Climate Change (204)

Bonn, Germany (PAMACC News) - A new report has confirmed that fifty-five vulnerable countries most of them from Africa have been made poorer by the debilitating effects of climate change.

In aggregate dollar terms, the report estimates that these vulnerable economies have lost approximately US$ 525 billion over the two decades due to climate change's temperature and precipitation patterns.

Commissioned by the Vulnerable Twenty (V20), a group of Finance Ministers from the Climate Vulnerable Forum, the report establishes that Climate change has eliminated one-fifth of the wealth of the V20 countries with primary evidence.

It indicates that the V20 would have been 20% wealthier today if not for climate change and the losses it incurred for poor and vulnerable economies.

"The Economic losses cut GDP growth in the V20 by one per cent each year on average, which averaged 3.67% in 2019 across the vulnerable economies," the report said.

A setback for two decades

 From 2000 to 2019, the report estimated economic losses due to hydro-meteorological extreme events are higher than in the previous two decades, and the world's most vulnerable economies are also not adapting fast enough to cope with the changing climate as it currently stands.

The report was presented on June 8th at an event that saw Ghana assume the leadership of the V20 at the ongoing Bonn climate talks holding in Germany.

This report, according to Kenneth Nana Yaw Ofori-Atta, Ghana's Finance Minister, "should sound alarm bells for the world economy, since V20 are fast-growing engines of global economic growth, whereas the climate crisis has the potential to bring that phase to an end if the world fails to act."

"The failure on the $100 billion of international climate finance delivery, particularly the failure to ensure a 50:50 balance for adaptation, has left us highly exposed," Ofoi-Atta said.

Represented by Prof Seth Ofaso, Ofori-Atta called for "an international financing mechanism for climate change loss and damage as a matter of pragmatism and justice."

The V20 and Climate Vulnerable Forum, he said, are calling on COP27 to establish this financing facility in solidarity with victims least responsible for, and least equipped to withstand, the increasingly extreme physical shocks driven by climate change."

Prof Osafo told PAMACC News that it is untenable that the world's rich and responsible nations continue to refuse the poor, vulnerable and least responsible nations, support for the crushing costs that they bear because of inaction on the climate crisis.

"It should fall on COP27 to decisively act on the void of finance for loss and damage in a clear litmus test for whether those fueling the climate crisis can truly begin to take responsibility for the breath of damage that has been unleashed by it," Osafo added.

The litmus test

The midyear technical Bonn climate talks began on a feverish note on Monday with widespread calls to consider a dedicated financing facility for loss and damage as an agenda item for the Sharm el-Sheik climate talks scheduled for November 2022 in Egypt.

The call became necessary, analysts say, following the failure to balance the insistence for the finance facility by poor nations and the veiled opposition from rich nations led by the USA and some European nations at last year's Glasgow climate talks.

From G77 countries to the African Group of Negotiators (AGN), from Least Developed Countries (LDC) to green advocacy groups, the groundswell of support for the financing facility has been massive, proving to be a litmus test for the talks.

Green groups, however, are wary of a fair outcome for the Bonn talks as ominous signs of goalpost-shifting tactics and empty talk shops appear on the horizon despite assurances of an "open, transparent process for all and a great appetite to make progress" made by Tosi Mpanu Mpanu, the chair of the Bonn climate talks.

Charles Mwangi of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) urged negotiators in Bonn to be alive to the differentiated impacts of losses and damages to men, women, youth and the disabled and act following the established evidence.

"In the spirit of the urgency of the times we now live in, we call on parties to the UN framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC) to consider the role and capacity of Civil Society Organizations in loss and damage response and fast track mechanisms for easing access to climate finance to CSOs," Mwangi told PAMACC.

Keeping 1.5°C alive

Equally of concern to the V20 report is the need for more stringent mitigation action to keep the global mean temperature increase below 1.5°C.

Given that warming is set to progress to within 1.5ºC in the next decade regardless of further mitigation action, it is believed that economic losses would continue to increase except adaptation accelerates at a phenomenal rate both to prevent loss and damage at current levels, as well as to offset the growth in economic losses and damage that will be generated as temperatures continue to rise.

