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PAMACC News - Hurricane Beryl’s trail of destruction in the Caribbean reinforces the need for the newly created loss and damage fund to be able to respond quickly to climate disasters. It also highlights the importance of more effective long-term support for small countries on the frontline of the climate crisis, so they don’t spiral further into unsustainable levels of debt. Like Africa, countries such as Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada have suffered tragic losses from the hurricane – the earliest Category 5 storm on record for the Atlantic. While it’s too early to put a value on the destruction, a disaster like this has the potential to wipe out a significant portion of an individual country’s annual economic output. At last year’s COP28 climate talks in Dubai world leaders celebrated the operational phase of the loss and damage fund, although the design is yet to be finalised. Beryl has given a visceral demonstration of why administrators must be nimble, providing easy access to support in the lead up to – and aftermath of – these kinds of disasters. In Beryl’s case, official warnings issued a week ago predicted its path through parts of the Caribbean. In reality though, there needs to be a significant investment in long-term measures to help frontline communities prepare for these disasters. International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) principal researcher, Ritu Bharadwaj, said: “Hurricane Beryl is a brutal example of what loss and damage looks like. “The immediate damage bill will be immense, but there will also be a significant long-term economic cost because of the time it will take to rebuild. And we’re just at the start of this year’s hurricane season. “Getting the design of the loss and damage fund right will be critical to anticipating and responding to these kinds of disasters in the future. “The international community needs to ensure that Hurricane Beryl and future storms don’t compound the debt burden facing many small island states.” IIED has advocated for several measures to ensure the loss and damage fund is nimble enough to respond to major climate disasters, including immediate help for affected communities along with support for longer-term resilience. In May, the leaders of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) endorsed a plan aimed at alleviating crippling levels of debt while also building economic protections. Part of the plan involves parametric insurance and pooling risk, so that individual countries are not overwhelmed each time a climate-related disaster strikes. IIED has developed a toolkit to help measure the readiness of a country's existing social protection programmes to deliver climate resilience.
BONN, Germany (PAMACC News) - As the technical session of the global climate negotiations enter into the final stretch in Bonn, Germany, climate activists from Africa have expressed fears that negotiators from the developed world are dragging their feet in a way to avoid paying their fair share to tackle the climate crisis. “I think we will be unfair to the snail if we said that the Bonn talks have all along moved at a snail pace,” quipped Mohammed Adow, the Director, Power Shift Africa. “Ideally, there will be no climate action anywhere without climate finance. Yet what we have seen, is that developed countries are frustrating the process, blocking the UAE annual dialogues, which were agreed upon last year in Dubai, to focus on delivery of finance so as to give confidence to developing countries to implement climate actions,” said Adow. According to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Arab Emirates (UAE) dialogue was created to focus on climate finance in relation to implementing the first Global Stoke Take (GST-1) outcomes, with the rationale of serving as a follow up mechanism dedicated to climate finance, ensuring response to and/or monitoring of, as may be appropriate and necessary, all climate finance items under the GST The two week Bonn technical session of Subsidiary Bodies (SB60) was expected to develop an infrastructure for the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG), a climate change funding mechanism to raise the floor of climate finance for developing countries above the current $100 billion annual target. In 2009 during the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) of the UNFCCC in Copenhagen, developed countries agreed that by 2020, they would collectively mobilize $100 billion per year to support priorities for developing countries in terms of adaptation to climate crisis, loss and damage, just energy transition and climate change mitigation. When parties endorsed the Paris Agreement at COP 21 in 2015, they found it wise to set up the NCQG, which has to be implemented at the forthcoming COP 29, whose agenda has to be set at the SB60 in Bonn, providing scientific and technological advice, thereby shaping negotiations in Azerbaijan. However, activists feel that the agenda being set in Bonn is likely going to undermine key outcomes of previous negotiations especially on climate finance. “We came to Bonn with renewed hope that the NCQG discussions will be honest and frank with all parties committed to seeing that the finance mechanism will be based on the priorities and needs of developing country and support country-driven strategies, with a focus on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs),” said Memory Zonde-Kachambwa, the Executive Director, FEMNET. “Seeing devastation climate change is causing in our countries in terms of floods, storms, droughts among others calamities, it was our hope that the rich countries will be eager and willing to indicate the Quantum as per article 9.5 of the Paris Agreement so as to allow developing countries plan their climate action,” she said. So far, negotiators from…
NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Ahead of the Africa Fertiliser Soil Health and summit scheduled to take place in Nairobi, a leading soil scientist has advised African farmers to consider and scale up use of Integrated Soil Fertility Management approach with focus on return on investment. Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) involves soil management practices that comprise use of fertiliser, organic inputs and improved germ-plasm with focus on sound agronomic principles which according to the scientist, “can change lives of millions of smallholder farming communities in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Dr George Oduor, a Soil Scientist and former research consultant at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). “There is need for governments in different parts of the continent to develop locally responsive tools that can advise the farmer on how to combine different organic and inorganic fertilisers, how and when to intercrop with legumes for nitrogen fixation, and what crops to prioritise in different agroecological zones,” said Dr Oduor. During the Africa Fertiliser and Soil Health (AFSH) summit, government leaders including African Heads of States and Governments, Scientists, representatives from the Civil Society Organisations and the Private Sector will be discussing means of rejuvenating the health of African soils through a theme ‘Listen to the Land’ so as to prevent further deterioration for increased agricultural output and ultimately continental food security. Similar discourses have seen Kenya, among other African countries commit to different continental agreements such as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), which is Africa’s policy framework for agricultural transformation that was created in Maputo in 2003 and strengthened through the Malabo Declaration in 2014 where leaders committed to prioritize food security and nutrition, economic growth and prosperity in Africa. These commitments were further reinforced through the development of Africa’s common position on food systems, to help deliver on targets of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 which seeks to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. The AFSH therefore seeks to evaluate the state of Africa’s soil health, while reviewing the progress made since previous commitments including the 2006 Abuja Declaration, through which African leaders committed to boost fertiliser use for agricultural growth and continental food security. Though fertilizer consumption in Africa remains low, with farmers applying about 18kg/ha against the 50kg/ha target, researchers have discovered that agricultural land in high rainfall areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, where crop production used to be reliable, are affected by soil acidity. “When soils are too acidic, then fertiliser nutrients will not be available for the plant, even if the farmer applied higher quantities of the input,” said Dr Oduor. “Such acidic conditions must be corrected by use of lime to raise the pH level,” he said. So far, scientists from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia are already working on a study to address knowledge gaps related to acidic soil, which is increasingly becoming a challenge for food productivity in the four Eastern Africa countries through a project known as Guiding Acid Soil Management Investments in Africa…
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (PAMACC News) - A carbon taxation regime covering carbon tax on fossil fuel, maritime transport, and aviation could generate additional funds to support the Africa energy transition, says Claver Gatete, Executive Secretary at UNECA. “If combined with other policy measures, carbon tax could help to mitigate those residual emissions that cannot be addressed by carbon credit markets or subsidies and technologies. Such a tax could allow countries to improve responses to their commitments to contribute to reducing climate instability,” he said during a dialogue on carbon markets and development held on the sidelines of the tenth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD-10) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In reference to ECA’s preliminary studies in exploring to benefits of carbon tax, Mr. Gatete noted that carbon tax in the global supply chains could allow countries like Egypt and Ethiopia to reap substantial revenues that could be reallocated to research and development in the aviation and marine transports. ECA studies also indicate that investing in nature-based solutions in African countries could generate up to US$82 billion annually at a price of US$120/tCO2 equivalent. “Renewable energy and carbon sinks from forests and other ecosystems are indeed a great potential that countries should harness to generate additional revenues and support the ongoing efforts to build climate- and disaster-resilient green and blue economies. This would enable the countries to make more progress towards their sustainability goals,” said Mr. Gatete. Highlighting the importance of decarbonizing economies and expanding revenue streams through clean energy, Albert Muchanga, Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining at the African Union Commission said, decarbonizing economies through carbon taxation is crucial to address climate crisis. However, this requires strong engagement with stakeholders at national and global level is necessary for success. “African economies are small and fragmented, integrating them together is necessary for a unified approach to promote a green transition across the continent,” said Mr. Muchanga. Discussions at the dialogue session focused on the four themes of carbon markets: voluntary carbon markets, compliance carbon markets, Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, and carbon tax markets. Experts underscored that relying solely on carbon credit trading is insufficient and that fair negotiations and resource allocation to address development disparities effectively is necessary. In her contribution to the discussion, Ahunna Eziakonwa, Regional Director, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said climate carbon credits have the potential to address the financial challenges the continent is facing but favourable deals and ensuring resources are directed towards development initiatives are crucial to ensure that climate action in Africa is effective and sustainable. “Beyond just understanding the carbon market space and carbon credits, there is need for experts to advise governments on the different options available to Africa and help them understand the opportunities presented by carbon markets as a source of development financing and how they function,” said Ms. Eziakonwa adding that this will require strong engagement with producers, consumers, investors, and many other stakeholders. “Implementing the carbon tax requires evidence-based analysis and engagement…
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