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Sham El Sheikh, Egypt (PAMACC News) - The African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN) has re-affirmed its commitment to Africa’s climate and development aspirations. Addressing a high-level stakeholder post-COP28 meeting taking place on the margins of the African Union (AU) summit, AGN Interim Chair, Alick Muvundika said the group will continue to represent and defend Africa’s priorities and aspirations in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) multilateral processes. Dr. Muvundika said the AGN stands ready and eager to continue receiving guidance from the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) and the Committee of African Union Heads of State on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) to ensure that the continent’s climate interests are safeguarded. He cited the historic establishment and operationalisation of the loss and damage fund at COP27 and COP28 respectively, as an outstanding outcome where the AGN was a key player in reaching the decision and ensured that Africa’s interests were well articulated. “As we start the year, looking back at COP28 and planning for 2024, I wish to re-affirm our commitment to the continent’s cause. The group, guided by AMCEN and CAHOSCC, has in the presented Africa, and remain a strong and united group of technical negotiators ready to safeguard and defend Africa’s interests in the UNFCCC processes,” said Dr. Muvundika. “As always, we remain committed to the guidance of our policy makers at the level of the AMCEN and CAHOSCC to ensure that we keep in tune with relevant policies guiding the continent’s development agenda.” The AGN Interim Chair highlighted key decisions from COP28 which include; operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund where; operationalisation of the Global goal on adaptation; the first Global Stocktake (GST); and the Just Transition Pathways work programme. In highlighting the multifaceted nature of climate change and its impacts on various sectors most African countries, Dr. Muvundika said the group is looking at innovative ways of how to constantly engage and enhance synergies between climate negotiators and policy makers from the environment sector and other climate sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water and health among others. “Climate change is a development issue beyond the environment sector. For example, climate impacts on health and agriculture have widely been articulated. For the first time, we had a health day at COP28 where climate and health issues were discussed. As negotiators, we therefore need innovative approaches to engage with these climate sensitive sectors in order to expand not only our own understanding but also be of support to the entire development spectrum which is impacted by climate change,” said Dr. Muvundika as he addressed the AGN LC post-COP28 meeting in Sham el Sheikh, Egypt, supported by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Egypt. Speaking during the same meeting, UNDP Egypt Resident Representative, Alessandro Fracassetti, highlighted the importance of partnerships and lauded the existing partnership between UNDP and the Egyptian government, and by extension, the AGN. “I would like to take a moment to highlight the fruitful partnership between UNDP and the COP27…
DUBAI, UAE (PAMACC News) - Vice President Kamala Harris was in Dubai at the UN climate summit last weekend, touting America’s climate leadership in front of hundreds of country leaders. Indeed, the Biden-Harris administration has taken some impressive steps, committing to halve emissions of climate-wrecking pollution by 2030, and backing that up with the most significant climate legislation in the nation’s history, the Inflation Reduction Act. Yet, one pivotal piece was glaringly absent from her remarks: any commitment to cut fossil fuels, the root cause of the climate crisis. President Biden must match his prowess for promoting clean energy with an equally ambitious plan for curbing America’s fossil fuel production. As the world’s largest and most powerful economy, the U.S. can’t simultaneously remain its biggest oil and gas producer and be an effective climate leader on the global stage. The posture is untenable — and the math doesn’t add up. This year, the U.S. experienced a record 25 climate-connected weather disasters that each exceeded $1 billion in damage and killed nearly 400 Americans combined. Despite that grim milestone, a recent United Nations report found that our country plans to produce more oil and gas in 2030 than at any time in its history — the same fuels driving these disasters. This projection flies in the face of the White House’s stated desire to slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and convince other nations to do the same. Even as the world transitions to clean energy, some fossil fuels will continue to be used for decades. Given that reality, U.S. fossil fuel executives and their allies argue that America might as well supply this fuel by increasing oil and gas exports even while we work toward reducing domestic consumption. The problem is that every major energy producer in the world has the same idea. The UN report shows that, taken together, government plans would result in global oil and gas production exceeding current levels until at least 2050. Should that much fossil fuel be produced, energy companies and markets would be expected to ensure that demand matches the supply — an outcome that would blow past agreed global temperature limits. The U.S. can only seriously address climate change by rapidly cutting both fossil fuel demand and fossil fuel supply to zero, or at least near enough to zero, so that the remaining carbon dioxide emissions can be captured. Yet, while carbon capture technology may have a limited role to play, it is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for fossil fuel producers. The International Energy Agency estimates that out of the 15 billion tons of emissions reductions needed by 2030, only 1 billion could be expected to be achieved through carbon capture. Biden has an admirable record to build upon in expanding clean energy production. Clean energy investments totaled $213 billion nationwide from July 2022 to June 2023, and it’s estimated the Inflation Reduction Act will create 1.5 million more clean energy jobs by 2030. The law’s incentives will cut household energy bills and…