Nearly all V20 economies have already warmed to mean temperatures that are far beyond what would be optimal for generating economic growth, and thereby instead incur economic losses – additional warming will only carry V20 economies further from the optimum, greatly increasing the risks of losses in the future.

The V20 Group of Finance Ministers of the Climate Vulnerable Forum is a dedicated cooperation initiative of economies systemically vulnerable to climate change. The V20 works through dialogue and action to tackle global climate change.

About 25 countries in Africa and the middle-east are members of the V20. These include Benin, Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, DR Congo and Malawi. Others are Eswatini, Palestine, Tunisia and Yemen while 19 Asia-pacific countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the island nations alongside 11 Latin America and the Caribbean countries of Haiti and Honduras make up the rest.

BONN, Germany (PAMACC Newa) - Today, delegates from close to 200 countries in Bonn began negotiations that will shape the agenda for the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) scheduled for November 2022 in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt.

Known as the 56th session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), the Bonn talks hold from 6-16 June 2022 as Russia's invasion of Ukraine overshadows the threat of rising emissions. This year's SBSTA meeting, analysts say, provides an opportunity to gauge the resolve of nations facing a catalogue of crises, including escalating climate impacts, geopolitical tensions, bloodshed in Ukraine and the threat of a devastating global food crisis.

The SBSTA Chair, Tosi Mpanu Mpanu, expressed confidence that despite the challenging geopolitical context this year, climate change remains very high on the agenda of governments.

"Climate change is the biggest threat to life and livelihoods we face. We need to underline that climate change is the biggest issue of our time. In the last months, we have seen a lot of eagerness from governments to get down to work in Bonn. We have seen a lot of work at workshops and other events. There is a great appetite to make progress," Mpanu Mpanu added.

Imperative of progress

Outgoing UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa called on governments not to be deterred as the meeting in Bonn is holding against the backdrop of accelerating climate impacts and geopolitical tension.

Espinosa underscored the urgency of political-level interventions and decisions required in each of the focal areas for negotiations to achieve a balanced package. These areas according to her, include mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, and finance and means of implementation.

"It is not acceptable to say that we are in challenging times, even though we are. But they know that climate change is not an agenda we can afford to push back on our global schedule.

We need decisions and actions now, and it is incumbent on all nations to make progress here in Bonn in the coming two weeks."

"And we must understand that climate change is moving exponentially -- we can no longer afford to move incrementally. We can no longer afford to make just incremental progress. We must move these negotiations along more quickly. The world expects it," she added.

According to the UN climate chief, doing so will send a clear message that "we are headed in the right direction.

Because the world will have one question in Sharm El-Sheikh: what progress have you made since Glasgow?"

Beyond Glasgow

At COP 26 in Glasglow last year, countries agreed to submit stronger 2030 emission reduction targets to close the gap to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F).

Glasglow talks also agreed that developed countries should urgently deliver more resources to help climate-vulnerable countries adapt to the dangerous and costly consequences of climate change that they are feeling already — from dwindling crop yields to devastating storms.

Through the Glasgow Climate Pact, countries made bold collective commitments to curb methane emissions, halt and reverse forest loss, align the finance sector with net-zero by 2050, ditch the internal combustion engine, accelerate the phase-out of coal, and end international financing for fossil fuels. Net-zero means total emissions are equal to or less than the emissions removed from the environment.

Espinosa's poser on what has been achieved since Glasgow is expected to propel negotiators towards accelerating real progress towards climate action as COP27 beckons.

Non-state actors on board

In addition to the efforts of governments to increase ambition to tackle climate change, COP26 in Glasgow marked a significant shift towards stronger non-Party stakeholder involvement, which is expected to continue in Bonn.

The SBSTA Chair has asked negotiators to ensure openness and transparency as Non-Party stakeholders are to provide input to several streams of work launched in Glasgow.

One of these streams relate to the Global stock take – a process that will assess progress on the implementation of the Paris Agreement – as well as the Glasgow Dialogue on loss and damage.

