Climate Change (204)


We, Heads of State, Government, and Delegations, gathered in Marrakech, on African soil, for the High-Level Segment of the 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the 12th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, and the 1st Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement, at the gracious invitation of His Majesty the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, issue this proclamation to signal a shift towards a new era of implementation and action on climate and sustainable development.
Our climate is warming at an alarming and unprecedented rate and we have an urgent duty to respond.
We welcome the Paris Agreement, adopted under the Convention, its rapid entry into force, with its ambitious goals, its inclusive nature and its reflection of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances, and we affirm our commitment to its full implementation.
Indeed, this year, we have seen extraordinary momentum on climate change worldwide, and in many multilateral fora. This momentum is irreversible – it is being driven not only by governments, but by science, business and global action of all types at all levels.
Our task now is to rapidly build on that momentum, together, moving forward purposefully to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to foster adaptation efforts, thereby benefiting and supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals.
We call for the highest political commitment to combat climate change, as a matter of urgent priority.

We call for strong solidarity with those countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and underscore the need to support efforts aimed to enhance their adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability.
We call for all Parties to strengthen and support efforts to eradicate poverty, ensure food security and to take stringent action to deal with climate change challenges in agriculture.

We call for urgently raising ambition and strengthening cooperation amongst ourselves to close the gap between current emissions trajectories and the pathway needed to meet the long-term temperature goals of the Paris Agreement.
We call for an increase in the volume, flow and access to finance for climate projects, alongside improved capacity and technology, including from developed to developing countries.
We the Developed Country Parties reaffirm our USD $100 billion mobilization goal.
We, unanimously, call for further climate action and support, well in advance of 2020, taking into account the specific needs and special circumstances of developing countries, the least developed countries and those particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change.
We who are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol encourage the ratification of the Doha Amendment.
We, collectively, call on all non-state actors to join us for immediate and ambitious action and mobilization, building on their important achievements, noting the many initiatives and the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action itself, launched in Marrakech.
The transition in our economies required to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement provides a substantial positive opportunity for increased prosperity and sustainable development.
The Marrakech Conference marks an important inflection point in our commitment to bring together the whole international community to tackle one of the greatest challenges of our time.
As we now turn towards implementation and action, we reiterate our resolve to inspire solidarity, hope and opportunity for current and future generations.

MARRAKECH, Morocco (PAMACC News) - Security experts have called on world leaders to address climate risk in their national, regional and international security planning.

Speaking at UN climate change conference in Marrakech in Morocco, they noted that climate change is already contributing to social upheaval and even violent conflict by making bad situations worse.

"It places stress on water, food and energy resources. It interacts with existing stresses like poverty, marginalisation, ethnic strife, resource stress and religious differences to drive instability. As competition for already scarce resources increases, climate change could halt or even reverse peace and development gains made over the past decade," said Retired Admiral Chris Barrie, Royal Australian Navy Honorary Professor, Strategic and Defence Studies
Centre, Australian National University.

Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney of the US said climate change promises to make many of the complex crises the world currently facesmuch harder to solve. "Unchecked, the effects of a warming climate will force people from their homes, destabilise societies and markets, create new sources of social and political tension, and even contribute to state fragility and failure. All of this can providea vacuum for extremist groups to thrive," he said.

Retired US Marine Corps Former Inspector General and CEO, The American Security Project noted that climate change increases in disasters will place additional strain on military and civil response capabilities – often the first responders. Overstretched governments, militaries and
humanitarian teams will struggle to respond to supercharged natural disasters. "Extreme disasters provide an additional, preventable risk that could drive further fragility and conflict in vulnerable regions, and make existing conflicts harder to stabilise," he said.

Nick Mabey, Co-Founding Director and Chief Executive E3G, United Kingdom called for integration of climate risk across the whole of government and the holistic management of crises as this will help maintain stability in the face of the worsening impacts of climate change and ongoing security challenges, and can help protect and improve people's safety, health and livelihoods.

Dan Smith, Director Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said geopolitical dynamics may change and domestic contexts may shift, but robust security within nations, across borders, and around the world is impossible without building climate resilience, and incorporating climate risk into military operations, tactics, strategy and training.

"Addressing climate security risks in alliances and major international forums is essential: in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the African Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Organization of American States, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and the UN Security Council, as well as building on the efforts of the G7 foreign ministers through the A New Climate for Peace project," he said.
Retired Lieutenant General Balananda Sharma, Royal Nepalese Army called on world leaders to build on the exemplary international action on climate change achieved in 2015. "We must think beyond energy policy, and integrate climate risk into national, regional and international security planning in a way that is commensurate with the risks," he said.

The experts belong to the Climate Security Working Group-International, an international forum of security experts and professionals focused on sharing information and best practices regarding the international security risks of climate change, and developing policies for addressing those risks.

MARRAKECH, Morocco (PAMACC News) - African civil society groups at the 22nd Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP 22) in Marrakech have called on US president elect, Donald Trump to issue a statement denouncing his twitter comment about global warming, failure to which they will join other movements campaigning for the reversal of his election.

“Mr. Trump must issue a statement reassuring the international community that his twitter remarks were just but campaign rhetoric, else, we will not tolerate any leaser who seeks to derail gains already made in the fight against climate change,” said Mithika Mwenda the Secretary General for Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) at a press conference in Marrakech.

Trump came under heavy criticisms especially from his opponent Hillary Clinton during their race to the Oval Office, following his remarks on twitter that; "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."

