Climate Change (103)

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - I have the honor to represent the African Climate Policy Centre in this esteemed gathering, the first National Climate Governance Conference, which has been convened by our partner organization, the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, to discuss national issues relating to the governance of the climate response in Kenya. We are extremely grateful to PACJA and to the Kenyan Government for hosting this conference.

Kenya has developed a sophisticated framework for the governance of climate change in the Country. The Kenya Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan (2016-2020) is designed to guide the country’s transition to a low carbon, resource efficient, equitable and inclusive future. The plan recognizes that in order to succeed, substantial resources are required in the form of finance, investment, technology development innovation and transfer, and capacity building. It further recognizes that integration of Green Economy in the national and county planning and budgeting processes are also crucial.

Climate change is cross cutting. It affects every aspect of life, and our ability to achieve the SDGs or indeed any of the aspirations of agenda 2063 is constrained by climate change. Because of its cross cutting nature, climate governance is complex. It requires the participation of multiple stakeholders, with sometimes conflicting interests.

The world is heading towards catastrophe if immediate action is not taken to halt greenhouse gas emissions. As we all are aware, the IPCC yesterday released its 1.5degrees report in South Korea. The report confirms what we are already experiencing iun Africa, and is a cause for serious concern.  Last night I took time to skim through the report. Some of the major findings of the report include the following:

  1. Climate change is happening at a rate much faster than previously estimated. Global warming is outstripping all our efforts to resolve it.
  2. The impacts of global warming are also already much greater than predicted, particularly in developing countries to avoid passing he 1.5 degrees guardrail, we need to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030 – we have under 12 years to achieve that. And to have a 50% chance of staying within the 1.5 degrees threshold the world must become carbon neutral by 2050, in only in only 32 years.
  3. Avoiding a catastrophe will require a major transformation of society and the world economy on an unprecedented scale
  4. Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees will cost $2.4 trillion of investments in the global energy system every year between 2016 –2035 (this is equivalent to 2.5% of world GDP). He cost of not doing anything will be much, much higher

We must all get involved in resolving this challenge

We have adequate knowledge of the causes of global warming, and the science is conclusive.

There is no room for climate deniers in this discourse

However, the inaction that we have seen is not because there is insufficient knowledge or technology or finance. We have enough of these to be able to change the way in which we produce, distribute and consume goods and services

This meeting is indeed significant in that it is a first go at mobilizing local governments, counties, the private sector and other CSOs to contribute to the climate response. The meeting is also preceding the seventh conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA – VII) co-hosted by the ACPC, PACJA and the government of Kenya.  CCDA VII will also focus on mobilizing action towards the achievement of the objectives of the Paris Agreement.  The participation of sub-sate and non status in this endeavor is indeed timely.

African economies and communities are generally dependent on natural resources. The use and management of these natural resources also tends to be characterized by institutional structures which are poor, making them vulnerable to climate extremes. A key intervention towards ensuring the resilience of our economies and the livelihoods of communities, therefore, is institutional reform.

Communities have long practiced many adaptation strategies and devised many viable responses to changing conditions. However, there are limits to how well communities can continue to practice adaptive livelihoods in the context of a changing climate. They need the support of an enabling environment created by government-planned adaptation.

Climate finance is a major constraint on climate action. One major opportunity is the possibility of accessing decentralized climate finance. Local governments are typically closer to communities and are accountable to those communities. If local governments access decentralized climate finance,  they should be empowered to disburse these climate funds for  investment in priorities chosen with communities for adapting to climate change.

Community-prioritized, public good investments can be managed in a transparent, accountable, and cost-effective manner. Such investments are consistent with public finance policy, complementary to local governments' existing budgets and capable of drawing down and managing climate finance from national climate funds and other sources of climate finance.

Greater access to – and capacity to use – climate information, which improves planning and responses to climate extremes is also required. This requires building the capacities of local government itself, civil society organizations and the private sector to manage construction and operation of public good investments.

The African Climate Policy Centre, through the ClimDev Africa initiative, is already exploring the climate governance prospects for Africa structural transformation towards achieving the aspirations of Agenda 2063 and the SDGs. We are keenly aware that climate change is now clearly the major risk in the achievement of these ideals.\

The ACPC is also implementing, with support from the DfID, the Weather and Climate Information Services (WISER) which seeks to promote the production and used of climate information, and contributes to building the capacities of hydrological and meteorological authorities across the continent.

ACPC has also developed a five year programme which seeks to support African countries in building resilient infrastructure and economies. The Centre will increase its efforts in this regard to include support not only for member states, but also new engagements with local governments, the private sector and other CSOs and stakeholders.

The ACPC is indeed honored to be part of this conference and we trust that our participation here signals the beginning of an enduring partnership with national as well as continental local governments, municipalities, the private sector  and other non-state actors towards developing mechanisms for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Development stakeholders from Africa have been challenged to drive strategies and mechanisms that can speed-up the climate ambition of their different countries.