However, African non-party stakeholders under the aegis of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) have expressed deep concerns on the continued push by the global north for scientific attribution and quantification of loss and damage in total disregard of the science of climate change and evidence on loss and damage is already well-established.

Charles Mwangi, PACJA's Head of Programmes, in a statement, reminded negotiators that the 1.5C Report of 2018 issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) asserts that "residual risks" will rise as temperatures increase. The report further ranks Africa as the most vulnerable continent, with foreseeable catastrophes like those seen in Malawi, South Africa, Mozambique, and Chad, amongst other African nations.

Based on these risks, African civil society leaders are in Bonn to demand, as a basic minimum, that loss and damage become a permanent priority agenda in climate negotiation processes right from SBSTAs to COPs.


The African non-party actors equally lent their voice to the call for the establishment of a dedicated "Loss and Damage Finance Facility" and relaxation of several complexities barring access to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) made earlier today by Developing countries under the banner of G-77.

PACJA believes that the establishment of a special finance facility for loss and damage response is in line with article 8 of the Paris Agreement.

"These finances for loss and damage should be predictable in quality and quality and should be separate from the Adaptation Fund and the GCF," they said.

PAMACC News: The world’s largest meat company, JBS, has increased its greenhouse gas emissions by a staggering 51% over the last five years and is now responsible for greater emissions than Italy’s annual climate footprint, new research finds. It is approximately equivalent to fossil fuel giant Total’s 2020 emissions. r

A coalition of campaign groups – including the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), Feedback and Mighty Earth – have expressed outrage at JBS’s supersized climate emissions, which place it at odds with its own corporate emissions reduction strategy just one year on from its ‘Net Zero by 2040’ pledge.  Ahead of the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) in São Paulo on 22 April, the coalition is urging JBS’s investors and customers to drop the Brazil-based company.

“JBS is one of the world’s worst climate offenders and that’s why we’re urging its key customers like giant supermarkets Carrefour, Costco and Tesco to drop JBS urgently,” said Alex Wijeratna, Campaign Director at Mighty Earth. “No company that buys meat from JBS can claim to be serious about climate change. JBS could easily implement systems that would end its links to deforestation and radically reduce its methane pollution. The fact that a single meat company can cause more pollution than an entire G7 member country should be a wake up call that we need a massive scale up of plant-based and cultivated protein, and we need it now.”

JBS’s top investors include Brazilian development bank BNDES, asset manager BlackRock, and Barclays and Santander banks. Its major customers in the retail sector include supermarket giants Carrefour, Costco, Tesco, Walmart and Ahold Delhaize. In the fast food sector, its customers include McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC. 

Using a UN-approved methodology, new research contained in a media brief by IATP, Feedback and investigative website DeSmog, found that JBS – which processed 26.8 million cattle, 46.7 million pigs and 4.9 billion chickens last year – increased its annual GHG emissions by 51% in five years from 280 million metric tonnes (mmts) in 2016 to around 421.6 mmts in 2021. This is more than the annual climate footprint of Italy or Spain and close to that of France (at 443 mmt) and the UK (at 453 mmt).

The latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report has singled out livestock-related methane emissions, recommending they be slashed by a third by 2030 in order to hold global temperature rise to 1.5ºC. Instead, JBS’s emissions are set to jump even higher as it pursues aggressive expansion plans and seeks access to increased financing through a possible listing on an American stock exchange.

“It’s mind blowing that JBS can continue to make climate claims to investors, even as the company massively increases its emissions,” said Shefali Sharma, Europe director of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, which estimated in 2018 that JBS’s emissions were roughly half that of oil majors such as BP, Shell or ExxonMobil. “Our updated emissions estimates show clearly the harm being done by empty net-zero announcements. Investors gathering at today's AGM shouldn't be fooled by this greenwash. We need public, independent and accountable systems for monitoring these companies’ emissions. Governments need to step up and regulate these companies and support a transition out of this destructive model of industrial livestock production.”

