Hollywood star Idris Elba called on policy makers and the media to include African voices in the public debate as they risk ignoring a continent “that is central to the solution to climate change”.
The 49-year-old actor, best known for blockbuster hits like Thor, American Gangster and Prometheus, was speaking at the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.
Both Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina who joined him for a panel discussion on sustainable food production at the climate talks on Saturday, are Goodwill Ambassadors for the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development.
“Don’t Cut Out A Whole Continent”
Asked why it was important that the voices of people of colour are heard as the world attempts to decarbonise food production, Elba told the meeting: “I think Sabrina and I stand here as human beings first, but absolutely yes it is important for us as proud Africans to be a part of this debate.”
Commenting on an incident in January 2020 when climate change activist Vanessa Nakate was cropped from a photo of high-profile climate activists at Davos, he continued, Elba said: “(The media) are not just cutting out Vanessa, they are cutting out a whole continent, and that continent is very central to this debate, very central to the solutions.”
Elba added: “Yes it is important we have everyone of colour speaking up in this debate because it is Africa that is right in the centre.”
The briefing was held jointly with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Conservation International and looked at investing in small-scale agriculture, climate adaptation and nature-based solutions to achieve sustainable food systems.