Climate Change (59)

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - The private sector has been urged to collaborate with the public sector and civil society organisations to explore climate change related opportunities and seize them in the fight against the phenomenon.

“All we need to do, is to look at climate change from a common lens, identify where the problems are, and convert them into opportunities,” John Kioli, the Chairman of Kenya Climate Change Working Group told a preparatory meeting ahead of the forthcoming Conference of Parties on climate change (COP 23).

Dimitris Tsitsiragos, the Vice President of Global Client Services at IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, also agrees that climate change is creating opportunities for companies willing to innovate, pointing to report by IFC, which found that Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa could support up to $1 trillion in climate-related investments by 2020.

Tsitsiragos also refers to the massive solar power project in Morocco, where the private sector is playing a key role in the construction of a 510-megawatt solar plant in a desert with a capacity to provide power to 1.1 million people. The project, worth $2.6 billion, could help turn the North African kingdom into a renewable energy powerhouse and serve as a model for future public-private partnerships.

In Kenya, the Lake Turkana Wind Power plant is another example of a private sector investment in green energy. Once operational, the wind farm will provide 310MW of reliable, low cost energy to Kenya’s national grid which is approximately 15 percent of the country’s installed capacity.

“We can explore so many other opportunities related to climate change,” said Kioli.

Another example is the M-KOPA Solar Company in Kenya, which sells solar home systems on an affordable mobile money payment plan, with an initial $35 deposit, followed by 365 payments of 45 cents daily. After completing the payment package, customers own a world-class solar home system, with multiple lights, phone charging and a radio.

During the Pre-COP workshop in Nairobi, Kioli further urged Kenya’s civil society organisations on climate change, the government delegation and the private sector to unite and talk with one voice as the country joins other global nations for the next set of negotiations on climate change in Bonn, Germany.

“This is a common problem that cuts across all sectors, and the only way forward as a country, is to have one common position that can be accepted by the African Group of Negotiators,” he said

So far, Kenya is committed to reducing total greenhouse gas emission by 30 percent, come the year 2030. However, representatives from the civil society observed that there must be a predictable source of income, hence the reason why all players must stay together ahead of the negotiations.

“We cannot just wait for the $100 billion commitment by the annex-one countries. We must also seek for alternative sources of funding right at the country level, and from development banks,” said Benson Kibiti from Caritas Kenya, representing the civil society.

Industrialised countries have already committed themselves to “mobilising jointly $100 billion a year by 2020, to address the needs of developing countries,” money which was expected to be come from public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance.

The 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will take place at the headquarters of the UNFCCC Secretariat in Bonn, Germany.

Presided over by the Government of Fiji, the UN Climate Change Conference will include the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the UNFCCC, the 13th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 13) and the 47th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 47) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 47).

MARALAL, Kenya (PAMACC News) - The United Nations has called on the international community to support drought response in Kenya to a tune of $27 million (Sh2.7 billion), as the Kenya Red Cross begin giving emergency feeds to vulnerable livestock animals in the north.

“It has not been business as usual for some residents in the northern part of the country,” said Wilfred Kinyua, the Samburu County Commissioner. “In the past one week, four people have been killed in this county as they tried to search for pastures in the neigbouring communities that have received some rainfall,” he told the PAMACC News in an interview at his Maralal office on September 28.

Though many parts of the country have been enjoying a prolonged short rainy season for the past two months, arid and semi arid counties especially in the northern part of the country are yet to see a single drop for three years in a row, prompting humanitarian organisations to change strategy for drought response.

For the past eight weeks towards the end of September, the Kenya Red Cross in collaboration with UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have been intervening in Samburu, Marsabit, Mandera, Garissa, Tana River and Turkana counties, where they have been buying animals from those who have excess as a way of de-stocking, and using meat from those animals as food aid for the most vulnerable households on weekly basis.

In the same period, the two organisations have been providing routine livestock feed inputs and veterinary drugs to a total of 1,210 very vulnerable households in all the six counties, with a total of 10,800 animals receiving animal health services.

“This is a very new approach, where we decided to include vulnerable livestock animals in our emergency aid programme so that they can continue providing livelihoods to hard hit communities in the entire drought stricken six counties in the north,” said Dr Joseph Mathooko, the Field Coordinator/Technical Officer (livestock) at the UN FAO.

Though the eight week emergency programme has come to an end, the UN insists that there is need for more interventions to save lives and livelihoods for the remaining months in 2017.

“Most urgently, there is need for $12.7 million (Sh1.27billion) for purchase and distribution of hay and concentrates to rescue vulnerable animals owned by the most poor, and also for fodder production,” said Piers Simpkin the Head - Livestock /animal health and production sector at FAO. “There is further need for $7.2 million (Sh720 million) for livestock offtake and distribution of meat as food rations to the vulnerable population,” he said.

