Climate Change (189)
NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - For a period of three months leading to the 27th round of negotiations at the UN Conference of Parties on climate change, fossil fuel-linked entities spent close to $4 million on social media adverts, to promote key messages that belittled the fight against climate change, a new report has revealed.
According to the report released on Thursday 19, the phrase ‘energy independence’ was most common and found verbatim in 1925 paid adverts on Meta’s Ad Library – a company that owns Facebook, Instagram , Messenger and WhatsApp among others, followed by ‘American energy’ (1558 adverts) between September and November when the UN climate summit took place in Egypt.
This came after the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report had warned that “vested interests had generated rhetoric and misinformation that undermines climate science and disregards risk and urgency.”
And now, the environment civil society and nongovernmental organisations particularly form Africa and Asia are even more worried because Sultan Al-Jaber, a pro fossil fuel enthusiast, who is the Chief Executive Officer for a globally leading Gas and Oil firm has already been appointed as the President-designate for the 28th round of climate negotiations (COP 28).
“This is the textbook definition of impunity and conflict of interest. Addressing the climate crisis requires deep cuts in the production and use of fossil fuels. That course of action is squarely at variance with Al-Jaber’s business interests,” said Mithika Mwenda, the Executive Director of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).
“You wouldn’t invite arm dealers to lead peace talks. So why let oil executives lead climate talks? Burning fossil fuels is the single largest cause of the climate crisis, and the single biggest threat to solving it,” said Alice Harrison, Fossil Fuels Campaign Leader at Global Witness – an international environmental non-governmental organisation.
Authors of the new report titled ‘Deny, Deceive, Delay’, which was spearheaded by the Climate Action Against Disinformation (CAAD) are also faulting the social media providers for deliberately supporting climate misinformation and disinformation.
“During COP, Twitter’s search engine pushed #ClimateScam as a top result without any justification for the data behind it,” said Erika Seiber, climate disinformation spokesperson at Friends of the Earth U.S. “Until governments hold social media and ad companies accountable, and companies hold professional disinformers accountable, crucial conversations around the climate crisis are going to be put in jeopardy,” said Seiber, pointing out that Twitter should be held accountable to explain how the inexcusable climate denial trend came to be.
During the climate negotiations, conspiracies surrounding the ‘Great Reset’ and ‘New World Order’ were rife, presenting climate action as part of a plot by ‘global elites’ to exert control and, conversely, claiming that climate change has been ‘engineered’ to destroy capitalism.
At the same time, the climate deniers framed negotiations around ‘Loss and Damage’ as an unfair transfer of wealth to the ‘developing world’, contrasting Loss and Damage to austerity measures and heating bills in the UK, where most high-traction attacks originated during the summit before spreading in the US and Australia. This content largely sidestepped any reference to climate impacts, instead focusing on the benefits of fossil fuels for ‘human flourishing’.
Another newer trend according to the report was ‘wokewashing’ – the adoption of ‘progressive’ rhetoric to oppose climate action. Such framing spanned a range of arguments, including that ‘green technologies’ such as Electric Vehicles are bad or even worse for the environment than fossil fuels, and that climate action constitutes a form of ‘Western Imperialism’ or ‘neo-colonialism’.
CAAD is now calling on the US government, EU, UN, IPCC and Big Tech companies to acknowledge the climate disinformation threat and take immediate steps to improve transparency and data access to quantify disinformation trends, to stop misleading fossil fuel advocacy in paid ad content, enforce policies against repeat offenders spreading disinformation on platforms, and to adopt a standardised and comprehensive definition of climate disinformation.
NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Climate advocates in Africa and across the world have expressed concerns following the appointment of Dr Sultan al-Jaber, the Chief Executive Officer of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company to preside over the 2023 Conference of Parties (COP) on Climate Change.
“I have learned with consternation that they have nominated an oil merchant as President,” said Dr Mithika Mwenda, the Executive Secretary of the Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), which is a network of over 1000 African environment related civil society organizations.
“We need to be firm and protest against this impunity, otherwise, this is going to be a conference of polluters,” said Dr Mwenda, who has for two consecutive years been named among 100 top most influential individuals in the world by the apolitical.co.
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) offers processing, refining, marketing, and distribution of crude oil, petroleum, gas, sulfur, and petrochemical products for consumption worldwide. As of 2021, the company had an oil production capacity exceeding 4 million b/d with plans to increase to 5 million b/d by 2030
“You wouldn’t invite arm dealers to lead peace talks. So why let oil executives lead climate talks? Burning fossil fuels is the single largest cause of the climate crisis, and the single biggest threat to solving it,” said Alice Harrison, Fossil Fuels Campaign Leader at Global Witness – an international environmental non-governmental organization.
“Hosting crucial climate talks in a repressive petrostate is one thing, having a fossil fuel CEO as its President is just mad. Even at this early stage it’s difficult to see how COP28 can lead to any positive progress on the climate crisis, when run by those with a stake in the continued burning of fossil fuels,” she said in a statement.
