Climate Change (204)

MARRAKECH, Morocco (PAMACC News) - Thousands of people on Sunday 13th took to the streets of Marrakech, Morroco, and trekked for three kilometres from El Harti Gardens to Place Bab Doukkal, singing and chanting slogans demanding climate justice, and the need for an ambitious outcome from the ongoing climate negotiations summit in the country.

Among the over 10,000 protesters were representatives from different civil society organisations particularly from the developing world, among them climate scholars, indigenous people most of them who live in forests, and many other interested groups.

“We demand for climate justice now. And if we fail to act now, we risk being judged harshly by the future generations,” said Dr. Muawia Shaddad, of the University of Khartoum, and the President for the Sudanese Environment Conservation Society based in Sudan.

Mithika Mwenda, the Secretary General for the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) pointed out that the outcome from the Marrakech negotiations should be ambitious enough to protect the rights of poor and vulnerable on the continent who are the most impacted by climate change, and provide adequate climate finance to address the impacts.

“We are also in solidarity with the American people, who are protesting against the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States,” said Mwenda.

Trump, during his presidency campaign came under heavy criticisms especially from his opponent Hillary Clinton, for 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."

“He is not a believer in climate change, and we are afraid that he might derail the process, thus undoing all the progress that has been made through painful struggles over several years,” said Mwenda.

Robert Chimambo of Zambia Climate change Network said that during the Marrakech negotiations, there is need for the developed country Parties to include and provide clarity on their contributions on all the elements including provision of money for adaptation for developing countries, and particularly Africa.

“This should be done in respect of the Paris set of negotiations, where we demanded for equity, fair deal and a legally binding agreement that is now the Paris Agreement,” said Chimambo.

The 22nd session of climate negotiations is taking place in Marrakech from November 7 to 18 2016.

MARRAKECH, Morocco (PAMACC News) - The African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has congratulated COP 21 President, Ségolène Royal for the success of last year’s climate conference which has culminated into momentum for action as Africa hosts COP 22.

Speaking during a round table meeting when the French Minister visited and met Ambassadors and other senior delegates at the Africa Pavilion at COP 22, ACPC Officer in Charge, James Murombedzi said UNECA was hopeful that the implementation of the Paris Agreement would be inclusive.

“As ACPC-UNECA, we are hopeful that the implementation of the Paris Agreement will be inclusive,” said Murombedzi, adding that Africa would like to see the issue of means of implementation resolved at COP 22.

On its part, “ACPC is ready to support African countries in the revision of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) most of which have been found to be defective,” he added.

Murombedzi further highlighted the need for Africa to integrate climate in its mainstream development planning for a holistic approach.

“We believe there is no room for isolated planning and it is for this reason that at ACPC, we have prioritised climate research to support African countries in integrated planning,” Murombedzi disclosed.

With the eyes of the world on Marrakech, the African Group is hopeful that the unprecedented mobilisation of the international community and political will, which has culminated into the rapid entry into force of the Paris Agreement, would likewise be extended to implementation.

The Agreement entered into force in time for COP 22, where the first Meeting ofthe Parties to the Agreement will open on 15 November, and parties are expected to agree on the rules of implementation of the Paris Agreement and establish a viable plan to provide financial support to developing countries to support climate action.

On her part, Ms. Royal stressed the importance of climate justice, particularly for Africa. “Africa is the great challenge of this Conference,” she said. “COP 22 is an African COP, and that is where the priority and hopeare,” adding that in Africa, climate change is cruel and unfair as the continent suffers the most through no fault of its own.

It is for this reason that an African development pathway that could propel climate-resilient economic growth is possible if an enabling environment that promotes innovation and collaborative actions for climate change solutions is put into place.
And a number of African initiatives on collaborative research and capacity development were highlighted at a side event at the Africa Pavilion on Innovations and African collaborative approaches for transformative climate policy and solutions.

Organized by the UNECA’s Africa Climate Policy Center (ACPC), the events included the Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA) Programme for Climate Change Capacity Development (PCCCD) and WASCAL (the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) 
The  SARUA Programme for Climate Change Capacity Development (PCCCD), has led to a consortium of seven universities from five SADC countries developing a regional Master’s curriculum in Climate Change and Sustainable Development, based on the principles of trans-disciplinarity and innovation; while WASCAL pools the expertise of ten West African countries and Germany to strengthen climate change research infrastructure and capacity
Ms Penny Urquhart, Independent analyst and member of the SARUA Curriculum Review Team said there is a need  for funding in order to scale up these initiatives to a continental scale to support Africa's development aspirations, reduce vulnerability, increase resilience and optimise low-carbon options for growth. 
Other speakers included Prof. Daouda Kone, Director of the WASCAL doctoral programme in Climate Change and Biodiversity, Université Felix Houphouet Boigny, Côte d'Ivoire; Dr Wilfran Moufouma Okia, Head of Science, Technical Support Unit, IPCC and; Professor Roland Roesch, Senior Programme Office, International Renewable Energy Agency (IREN? The event was moderated by Mr Linus Mofor, ACPC Senior Natural Resources Officer (Energy, Infrastructure and Climate Change). 
In summing up the event, Msn Simbisai Zhanje, Project Manager, south-south-north / The Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) said that while capacity is important, capability is equally significant as the context in which implementation takes place can be an enabler or barrier. Political will is an important capability factor in different contexts. 

