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NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Kenya is a global player often leading part in various international discussions linked to the pressing issues of climate change and sustainable development. The country has its long-term development blueprint’s social, political and economic pillars (Vision 2030) aligned with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2016, Kenya also ratified the Paris Agreement and submitted a very ambitious commitment of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by the year 2030.In the end, however, success in achieving Vision 2030, the SDGs and living up to the commitments of the Paris Agreement will require a transition to a more equal, socially just, and ecologically sustainable economic model. This model would also have to consider global trends such as digitalisation and automation, which will a profound impact on the kind of jobs that Kenya will create in order to position itself competitively within the region and globally.Climate change crisis and the transition to low carbon, climate-resilient futureIn its climate change policies, plans, and programmes and as part of its commitment to the Paris Agreement, Kenya aims to achieve a low carbon, climate-resilient development pathway. Both the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement and the SDGs emphasize the inevitability of a shift toward a sustainable, net zero-carbon future for all. One of the country’s climate change mitigation strategies is to expand geothermal, solar, wind energy, and other renewable and clean energy options, to align its development agenda with the aspirations of the frameworks. The energy sector, for example, is a key economic driver and it is also responsible for contributing a significant proportion of the carbon emissions, and therefore must be at the centre of such an extensive shift.Kenya has promising potential for power generation from renewable energy sources as the installed capacity consists of 70% renewable sources, with enormous potential to expand that base. The abundant sources of solar, hydro, wind, biomass and geothermal resources have led the government to seek the expansion of renewable energy generation. The expansion will lead to vast disruptions owing to the need for technological transformation and also to account for changes in use of resources such as land. One of the major challenges the country will face is that of enabling a low carbon economy that delivers poverty reduction and climate resilience simultaneously. Although this presents a social and technical challenge of staggering proportions, thinking about who sets the terms of transition raises key political questions about the role of actors, interests, and institutions as they seek to advance competing energy pathways and associated technologies. In July, 2019, the country launched one of Africa’s biggest wind power plant in Loiyangalani, Turkana that will deliver 310 megawatts of renewable energy to the national grid, effectively slashing power costs for consumers. By 2030, the goal is to expand geothermal power production to 5,530 megawatts (or 26% of total capacity), making it Kenya's largest source of clean energy. This transition will also come with new energy technologies and it is also expected that renewable energy…
MADRID, Spain (PAMACC News) - As the 25th Conference of the Parties (COP25) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) enters its fifth day, representatives from a global coalition delivered a resounding call to governments to hold polluting industries liable and make them pay for the damage they’ve knowingly caused and for real climate solutions. The call comes just two months after the coalition was launched at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in New York City. Participating organizations and signatories hail from more than 63 countries including Bolivia, The Philippines, and Nigeria. Fossil fuel industry liability is a growing area of focus for climate experts, academics and governments alike as the industry’s long history of denial and the link between industry emissions and climate impacts becomes more evidenced. From U.S. states to Vanuatu to Peru, elected officials and people are exploring holding the fossil fuel industry liable for its long history of deceit and environmental destruction. Earlier this year, the European Parliament held a hearing investigating Exxon’s attempts to mislead the public. The Philippines’ commission on human rights is considering the fossil fuel industry’s responsibility for human rights violations in connection to climate change. And in Peru, a farmer is suing a German utility for its role in the crisis harming his livelihood. In the United States, the climate plans of numerous presidential candidates include taking steps to hold the industry liable. And industry attempts to preempt accountability at the city and national level have consistent failed to gain support. A landmark case against Exxon Mobil in New York State is expected to be decided in the next few weeks.Quotes “People and governments are already taking steps to hold Big Polluters like the fossil fuel industry liable around the world. The next step is for decisionmakers, including those at the UNFCCC, to get on board and hold polluting industries liable for the damage they've knowingly caused, and use the finance to fund the real solutions the world needs,”,” said Sriram Madhusoodanan of Corporate Accountability, “Big Polluters are most responsible for this crisis and must be made to pay for the damages, loss of life, and climate doubt their operations have knowingly created.”“The world’s climate culprits are increasingly being brought to court, signaling the beginning of a global boom in climate justice,” said Jean Su, energy director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The evidence can’t be any clearer that big polluters have known their dirty fossil fuels are cooking the planet. We’re urging all world leaders to hold these corporations accountable once and for all.” “This year’s climate talks are a crucial opportunity to hold polluting industries accountable for the climate crisis, especially the 100 fossil fuel companies that are responsible for 71% of greenhouse gas emissions since 1988. Citizens around the world are rising up to demand climate action, to demand an end to the immense suffering global temperatures are already causing in the Global South. The dirty fossil fuel party is over,” said Harjeet…
