kick it out programme in the UK addressing racism faced by ethnic minorities players, to ping pong blame game between the American administration and Chinese government, who bares the greatest responsibility for the environmental nightmare the world found itself. We can never say we are only allowed to debate the issues of our time, without restoring to the automatic default of the human traits we are born with. Even parents like to play politics with their children. Is just part of what makes us human. Without politics the world will be a dull place to live.

  2. As we head for the climate summit in Glasgow in the United Kingdom later this year, our Mayor Akin Sawyer one of the most respected political voices around the world is setting up her stall, and reminding Global leaders about what is at stake. She has become the spokesperson of the global South, about the impact the environmental degradation caused by the North is having on us. As Mrs Swayer rightly pointed out, countries in the Southern Hampshire suffer more from climate change than the real emitters of green house gasses in the North. According to recent report by OXfam’s, ‘confronting Carbon Inequality. The report clearly made clear, “the world’ s richest one percent is responsible for more than twice as much carbon emissions pollution as the 3.1 billion people who made up the poorest half of humanity during a critical 25 year period of unprecedented emissions growth “As we saw the spike of floodings in Freetown, and other parts of the country.

    Falaba of all places, one would have thought the further North you travel, the least exposure to flooding becomes, because of the Mountain ranges we have in the North. Like Wara Wara, and Bintuimani Mountains. You can have all the natural barriers for protection, but cutting down our trees and selling them to China doesn’t help anyone. In the long term it will cause more harm than good. The Problem the Bio government that have all the power and access to government coffers to do something about it, is paying a lip service to the dangers facing us.

    The government should work with our Mayor and help her with the funding to implement her ideas of how to tackle this climate emergency. Planting of trees instead of cutting them, will go a long way of addressing some of the issues. And clearing of gutters, and building more flood defences will also help mitigate some of the environmental disasters facing us. But as always we have a reckless government that cares more about themselves than the people that elected them.

  3. The wave maker, Her Worship, Her Excellency ,Honourable Yvonne Aki-Sawyer has done it again. The frustrating and annoying thing about a wave is that it’s a natural event, it’s impossible to pin down, catch or subdue. Therefore one is left with no alternative but to just ride it and hope for the best – that it would take one away from a disastrous landing.

    In Mayor Aki-Sawyer the people of Freetown know that they have an ally who does not dodge issues but rather address them head on to demonstrate that she is aware of them. And that’s what she is doing right now about climate change. No one needs to tell her that much of Freetown faces the Atlantic Ocean and with rising sea levels the threat of her beloved city being submerged is real.

    The Bio government should be working hand-in-glove with her to see what measures that could mitigate the effects of climate change.Opposing her makes the Bio government look like a bunch of ill fated politicians forever starved of ideas. Perhaps it’s time for them to consider getting hold of the Mayor’s handbag for her to show them the way to both national and international credibility. The people of Freetown fell in love with the Mayor years ago – head first.

  4. The fight against inequality and climate change is compelling but the real challenge is isolating it from party politics to allow the right decisions to be made.

  5. Yeah. What a diplomatic and public relation coup d’etat there by Sierra Leone’s best Mayor ever, Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyer of the municipality of Freetown. Few days ago, they were trying to frustrate and undermine her job and authority. But what they can’t stop was this political countdown to a political public relation and diplomatic coup d’etat of all times. Fantastic stuff. Look at that picture. See how presidential she looks standing besides the London Mayor. Read the tweet exchanges between Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyer and Mayor Sidiki Khan of London. I was expecting a similar conversation between our President Rtd Julius Maada Bio and the UK’s Prime Minister Mr Boris Johnson when he traveled to London for the virtual/zoom meeting. But that did not happen.

    Why for heaven’s sake the former High Commissioner to the UK Mr Tamba Lamina had the capacity to help President Bio meet with the former UK Prime Minister Theresa May. To put more political meat on the empty political bone, President Bio sat besides former Prime Minister Theresa May enjoying horse race if I’m not mistaken. To become Sierra Leone’s foreign minister or High Commissioner to the UK is one thing, but to know the four corners of Whitehall to let your President come in contact with the British Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street is rocket science for many foreign ministers and High Commissioners.

    Anyway, Mr Tamba Lamina was doing a great job as our ambassador to the UK. He will do a better job as Foreign Minister rather than as Local Government Minister fighting with the city councillors every day. God bless Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyer, Mayor Sidiki Khan and Mr Tamba Lamina.

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