In one of the presidential debates, Trump further said that the issue of climate change is an issue that requires further probing, and that money used to fight the phenomenon should be channeled to other uses.

"There is still much that needs to be investigated in the field of climate change. Perhaps the best use of our limited financial resources should be in dealing with making sure that every person in the world has clean water. Perhaps we should focus on eliminating lingering diseases around the world like malaria,” said the republican nominee.

Perhaps, he continued, “We should focus on efforts to increase food production to keep pace with an ever-growing world population. Perhaps we should be focused on developing energy sources and power production that alleviates the need for dependence on fossil fuels. We must decide on how best to proceed so that we can make lives better, safer and more prosperous,” he added.

And now that the American people have given him the key to the White House, civil societies and other interested parties all over the world are worried that his position and views towards climate change may carry the day, hence, lead to the withdrawal of US from the climate negotiation processes.

America is one of the world’s top three emitters of greenhouse gases, which are responsible for global warming.

By 2011, the top carbon dioxide (CO2) emitters were China, the United States, the European Union, India, the Russian Federation, Japan, and Canada. These data include CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion, as well as cement manufacturing and gas flaring. Together, these sources represent a large proportion of total global CO2 emissions.

“Africa is the lease emitter of these gases, yet the continent is the most affected by climate change,” said Mithika.

In that regard, as the Marrakech negotiations comes to a close, the African Civil Society has called on leaders to accelerate momentum on climate action with the coming into force of the Paris Agreement.

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Experts use many numbers when talking about climate change. However, rising temparatures, the resulting crop failure, and the consequent loss of livelihoods and destitution of millions of households are this year’s most important and urgent developments for millions of smallholder farmers across the vastness of the African agro-ecological landscapes.

To illustrate the unfolding crisis, let us consider the case of Malawi, one of the few countries to have achieved a fair deal of agricultural success but is now facing the worst drought in  over three decades.  As is the case with  many  countries  in southern  Africa, Malawi has experienced widespread crop failures due to a devastatingly strong El Niño. The country witnessed late  on-set  of  rains, erratic  rainfall, floods and  prolonged  dry  spells.

As a result, the production of maize - the country’s main staple crop - is estimated at just over 2.5 million tonnes in 2016. This is 16 percent lower than the reduced harvest in 2015 and 34 percent below the previous five year average and has left 39 percent of the population dependant on national and international food aid to survive - a 129 percent increase over last year’s vulnerable population. In the hardest hit areas, harvest reduced by 70 percent while farmers in some areas simply couldn’t plant as the rains never came.

Dealing with this challenge in the future will require both efforts to reduce climate change and, most importantly, strategies to enable farmers to adapt to its effects. All eyes are now on the meeting taking place in Marrakesh of the world’s climate change experts and policy makers, which is seeking to set the world on track to reducing greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Last year, the same experts met in Paris and reached a welcome agreement that seeks to limit the rise in global temperatures above pre-industrial levels by 2℃. However, the emissions of greenhouse gases are not yet falling and the effects of climate change are worsening. Much more still needs to be done to address this challenge proactively.

Nowhere else is the imperative to act more urgent than in Africa, where 70 percent of the population is dependent on rain-fed, smallholder agriculture. As the case of Malawi demonstrates, rising temperatures in Africa often signal drought and other extreme weather events that put the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmers at greater risk, increasing their vulnerability to famine and diseases. This reality is here with us today, and far beyond Malawi and southern Africa, with large swathes of the continent currently under the grip of a historical drought.

For this reason, those of us from the African continent hope that such a backdrop will give the first post-Paris meeting a greater sense of urgency. Inaction will  be catastrophic. Although Africa emits less than 3 percent of the climate change inducing greenhouse gases, it will suffer its effectsdisproportinately. Mean temperatures will rise faster than the global average, exceed 2°C and may reach as high as 3°C to 6°C by 2100. For every year our global leaders fail to make progress against their commitments, it is Africa’s families that will pay the greatest price.
This is not to leave everything in the hands of globalleaders, as the prosperity of Africa and its farmers will also depend on how well farmers, especially smallholders, are able to adapt to the changing climate. This is much more within our control. Indeed, the work of AGRA and our partners has shown that African farmers are not powerless in the face of climate change. There are many ways in which they can survive and even thrive despite the dramatic shifts in growing conditions they are likely to endure.

For instance, farmers in some parts of Malawi, who are planting more drought-tolerant crops—cassava, sweet potato and pigeon pea—and using better agricultural practices are not only surviving the drought, they are expecting to generate a good income on this year's harvest.

The insurance and finance sectors have also stepped up to the plate by designing innovative products that are minimizing the effects of climate shocks to farmers. Still in Malawi, tens of thousands of farmers in the worst hit areas south of the country will now have access to credit from a microfinance institution that has protected these loans with a yield insurance that covers the crops against the impact of floods and drought.

Overall, to achieve food security under climate change, the resilience of communities and individual farmers needs to be strengthened through pro-active and longer-term adaptation actions. Although a lot more is yet to be accomplished, the continent has invested in the development and adoption of manynew agriculture innovations and technologies which should be scaled up.

We cannot put off further action on mitigating and adapting to climate change without expecting even greater pain for smallholder farmers and others around the world. From Marrakesh to all countries’capitals and decision making tables around the world, I hope world leaders will seize the moment to take action and continue to put us on a path toward a better future. A future where African smallholder farmers can fully exploit their potential to deliver food security, contribute to poverty reduction and achieve inclusive economic growth and development.

Dr. Agnes Kalibata is the President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)

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