MADRID, Spain2 (PAMACC News) – African civil society organisations are pressing for a decision at the Chile Climate Change Summit taking place in Madrid, Spain, (COP 25) that recognizes the special circumstances and needs of the continent, which is among the hardest hit and the least prepared for the adverse impacts of climate change. Among other things, current projections show that the continent will warm 1.5 times faster than the global mean. In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) revealed in its Special Report that parts of Africa are already experiencing 2-degreewarming, higher than 1.50as previously estimated. Regions in Africa within 15 degrees of the equator are projected to experience an increase in hot nights as well as longer and more frequent heatwaves, according to the UNFCCC Secretariat. Climate change impacts will, therefore, affect Africa more than every other region of the world, even if ambitious targets to limit global mean temperature rise at 2 or 1.5 degrees are met. This raises a justice and equity question since Africa only contributes less than 4% of global emissions and does not benefit from the resources of the energy-intensive economic development typical of rich countries. “We cannot be treated like other regions,”says Dr Mithika Mwenda, Executive Director of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, the leading voice on climate justice in Africa. “Without substantial support, Africa will not only be unable to cope with the devastation of climate change but will be unable to contribute its share in addressing the problem.” Demands for a special status for Africa first emerged in 2015 during COP 21 in Paris, where African ministers of environment tabled the issue for considerations unsuccessfully. Informal consultations continued until COP24in Katowice, Poland, last year.The question of a special status for Africa is finally on the COP 25 agenda. “We believe this is a great opportunity to recognize that Africa is a special case requiring special attention to enable us collectively deal with the climate emergency,” says Augustine B. Njamnshi, chair of the political committee at PACJA. “We call on parties to take a decision recognising these special circumstances and the needs that go with them in terms of finance, emergency response and technology development. Recognising the special circumstances and hence special needs of Africa will lead to finding solutions to ensure that Africa has the support it needs to effectively implement the Paris Agreement.” Africa’s demand to be considered as a special case is supported by science, says Prof Seth Osafo, legal adviser of the president of the African Group of Negotiators. “The IPCC special report [2018] identifies clearly that Africa continues to be the most vulnerable region to the impacts of climate change. Last year, the cyclone (Idai) that hit southeast Africa caused serious destructions and the affected countries (Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe) and still suffering as a result of this. “Floods have increased in many parts of Africa and weather patterns have completely changed. We believe that Africa needs support, not only in terms of…
NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - A new dawn is here. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD) has been renamed the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD). The rationale behind the establishment of the African Union Development Agency is to ensure that it acts as a vehicle for the better execution of the African Union Agenda 2063, a 50 year common continental strategic framework to promote inclusive growth and support sustainable development by the year 2063. “The transformation from NEPAD Agency to AUDA-NEPAD will be showcased from the start, in the difference we will be making through our new mandate…We embrace this transformation and I have full confidence that we are all ready for the task at hand,” says Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, AUDA-NEPAD Agency CEO. With a renewed mandate to coordinate and execute priority regional and continental projects to promote regional integration towards the accelerated realisation of Agenda 2063,the Agency is not losing sight of the importance of sustainable environmental management and optimum utilisation of natural resources as a central pillar for Africa’s economic transformation. “Since its creation, we have constantly integrated into each of our programmes, the sustainability and protection of our biodiversity. Since October 2001, with the launch of the Environment Initiative, mechanisms have been put in place to combat global warming, such as combating land degradation, wetland conservation, the sustainable conservation and use of marine and coastal resources, and the cross-border conservation and management of natural resources,” explains Dr. Mayaki. As Dr. Mayaki puts it, the NEPAD’s founding framework and Environment Action Plan clearly recognisesa sustainable environment as a pre-requisite to achieving the continent’s overall goal of sustainable growth and development. It is worth noting therefore that this design is largely driven by the fact that African countries’ economies are agrarian in nature, heavily relying on natural resources sensitive sectors for growth. As part of its core mandate, the AUDA-NEPAD contributes to strengthening the ability of member States and Regional Economic Communities to integrate climate change and sustainable development responses into national development processes. It has also been key in the provision of capacity building, financial and technical support in the areas of adaptation, technology development and finance; and their inter-linkages. Concerning natural resources management, the Agency has been instrumental in promoting adaptive management, participatory decision making and sustainable financing through funds for ecosystems services management including tourism development and management. One example of such initiatives is the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) which responds to the African Union mandate to bring 100 million hectares of degraded land into restoration by 2030, as expressed in the political declaration endorsed by the Africa Union in October 2015 for the creation of the umbrella Africa Resilient Landscapes Initiative (ARLI). It complements the African Landscapes Action Plan (ALAP) and the broader Climate Change, Biodiversity and Land Degradation (LDBA) programme of the African Union. AFR100 contributes to the achievement of domestic restoration and sustainable development commitments, among many other targets. The initiative directly contributes to the Sustainable…
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