With operations in 20 countries ranging from Brazil to the US and record annual revenues of $76 billion, JBS last year promised to achieve net zero emissions by 2040. However, its net-zero plans provide little detail and have been panned by campaigners for omitting so-called ‘Scope 3’ emissions – which represent up to 97% of JBS’s contribution to climate change. Scope 3 emissions encompass pollution from its entire supply chain: potent greenhouse gases such as methane emitted from livestock, as well as emissions from deforestation, forest fires, and land conversion, plus the production of animal feed, enteric fermentation, and the use of agrochemicals.

Carina Millstone, Executive Director of campaign group Feedback, said: “It's high time that banks and investors, many of whom have adopted their own 'net-zero’ targets and committed to end deforestation, ceased to bankroll climate chaos and the destruction of nature, by pulling the plug on their financial backing to toxic JBS and its subsidiaries.”

Hazel Healy, UK Editor of climate investigative news outlet DeSmog, said: “JBS is  using the same greenwashing tactics we’ve seen employed by oil and gas majors for decades. It presents itself as a company with genuine climate ambition but fails to disclose its full emissions so they can be compared with the company’s public communications. And as this research shows, JBS’s emissions are increasing substantially, not decreasing.”

Launched alongside IATP’s JBS emissions revelations, a new report about the company by Mighty Earth – called The Boys From Brazil – highlights how JBS used corruption and massive government subsidies to finance the enormous international growth that put it into the climate super-polluter category in which it finds itself today. 

The report highlights that JBS was responsible for an estimated 1.5 million hectares of deforestation in its indirect supply chains in Brazil since 2008 and warns that scandal-hit JBS has repeatedly broken its promises to stamp out deforestation in the Amazon or conserve other key ecosystems such as the Cerrado and the Pantanal. It also chronicles a long history of links to elite bribery, price-fixing, invasion of Indigenous lands, worker exploitation, modern-day slavery, and environmental pollution.

Climate change made extreme rainfall heavier and more likely to happen during several back-to-back storms earlier this year in Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique, according to rapid attribution analysis by an international team of leading climate scientists.

While the analysis shows that climate change made the eventsworse, the scientists were not able to quantify exactly how much climate change influenced the event due to a shortage of high quality weather observations available for this part of Africa.

In early 2022, Southeast Africa was hit by three tropical cyclones and two tropical storms in just six weeks.

Tropical Storm Ana, in late January, was followed by Tropical Cyclone Batsirai, which made landfall in Madagascar on 5 February. Over the next few weeks, the region was hit by Tropical Storm Dumako and Tropical Cyclones Emnati and Gombe.

The consecutive storms left people with little time to react. Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique were the worst-hit countries, with more than a million people affected by extreme rainfall and floods, and 230 reported deaths.

To evaluate the role of climate change on the frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall during the storms, the scientists analysed weather observations and computer simulations to compare the climate as it is today, after about 1.2°C of global warming since the late 1800s, with the climate of the past, following peer-reviewed methods.

The analysis focused on rainfall, which caused widespread flooding, over the wettest three-day periods in two regions: Madagascar, where cyclone Batsirai caused major damage, and an area over Malawi and Mozambique most affected by Tropical Storm Ana.

In both cases, the results show that rainfall associated with the storms was made more intense by climate change and that episodes of extreme rainfall such as these have become more frequent.

The finding is consistent with scientific understanding of how climate change, caused by human greenhouse gas emissions, influences heavy rainfall. As the atmosphere becomes warmer it accumulates more water, increasing the risk of downpours. With further greenhouse gas emissions and continued temperature increases such heavy rainfall episodes will become even more common.

While the analysis shows that climate change made the events more intense and damaging, the precise contribution of climate change to the event could not be quantified, due to the absence of comprehensive historical records of rainfall in the region.

Of 23 weather stations in the affected area in Mozambique, only four had relatively complete records going back to 1981. In Madagascar and Malawi there were no weather stations with suitable data for the study.

In many other parts of the world where more comprehensive weather station data is available, scientists have been able to quantify the influence of climate change on particular extreme events. Increased investment in weather stations in Africa would enable a more precise estimate of the impact of rising greenhouse gas concentrations on the continent.

The study was conducted by 22 researchers as part of the World Weather Attribution group, including scientists from universities and meteorological agencies in France, Madagascar, Mozambique, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK and the US

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