Different speakers at the opening of the Seventh Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA – VII) conference in Nairobi, October 10,2018, agreed that Africa must hence lead the way in the implementation of the Paris Agreement by operationalising their different  nationally determined contributions in line with the Paris Agreement.

According to James Murombedzi, Officer in Charge of the Economic Commission for Africa’s African Climate Policy Center (ACPC), while the Agreement is a treaty between nation states, its implementation is the challenge of the different countries in line with their Nationally Determined Contributions(NDCs) .

“Africa has the potential to drive the implementation of the Paris Agreement,” he said.

He notes that sustainable, inclusive and equitable development which does not increase atmospheric carbon concentrations was possible.

“But for these opportunities to be realized, a lot needs to be done by the different countries”.

The CCDA-VII Conference is taking place under the theme,”Climate change and development in Africa; policies and actions for effective implementation of the Paris Agreement for resilient economies in Africa”

 Kenya’s Environment and Forestry Minister, Keriako Tobiko called on African governments to exercise good political will to make the Paris Agreement implementation effective.

“Without political goodwill recommendations from scientists as contained in the Agreement cannot be translated to policies,” Keriako said.

Climate change accordingly is seriously impacting in many African countries making life perilous for especially the vulnerable population, women, children, reason why the implementation of the Paris Agreement is more than urgent.

“The implementation of the Paris Agreement remains a priority for the continent in order to adapt to the inevitability of climate variability and change. It is however important to emphasize that achieving the goals of the Agreement require committed leadership from state and non-state actors,” the Minister said.

Among other actions, countries were enjoined to integrated green economy in the development action plans.

“Integration of green economy and other innovative carbon free investments in national action plans have today become critical,” Murombedzi  said.

He also ccommented on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.

The reports he said, means that there is a chance for a stable climate system which will allow for sustainable development but only if we do manage to halt emissions in the projected time frame.

“This added implies doing two things, the first to halt emissions and to have an organized transition to a carbon neutral future in the shortest time possible. And the second to restructure our economies to ensure sustainable development without further emissions,”  Murombedzi said.

He said it has been demonstrated that in addressing these challenges, there were opportunities to be harnessed.

 James Kinyangi of the AfDB and the ClimDev Fund, for his part disclosed an ambitious Climate Action Change Plan for the period 2016-2020 for the Bank.

 He said the plan explores modalities for achieving adaptation, the adequacy and effectiveness of climate finance, capacity building and technology transfer – building skills so African economies to fully harness potential for adaptation in high technology sectors.

Under this plan, the Bank, which hosts the ClimDev Africa Special Fund, will nearly triple its annual climate financing to reach $5 billion a year by 2020 Kinyangu said, reiterating the Bank’s commitment to continue to work with African countries and its partners to deepen partnerships and investments that help address the impacts of climate change

The seventh Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa it should be noted  is aimed at interrogating Africa’s nationally determined contributions and define actionable agendas regarding them with  specific objective of providing space and facilitate science-practice-policy dialogue to unpack the options available for the implementation of the contributions in Africa

It is also geared at addressing the missing links for enhanced uptake and use of Climate Information and Services into development planning, policy and practice in Africa, including sectoral contributions as well as understand the various options to finance climate action, including the modalities for unlocking available and new forms of climate finance.

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Institutional reform is a key intervention towards ensuring the resilience of African economies and the livelihoods of communities, says the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

 According to James Murombedzi, Officer-in-Charge of ACPC, communities have long practiced many adaptation strategies and devised many viable responses to changing conditions.

 “However, there are limits to how well communities can continue to practice adaptive livelihoods in the context of a changing climate. They need the support of an enabling environment created by government-planned adaptation,” he observed.

 He was addressing a forum on climate governance preceding the Seventh Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA-VII) in Nairobi, Kenya.

 The Conference comes on the heels of the IPCC report on Global Warming of 1.5oC which says the world is heading towards catastrophe if immediate action is not taken to halt greenhouse gas emissions.

 “We have adequate knowledge of the causes of global warming, and the science is conclusive. There is no room for climate deniers in this discourse,” said James Murombedzi. “However, the inaction that we have seen is not because there is insufficient knowledge or technology or finance. We have enough of these to be able to change the way in which we produce, distribute and consume goods and services”

 The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirms what the impacts of climate change that African is already experiencing.

Mithika Mwenda of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) said the implementation of climate policies remains crucial.

 “The successful implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), a set of actions each country has committed under Paris Agreement to combat climate change, will be determined by the policy and legal frameworks which will be laid down by individual countries,” he noted.

 African economies and communities are generally dependent on natural resources. The use and management of these natural resources also tends to be characterized by institutional structures which are poor, making them vulnerable to climate extremes.