DUBAI, UAE (PAMACC News) - Climate finance supports various climate change mitigation and adaptation activities, as well as efforts to enable the transition towards low-carbon, climate-resilient development environment stakeholders have stated at COP28 in Dubai. The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, PACJA who joined other stakeholders to clamour for the doubling of adaptation finance by industrialized countries also hammered on the need for private sector finance as catalyst for green growth in Africa. “Mobilizing private sector financing for climate and green growth in Africa imperative. The should be crucial collaboration between banks and civil society to drive this agenda,” Mithika Mwenda, PACJA CEO said at side event relating to finance mobilization. He notes that the continent holds immense potential for sustainable development, calling on the need for stakeholders to work together to better achieve positive results Mithika also explored the pivotal role of civil society in driving meaningful change and stressing the importance of a united front for effective climate action. Despite its growing political commitment toward green growth and its rich natural capital endowment, the continent lags behind other regions on many green growth dimensions, in particular on the provision of green economic opportunities, participants at the side event said. Progress on efficient and sustainable resource use and on the promotion of social inclusion has not been sufficient to catch up with other world regions, it was noted. Thus the need to mobilize funds the meet these voids, it was resolved. According to a document by the African Development Bank, Africa will require about $1.3 trillion annually to meet its sustainable development needs by 203 and thus to achieve green growth. “Most of this finance is expected to be met through private finance. To meet these needs and given the current levels of public climate finance, private climate finance should increase by about 36 percent each year until 2030,” the document stated. Leaders attending this year’s global climate change conference in Dubai urged a more global response to the continent’s adaptation financing needs to tackle the impact of climate change and build resilience. Speaking during the Adaptation Finance Summit for Africa on the second day of the COP28, African leaders said climate adaptation funding, currently at 39% of all climate finance flows to Africa, must rapidly increase. “ The climate adaptation funding for Africa is quite insufficient. It’s the responsibility of funding institutions and governments to provide the needed funds,” Kenyan President William Ruto said. ‘’The Nairobi Declaration adopted by the African leaders in September reimagines Africa’s future as a thriving, resilient continent that embraces Climate-Positive Growth. The essence and ambition of APRA are encapsulated in this. We need a holistic approach that delivers on both climate and development priorities, tailored to our needs and communities. We need plans that account for all elements: starting with infrastructure, through policy and regulation to institutional and human capacity,” he declared. The high-level session also included Comoros President and African Union Chairman Azali Assoumani, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Senegalese President Macky…
Climate and health: building consensus on a unified approach for post COP28 ACTION By Friday Phiri DUBAI, UAE (PAMACC News) - It is often said that environment and health are two sides of the same coin. The interdependence between environment and health cannot be ignored anymore as scientific evidence keeps highlighting that a poorly managed environment is a recipe for an increased disease burden across the globe. For instance, it is a no brainer that poor sanitation is a leading cause of water borne-related diseases, just as the case is with increased antimicrobial resistance and cancers resulting from poor chemical and other hazardous waste management. In recognition of the interplay between health and the environment, environmental and health experts have been working collaboratively to promote the one health concept—an integrated and unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals and ecosystems. One health recognises that the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the wider environment (including ecosystems) are closely linked and interdependent. While health, food, water, energy and environment are all wider topics with sector-specific concerns, the collaboration across sectors and disciplines contributes to protect health, address health challenges such as the emergence of infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and food safety and promote the health and integrity of ecosystems. By linking humans, animals and the environment, One Health can help to address the full spectrum of disease control; from prevention to detection, preparedness, response and management – and contribute to global health security. The approach can be applied at the community, sub-national, national, regional and global levels, and relies on shared and effective governance, communication, collaboration and coordination. Having the One Health approach in place makes it easier for people to better understand the co-benefits, risks, trade-offs and opportunities to advance equitable and holistic solutions. As a consequence of poor environmental management, climate change has emerged as a major threat to global health,with the most vulnerable populations facing the greatest impact. Unfortunately, those who contribute least to the problem often suffer the most severe consequences. It is estimated that around 824 million people globally are malnourished, of which 58.7 million children are in Africa. Additionally, millions in Africa lack basic water and sanitation, leading to significant child mortality from diarrhoea.It is further estimated that58% ofinfectiousdiseasesgloballyhavebeenintensifiedbychanges in climate.This has ripple effects on public health, economy, environment, and education. The situation is predicted to worsen with rising global temperatures, threateningprogresstowardstheSustainableDevelopmentGoals (SDGs) and Universal Health Coverage. TheIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment report warns that climate change affects, both physical and mental health, and can exacerbate humanitarian crises, and recognises the need for action.Paragraph C.2 of the aforesaid report, states: “Deep, rapid and sustained mitigation and acceleratedimplementation of adaptation actions in this decade would reduce projected losses and damages forhumans and ecosystems, and deliver many co-benefits, especially for air quality and health.” Thus, several efforts are underway to integrate health into the formal UNFCCC discourse and to gain political traction on the…
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