According to a statement released early this month by World Vision International, drought in north and eastern Kenya is already affecting 3.4 million people who require food assistance and clean water, with more than 420,000 children requiring urgent treatment to address acute malnutrition, with 83,000 struggling with severe acute malnutrition.

“The climate is truly changing, because since my childhood, it has never come to this level where even animals have to receive aid as well,” said John Longonyek, the Chief – Nagaroni Location in Samburu. “But indeed, this intervention has really helped especially for families with lactating animals because once they are given the hay and the range cubes, it means they will be able to produce milk, and this has a huge nutritional impact especially starving on children,” he added.

According to FAO’s Predictive Livestock Early Warning System outlook, between October 2016 - August 2017, some parts of Northern Kenya have remained with extreme vegetation deficit while others have had severe vegetation deficit – meaning they have not been able to support grazing or even browsing, leading to death of all types of livestock.

Ngopina Lekitei, a mother of five children from Njakuai village in the Eastern part of Samburu is one of the most affected after losing 12 of the 15 goats that were remaining to the drought, and for the past eight weeks, she has been surviving on meat rations distributed by Red Cross.

“We have been receiving at least four kilogrammes of meat every week for the past eight weeks, and each portion could sustain me and my small children for three to four days as we wait for another ration towards the end of the week,” she said.

Different committees at the community level collaborated with local administration to identify the most vulnerable households, especially women-led families, who were then taken in as beneficiaries for both meat distribution and animal feeds.

With 30 bells of hay and seven packets of range cubes per household weekly, the beneficiary families have been able to resuscitate wasted animals due to the scorching drought, and the animals are now strong enough to walk several kilometers to greener grazing fields.


ABUJA, NIGERIA (PAMACC News) - As the UN General Assembly convenes in New York, the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group calls on heads of state and government to reaffirm their pledge to tackle climate change by committing to fair and concrete climate solutions that will protect all people and the planet. The theme of this year's UN General Assembly debate - 'Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet' - is a timely and vital reminder of the importance of safeguarding a liveable world for ourselves and future generations.
Mr. Gebru Jember Endalew, Chair of the LDC Group, said: "the urgent need for serious climate action has never been clearer. Over the past months we have seen devastating events exacerbated by climate change, from deadly hurricanes and flooding, to wildfires and heatwaves. No corner of our planet is safe from climate impacts. Global temperatures have already risen 1.1°C and the frequency and severity of these events will only worsen with further warming."
"Collective commitments by the global community to date are woefully inadequate in the face of our shared challenge of climate change. Current pledges under the Paris Agreement put the world on course for 3.5°C of warming by the end of the century. This is a death sentence for many communities across the world, particularly in poor and vulnerable countries. Humanity cannot afford to delay."
"There is a widening gulf between the climate finance that is provided and mobilised and the reality of finance received and needed. Without adequate climate finance and support to developing countries, mainly LDCs and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are left without a lifeline. Many trillions of dollars are required to implement the Paris Agreement."
"The LDCs are committed to being at the frontline of the clean energy revolution. The LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative will deliver sustainable climate action and lift communities out of poverty. If we are truly to set the planet on a safe course, all countries, and particularly those who contribute the most to climate change, must follow suit. Renewable energy has the power to place us on a path to a cleaner, fairer and more prosperous world for all."
"Spread across Africa, southern Asia, the Pacific and Caribbean, the 47 LDCs all face immense challenges in adapting to climate change and addressing the loss and damage it unleashes. LDCs are taking ambitious domestic action to lead by example, and call on the rest of the world to do the same in line with their capability to respond and responsibility for the problem. State, city and business leaders from around the world have just met in New York for climate week, and the LDC Group urges leaders at the UN General Assembly to carry the conversation forward and inspire real action from all nations across the globe."

ABUJA, Nigeria (PAMACC News) - Following suggestions that Donald Trump could only consider remaining a signatory of the Paris Agreement if new terms were reached, President of France, Emmanuel Macron has declared that the landmark Paris climate deal will not be renegotiated.

The French President's comments came during his address to the UN General Assembly amidst renewed hopes that the world's second largest polluter would remain tied to the accord's carbon emission targets.

Macron also told his audience at the United Nations General Assembly that "the door will be open" for the United States to return to the agreement if it so wishes.

"This agreement will not be renegotiated." "We will not retreat" he added.

Macron noted that the international community had so far fallen short of successfully addressing major threats such as climate change. Now more than ever before, we need common efforts to tackle environmental challenges and other global issues, Macron said, including war and terrorism.

"We can only address those challenges through multilateralism, not through survival of the fittest."

Macron also hit back at US President Donald Trump on Tuesday by staunchly defending the Iran nuclear deal at the UN General Assembly, speaking soon after Trump called the deal an "embarrassment to the United States".

“Renouncing it would be a grave error, not respecting it would be irresponsible, because it is a good accord that is essential to peace at a time where the risk of an infernal conflagration cannot be excluded,” Macron said.

The French president added that he had made his position clear to both Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani when he met with them on Monday.

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