Cyclone Idai, Mozambique

Daviz Simango has been mayor of Beira since 2003.

"Every day I see how the climate is changing,” Simango says when we meet. “The sea is rising, the waves are stronger and bigger. I watch how the temperature changes. It is not like it was before.”

Cyclone Idai struck when western countries were considering how to help poorer nations on the frontline of climate change. Yet at the UN COP25 climate change conference in Madrid in December 2019, policymakers failed to agree a mechanism for wealthy countries to provide financial assistance. “Imagine a poor person is standing outside a fancy restaurant,” Simango says. “You walk by that person, go into the restaurant and order food. When you have finished eating, you go outside and say to the poor person, ‘You are paying.’”

Extract from a feature by Sally Williams
Commissioned by Oxfam/ The Guardian