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Outrage + Optimism

Mar 24, 2022

For years in the Global North, our dialogue around climate change has been focused on the idea that it is a looming disaster with consequences that would happen in the future if we did not take immediate action. The recent years of extreme weather events where we saw flooding in Germany and London and heat waves and storms across Europe and the United States, brought the reality home that climate change was happening NOW.

But for those living in Africa and the Global South, this ‘looming disaster’ has been a reality for decades. While the devastation, droughts, famines, wars over life-sustaining resources and refugee crises that climate change has caused might not make the headlines in the Global North the way Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has, the impacts of climate change on these frontline communities is nonetheless devastating and requires attention and action NOW.

Which is why this week we invited one of the incredible female voices from the frontline of the climate crisis in Uganda, Vanessa Nakate, an activist and founder of the Rise Up! Movement, onto the O+O podcast so we could share her concerns and action points first hand with our listeners.

In this intimate, in-depth interview with Christiana, Vanessa shares her journey from Ugandan school girl to world renowned climate activist. She tells us about her passion for gender equality and why she believes it is synonymous with bringing the climate crisis to justice, and why Loss and Damage must stay on the agenda for COP27, touted by many as The African COP.

Keep your ears open because Vanessa gives a clear call to action to any listeners who want to help African activists get their voices heard during COP 27.  Vanessa asks that businesses, organizations and individuals consider supporting African activists either through providing accreditation for COP27 or through funding. If you can help please reach out via social media to Vanessa directly or via the Rise UP Movement’s website.

And stick around until the end of the episode to hear the soul-stirring Ugandan musical artist Afrie perform her single, “Let Her Know”.

Enjoy the show!



Christiana + Tom’s book ‘The Future We Choose’ is available now!

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Mentioned links from the episode:


DONATE: Vanessa’s Solar and Stove Project

ACT: Fridays For Future’s 4 Digital Strike Actions

WATCH: Vanessa Nakate asks Global North Ministers the “Thumbs Up” Question

READ: A 10-Point Plan to Reduce the European Union’s Reliance on Russian Natural Gas

READ: Christiana pens an alternative ending to ‘Don’t Look Up’ for Netflix


Thanks to our guest this week, Vanessa Nakate!


Vanessa Nakate

Climate Justice Activist | Founder of Rise Up Movement

Twitter | Instagram


Rise Up Movement

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BUY THE BOOK: A Bigger Picture by Vanessa Nakate



Our musical guest this week is Afrie!



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Keep up with Christiana Figueres online:

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Tom Rivett-Carnac:

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Paul Dickinson:

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Follow @GlobalOptimism on social media and send us a message!

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