 CCDA-VII will focus on mobilizing action towards the achievement of the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

 The ACPC, through the ClimDev Africa initiative, is already exploring the climate governance prospects for Africa structural transformation towards achieving the aspirations of Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 “Climate change is cross cutting. It affects every aspect of life, and our ability to achieve the SDGs or indeed any of the aspirations of agenda 2063 is constrained by climate change. Because of its cross cutting nature, climate governance is complex. It requires the participation of multiple stakeholders, with sometimes conflicting interests” said James.

With the support of DfID, the ACPC is also implementing the Weather and Climate Information Services (WISER) which seeks to promote the production and use of climate information, and contributes to building the capacities of hydrological and meteorological authorities across the continent.

 The ACPC has also developed a five year programme which seeks to support African countries in building resilient infrastructure and economies.

 Climate finance is however a major constraint to climate action.

 The ACPC posits that “if local governments access decentralized climate finance, they should be empowered to disburse these climate funds for investment in priorities chosen with communities for adapting to climate change”.

The International community has been reacting positively to the just released report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calling for urgent actions to save the planet from worsening climate disasters.

 Environment actors say the long-awaited special report on global warming of 1.5C is expected to bring urgency to the upcoming climate talks.

"We need urgent action and the report is  timely enough" says Mithika Mwenda, SG of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, PACJA, co-organisers of the seventh Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa  October 10-12, 2018.

The  IPCC report confirms that limiting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C would be significantly better than breaching the 2°C threshold, supporting calls for a definitive stop to fossil fuel use and a rapid transition to energy systems based on 100% renewable energy.

Reacting to the IPPC report, the secretariat of the UN Climate Change, UNFCCC welcomes the call that  will unlock practical actions and contributions towards the Paris Agreement’s goals, noting that governments have set a deadline for themselves to finalise the agreement’s implementation guidelines at the annual UN Climate Change Conference this December in Katowice, Poland.

“These guidelines will build trust by ensuring transparency. They will enable each country to act and contribute, they will allow all of us to see what each country is doing, and they will allow us to have full clarity on the provision of support, especially climate finance now and in the long-term,” UNFCCC secretariat said in an October 8,2018 press release.

Officials of the World Meteorological  Organisation have saluted the report calling on different governments and other actors to act fast.

“ There is need to act fast to save the world from worsening climate disasters,” says Petri Taalas of the World Meteorological Organisation.

The report calls on the need to stop fossil fuel extraction and redirect resources on renewable energy.

 “The science in the IPCC report on 1.5°C speaks for itself. Staying under 1.5ºC is now a matter of political will. Burying our heads in the sand cannot be contemplated as an option any longer. The climate crisis is here and already impacting the most vulnerable and the least responsible for creating it. The only way to achieve it is to stop all fossil fuel extraction and redirect the massive resources currently spent on the fossil fuel economy towards the renewable energy transition”.

Apolos Nwafor of OXFAM international says, ” there is need to speed up finances to carry out actions that will benefit of our children, the farmers and many others impacted by the growing effects of climate change.”

Communities worldwide are already resisting fossil fuel development and calling for a deep transformation of our energy systems and economies. Some of these stories of resistance can be found in the newly released People’s Dossier on 1.5°C.

 The Dossier puts faces and voices onto the facts and data provided by the IPCC special report. It contains the stories of 13 communities fighting on the frontlines of climate change: from young Pacific Islanders trying to stop the Adani mega-mine to fishermen communities in Africa battling against new coal plants; from the struggle to stop a gigantic gas pipeline among the olive groves of Southern Italy to the landowners and Native Americans putting solar panels on the route of the Keystone XL pipeline.

 350.org  also lauded the report indicating in a release that its activists will also launch a globally coordinated delivery of copies of the IPCC report, demanding that all institutions withdraw their support from the fossil fuel industry and stand up to them before it’s too late.

The IPCC report explores in detail the impacts of a world 1.5°C warmer than pre-industrial levels and the feasibility of avoiding greater increases in temperature, while current national plans -if implemented - are only consistent with a world over 3°C warmer.

Keeping the world from warming over 1.5°C will prevent considerable disruption to all of the Earth’s systems and allow for some ecosystems to partially recover from climate change after 2100,  knowing that 20% to 30% of emitted CO2 will remain in the atmosphere for a time ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand years.

The 1.5°C target is feasible, provided enough economic resources are invested early enough to dramatically accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuels and the uptake of renewable energy and energy saving technologies across the board. Within the next decade or so, we will need to radically change the way we build our houses, move from one place to another and grow our food.

As development stakeholders meet in Kenya for the seventh Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa, it is expected that the report is a clear call to drive  Africa’s nationally determined contributions and define actionable agendas regarding them as proposed by Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) programme.

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