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BONN, Germany (PAMACC News) - There is no agreed definition of "Loss and damage" in the international climate negotiations. However, according to Climate Promise, the term can refer to the unavoidable impacts of climate change that occur despite, or in the absence of, mitigation and adaptation. Importantly, it highlights that there are limits to what adaptation can accomplish; when tipping point thresholds are crossed, climate change impacts can become unavoidable. Loss and damage can refer to both economic and non-economic losses. Economic loss and damage can include costs of rebuilding infrastructure that has repeatedly been damaged due to cyclones or floods or the loss of coastline land (and homes and businesses) due to sea-level rise and coastal erosion. Non-economic loss and damage include negative impacts that are not easily assigned a monetary value. This can include trauma from experiencing a climate-related natural disaster, loss of life, the displacement of communities, loss of history and culture or loss of biodiversity. It must be stated that such extreme climate-related events have become more frequent and intense in recent years. A more recent example is Cyclone Freddy, which hit Southern Africa in February and March 2023 and was scientifically described as record-breaking in strength, length, and resurgence. It left over 1.5 million people displaced in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. In Malawi alone, Cyclone Freddy, which was also exceptionally one of the long-lived storms that traversed the southern Indian Ocean for more than five weeks, killed over 1000 people. Freddy is both the longest-lasting and highest-ACE-producing tropical cyclone ever recorded worldwide. In support of vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters, a landmark decision on loss and damage funding was agreed at the 27th session of the Conference of Parties (COP27) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). “This outcome moves us forward,” said Simon Stiell, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary at the COP27 closing plenary. “We have determined a way forward on a decades-long conversation on funding for loss and damage – deliberating over how we address the impacts on communities whose lives and livelihoods have been ruined by the very worst impacts of climate change.” Governments took the ground-breaking decision to establish new funding arrangements, as well as a dedicated fund, to assist developing countries in responding to loss and damage. Parties also agreed to establish a ‘Transitional Committee’ to make recommendations on operationalising both the new funding arrangements and the fund at COP28, later this year. The said Transitional Committee on the operationalisation of the new funding arrangements and the fund was established, to make recommendations for consideration and adoption at COP 28. At the Bonn Climate Conference of the Subsidiary Bodies (SB58) currently taking place, Parties are deliberating on critical issues for this vital agenda item, and the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN) has made its stance clear. “The Africa Group underlines the significance of the outcome of the Glasgow Dialogue for informing the recommendations of the Transitional Committee to the COP on the…
BONN, Germany (PAMACC News) - The Climate Change envoy to the President of Kenya has asked Kenya’s and by extension Africa’s negotiators at the ongoing climate conference in Bonn, Germany not to put much emphasis on financing of the Loss and Damage kitty, but instead calls for fairness and equity. “Loss and damage remains an important issue, we hope it will be operationalised in Dubai, but whatever amount that may go to the kitty, will not take us anywhere as a global community,” Ali Mohamed, who advises the President on matters climate change told the Kenya’s delegation in Bonn, shortly after President William Ruto demanded that COP-28 be the last round of global negotiations on climate change. The Loss and Damage funding is an agreement reached upon during the 27th round of climate negotiations in Egypt to support vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters that include cyclones, floods, severe droughts, landslides, heat waves among others. During the opening ceremony of the UN Habitat Assembly in Nairobi, President Ruto said that it is possible to stop the conversation and the negotiation between North and the South because “climate change is not a North/South problem, it is not about fossil fuel verses green energy problem, it is a problem that we can sort out all of us if we came together,” said Ruto, the current Chair of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC). According to Ruto, it is possible (for African negotiators) to agree on a framework that will bring everybody on board for the continent to go to COP28 with a clear mind on what should be done, and how Africa and the global South can work with the global North, not as adversaries, but as partners to resolve the climate crisis and present an opportunity to have a win-win outcome that has no finger pointing. In Bonn, Mohamed, who is also the formwe Permanent Secretary (PS) for the Ministry of Environment and Forestry told the Kenya’s negotiators that as Africans, there is need to raise voices and call for a new global architecture and a new way of doing things. He gave an example of the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) during the period of COVID-19, where Europe, which has a population of 500 million people, received over 40 percent, while the entire African continent with a population of 1.2 billion people received a paltry five percent of the total funds. “This kind of unfairness is what President Ruto wants to take forward and say it is no longer tenable in the new world order,” said Mohamed, who is vying to become the next Chair of the Africa Group of Negotiators (AGN) for the next three years. The SDR is an interest-bearing international reserve asset that supplements other reserve assets of member countries. Rather than a currency, it is a claim on the freely useable currencies of International Monetary Fund (IMF) members. He also gave an example of Berlin wall, which fell in…
