COP26: Address by Cedric Dzelu

Fire Explosion in Freetown, Sierra Leone
Ghana YMCA third quarter newsletter

Honored friends and guests, I wish to stand on all existing protocols to bring you warm greetings from Accra-Ghana.

We have come to meet at a very crucial time in history.   

The solutions we need to address the global climate crisis are within our reach but are we talking to each other enough to deliver the best solutions?

There are some who have wondered if COP 26 is not just a talk shop, the answer is a BIG No, at this summit we shall hear of how the Climate Crisis is negatively impacting lives around the world, we shall also hear of the ambitious plans to address them, these discussions will influence government policies which will drive global finance toward address the crisis.

So I have come to submit to you that COP 26 is not and cannot be a talk shop. We are here to forge ideas and partnership to drive global finance to support climate change solutions.

My greatest respect to all of you who are playing decisive roles to address the climate change crisis, the YMCA stands with you, we know the scale of the problem when we provided relief items to women, men and children who were displaced by Super Typhoon Goni in the Philippines, The YMCA in the USA is leading the way on climate action youth-led solutions, In Madagascar the YMCA is raising environmental awareness through seminars in schools. In Asia and the Pacific, we are leading the way to promote alternative, tourism that is sustainable and conservative, in Togo we are teaching young people how to take care of plants, vegetables and fruits, in my own humble space, I am using tennis as a tool to gain the attention and interest of young people to talk to them and to teach them about important matters such as climate change and the environment.

The YMCA is here because we are committed to advancing global conservation and to reduce the effects of climate change. We run 2,400 programmes on environment-related issues around the world. We are a tool in the hands of young people and their communities.

However, it is undeniable that there is an urgent need to scale up the impact of the global solutions to address climate change. So I have come to call for greater and meaningful partnerships, I have come to call for negotiations that are welcoming on giving and receiving, of sharing vital information and of action.

Please do not forget that the YMCA is here to be your partner, our movement has a footprint in 120 countries reaching 62 million people, we have responded to almost every global crisis as far as our 176 years of existence is a concern, we are truly global yet truly local enough to ensure that the first and last dollar has its impact on the ground.

What you are witnessing tonight is a collection of irrefutable evidence of the devastating impact of the climate crisis, I hope that this imagery will last in your memory like your first Disney movie or your favourite superhero or your best sports game finals and it is also my hope that you will carry such reflections with you back home for action.

Thank you.

Note to the Media: Cedric can be reached on

YMCA ambassador to COP26 at the Glasgow Royal Concert hall for the vital signs of the planet concert.

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