MARRRAKECH, Morocco (PAMACC News) - The period between 2011-2015 has been recorded as the hottest in history with increasingly visible human footprint on extreme weather and climate events with dangerous and costly impacts.

The World Meteorological Organisation  (WMO) report released at the world climate change summit in Marrakech, Morocco, gives a detailed analysis of the global climate that has record temperatures which were accompanied by rising sea levels and declines in Arctic sea-ice extent, continental glaciers and northern hemisphere snow cover.

All these climate change indicators confirmed the long-term warming trend caused by greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide reached the significant milestone of 400 parts per million in the atmosphere for the first time in 2015, according to the WMO report which was submitted to the U.N. climate change conference.

The Global Climate in 2011-2015 also examines whether human-induced climate change was directly linked to individual extreme events.
Of 79 studies published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society between 2011 and 2014, more than half found that human-induced climate change contributed to the extreme event in question. Some studies found that the probability of extreme heat increased by 10 times or more.

"The Paris Agreement aims at limiting the global temperature increase to well below 2 ° Celsius and pursuing efforts towards 1.5 ° Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The report confirms that the average temperature in 2015 had already reached the 1°C mark. We just had the hottest five-year period on record, with 2015 claiming the title of hottest individual year. Even that record is likely to be beaten in 2016," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

He added, "The effects of climate change have been consistently visible on the global scale since the 1980s: rising global temperature, both over land and in the ocean; sea-level rise; and the widespread melting of ice. It has increased the risks of extreme events such as heatwaves, drought, record rainfall and damaging floods."

The report highlights some of the high-impact events, citing statistics on losses and damage provided by other United Nations organisations and partners. These included the East African drought in 2010-2012, which led to an estimated 258,000 excess deaths, and the 2013-2015 southern African drought.

Approximately 800 deaths and more than US$40 billion in economic losses were associated with flooding in South-East Asia in 2011. Heatwaves in India and Pakistan in 2015 claimed more than 4,100 lives. Hurricane Sandy, in 2012, led to US$67 billion in economic losses in the United States of America. The deaths of 7,800 people were associated with Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013.

The report was submitted to the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The five-year timescale allows a better understanding of multi-year warming trends and extreme events such as prolonged droughts and recurrent heatwaves than an annual report.

2011-2015 was the warmest five-year period on record globally and for all continents apart from Africa (second warmest).
Temperatures for the period were 0.57 °C (1.03 °F) above the average for the standard 1961–1990 reference period.

The warmest year on record to date was 2015, during which temperatures were 0.76 °C (1.37 °F) above the 1961–1990 average, followed by 2014. The year 2015 was also the first year in which global temperatures were more than 1 °C above the pre-industrial era.

Global ocean temperatures were also at unprecedented levels. Globally averaged sea-surface temperatures for 2015 were the highest on record, with 2014 in second place. Sea-surface temperatures for the period were above average in most of the world, although they were below average in parts of the Southern Ocean and the eastern South Pacific.
A strong La Niña event (2011) and powerful El Niño (2015/2016) influenced the temperatures of individual years without changing the underlying warming trend

MARRAKECH, Morocco (PAMACC News) - African Civil society at the ongoing climate change negotiation warned that if Parties did not urgently raise their Pre-2020 Ambitions in Marrakech, the impact of low ambition and business as usual scenario could trigger even greater climate crisis in Africa.

“The outcome from Marrakech should be ambitious enough to protect the rights of poor and vulnerable in the continent most impacted by climate change and provide adequate climate finance to address the impacts,” said Mithika Mwenda, the Secretary General of the Civil Society Platform, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance .

Finance is key to Implementation of the Paris Agreement and the Convention and must be on the table for discussion in Marrakech as one of the important agenda item if Marrakech must be taken serious.

“Paris Agreement has a goal 1.50C but no prescription for how to achieve it – the pledges would still take the planet to an unthinkable 3.5 degreesi of warming. Therefore the need to improve Paris pledges and ensure prior Kyoto obligations are at least met because Low pre-2020 ambition will deepen the post-2020 challenge to the detriment of the poor and vulnerable especially in Africa”, said John Bideri from Action for Environment and Sustainable Development, Rwanda and Co- Chair of PACJA’s Continental Executive Committee said.

Now that the Paris Agreement has come into effect, stakes are certainly high on its implementation and Marrakech provides an incredible opportunity to clearly define the path towards achieving the 1.50C target, Bideri added during the Press Conference organized by the Alliance.

“In Paris, we demanded equity, fair deal and legally binding agreement. And here In Marrakech, developed country Parties must be include and provide clarity on their contributions on all the elements including provision of money for adaptation for developing countries, and particularly Africa,” Robert Chimambo, of Zambia Climate change Network and PACJA member, said.

“The role of capacity building and technology in the realization of the global target through mitigation and adaptation actions can never be over-emphasized. Support to developing countries by developed countries in the spirit of justice and equity in terms of capacity building and technology development and transfer is key to achieving African countries’ commitments in their NDCs even as developed countries embark upon drastic domestic economic-wide emission reduction efforts,” Tracy Sonny, National Coordinator, Botswana Climate Change Network and a member of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, added.

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