BONN, Germany (PAMACC News) - African civil society organisations attending the ongoing climate change conference in Bonn, Germany have called on developed countries to demonstrate leadership and courage in tackling the climate crisis that threatens the common future of humanity and the entire ecosystem. Led by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), the activists drawn from different organisations from across Africa reminded the Parties to the UNFCCC of their moral and legal obligations to protect the planet and its people from the existential threat of global warming. “Africa is at the frontline of climate crisis. We are experiencing the worst effects of a problem that we did not create. Our communities are facing severe water scarcity, crop failures, malnutrition, diseases, displacement, conflicts, heat waves and loss of lives due to climate change. Our natural resources and ecosystems are under immense pressure from climate change and other human activities,” said Dr Mithika Mwenda, the Executive Director – PACJA. “We are not here to ask for charity or sympathy,” he told delegates during the first civil society briefing in Bonn. “It is far from that, we are here to demand justice and equity; to demand that the Parties, especially from the North, should stop procrastination; to call on them to listen to the voices of the people, especially those who are most vulnerable and marginalized, and to act following the best available science and the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities,” said Mwenda. Below are the demands as articulated by the team in Bonn: That all Parties cooperate in good faith and in a spirit of solidarity to reach credible progress in the conference. The time for delay and excuses is over. The world is watching and expecting concrete results, and we cannot afford to fail. That big polluters increase their mitigation ambition and announce enhanced nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that are consistent with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement and reflect their fair share of the global effort. The current NDCs are insufficient to close the emissions gap and put the world on a safe, ecologically-just and sustainable pathway. This requires Developed country Parties demonstrate leadership and responsibility by reducing their emissions at source and in providing adequate support to developing countries for their mitigation actions. These countries have a historical and moral obligation to assist developing countries in their transition to low- carbon development and to compensate them for the loss and damage caused by climate change. That developed countries take urgent and concrete actions to increase their needs –based adaptation finance for Africa. We urge them to commit to a clear and transparent roadmap for scaling up their support and to ensure that at least 50% of the climate finance provided by developed countries is allocated to adaptation and inform of grants. We stress that this is a matter of justice and equity, as Africa is the most vulnerable region to the impacts of climate change, despite contributing the least to its causes. We also…
Abidjan, 5 June 2023 - Individuals, communities, civil society, businesses and governments around the world today marked World Environment Day with a focus on solutions to plastic pollution, with official celebrations held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, with the support of the Netherlands. The focus on solutions to plastic pollution this World Environment Day is particularly timely, following the recent conclusion of a second round of negotiations on a global agreement to end plastic pollution in France. 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of World Environment Day, after it was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. Over the past five decades, with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) at the helm, the day has grown to be one of the largest global platforms for environmental outreach. Tens of millions of people participate online and through in-person activities, events and actions around the world. “Plastic is made from fossil fuels – the more plastic we produce, the more fossil fuel we burn, and the worse we make the climate crisis. But we have solutions,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in his World Environment Day message. “We must work as one – governments, companies, and consumers alike – to break our addiction to plastics, champion zero waste, and build a truly circular economy.” Speaking at the official event at Espace Latrille Events Deux Plateaux in Abidjan, Mr. Jean-Luc Assi, Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, said: “Côte d'Ivoire issued a decree in 2013 banning the production, import and marketing, possession and use of plastic bags. It has supported businesses in switching to reusable and biodegradable packaging. The country's largest city, Abidjan, has also become a hub for start-ups looking to beat plastic pollution. They are being encouraged. So let's all be aware of the need to combat plastic pollution. Let's act now and all say stop to plastic pollution.” “World Environment Day helps to highlight the urgent challenges we currently face. Challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. Plastic pollution touches on all three of those challenges,” noted Vivianne Heijnen, Netherlands’ Minister for the Environment. “It’s crucial that we continue raising awareness, collecting best practices, and ensuring commitment from all stakeholders. I hope that this edition of World Environment Day will prove to be a landmark event in our collective fight to beat plastic pollution.” Humanity produces over 430 million tonnes of plastic annually, two-thirds of which are short-lived products that soon become waste. While the social and economic costs of plastic pollution range between $US300 to US$600 billion per year. According to a recent UNEP report, Turning off the Tap, plastic pollution could reduce by 80 per cent by 2040 if countries and companies make deep policy and market shifts using existing technologies. “For the sake of the planet’s health, for the sake of our health, for the sake of our prosperity, we must end plastic pollution. This will take nothing less than a complete redesign of how we produce, use, recover and dispose of plastics and products…
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