It is on record that the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which will host this year’s talks in November, registered at least 70 fossil fuel lobbyists to COP27 in Egypt, including Dr Al Jaber, who is the UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Special Envoy for the Climate.
As a result, COP27 ended in disappointment for many, as fossil fuel producing nations including Saudi Arabia blocked a push by others, notably the US and EU, to include a promise to phase down all fossil fuels in the final deal.
Following his appointment, Dr Al Jaber noted that 2023 will be a critical year in a critical decade for climate action.
“The UAE is approaching COP28 with a strong sense of responsibility and the highest possible level of ambition. In cooperation with the UNFCCC and the COP27 Presidency, we will champion an inclusive agenda that ramps up action on mitigation, encourages a just energy transition that leaves no one behind, ensures substantial, affordable climate finance is directed to the most vulnerable, accelerates funding for adaptation and builds out a robust funding facility to address loss and damage,” he said in a statement.
However, climate activists still maintain that Dr Al Jaber cannot preside over a process that is tasked to address the climate crisis with such a conflict of interest.
According to Tracy Carty, Global Climate Politics expert with Greenpeace International, appointment of Dr Al Jaber sets a dangerous precedent, risking the credibility of the UAE and the trust that has been placed in them by the UN on behalf of people, current and future generations.
“COP28 needs to conclude with an uncompromised commitment to a just phase out of all fossil fuels: coal, oil and gas,” she said noting that Greenpeace is deeply alarmed at the appointment of an oil company CEO to lead the global climate negotiations.
NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) – The ozone layer is on track to recover within four decades, with the global phaseout of ozone-depleting chemicals already benefitting efforts to mitigate climate change.This is the conclusion of a UN-backed panel of experts, presented on January 9 at the American Meteorological Society’s 103rd annual meeting. Examining novel technologies such as geoengineering for the first time, the panel warns of unintended impacts on the ozone layer.
On track to full recovery
The UN-backed Scientific Assessment Panel to the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances quadrennial assessement report, published every four years, confirms the phase out of nearly 99% of banned ozone-depleting substances. The Montreal Protocol has thus succeeded in safeguarding the ozone layer, leading to notable recovery of the ozone layer in the upper stratosphere and decreased human exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun.
If current policies remain in place, the ozone layer is expected to recover to 1980 values (before the appearance of the ozone hole) by around 2066 over the Antarctic, by 2045 over the Arctic and by 2040 for the rest of the world. Variations in the size of the Antarctic ozone hole, particularly between 2019 and 2021, were driven largely by meteorological conditions. Nevertheless, the Antarctic ozone hole has been slowly improving in area and depth since the year 2000.
“That ozone recovery is on track according to the latest quadrennial report is fantastic news. The impact the Montreal Protocol has had on climate change mitigation cannot be overstressed. Over the last 35 years, the Protocol has become a true champion for the environment,” said Meg Seki, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Ozone Secretariat. “The assessments and reviews undertaken by the Scientific Assessment Panel remain a vital component of the work of the Protocol that helps inform policy and decision makers.”
Impacts on climate change
The 10th edition of the Scientific Assessment Panel reaffirms the positive impact that the treaty has already had for the climate. An additional 2016 agreement, known as the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, requires phase down of production and consumption of some hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). HFCs do not directly deplete ozone, but are powerful climate climate change gases. The Scientific Assessment Panel said this amendment is estimated to avoid 0.3–0.5°C of warming by 2100 (this does not include contributions from HFC-23 emissions).
“Ozone action sets a precedent for climate action. Our success in phasing out ozone-eating chemicals shows us what can and must be done – as a matter of urgency – to transition away from fossil fuels, reduce greenhouse gases and so limit temperature increase,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas.
The latest assessment has been made based on extensive studies, research and data compiled by a large international group of experts , including many from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and European Union.
For the first time, the Scientific Assessment Panel examined the potential effects on ozone of the intentional addition of aerosols into the stratosphere, known as stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI). SAI has been proposed as a potential method to reduce climate warming by increasing sunlight reflection. Yet the panel cautions that unintended consequences of SAI “could also affect stratospheric temperatures, circulation and ozone production and destruction rates and transport.”
La COP27, la conférence annuelle sur les changements climatiques s’ouvre dimanche prochain, à Charm El-Cheihk en Egypte, mais au niveau de l’Alliance Panafricaine pour la Justice Climatique et ses partenaires, c’est tout comme si, c’est déjà aujourd’hui. La marche organisée, ce jour dans les environs du site qui accueille les travaux de la COP27, à quelques jours de l’ouverture, en est la preuve…Didier Hubert MADAFIME, envoyé spécial -PAMACC
What do you want ? Climate justice. When do you want ? Now now, littéralement, qu’est-ce que tu veux ? La justice climatique et quand le veux-tu ? Maintenant, maintenant.
Le ciel égyptien de Charm El-Cheikh a été déchiré, une partie de la matinée par ce refrain, repris en cœur, en anglais comme en arabe, par les participants à cette marche et risque d’être ainsi, tout au long des travaux de la COP27, à cause de la détermination des organisateurs, mais surtout à cause de la tranche d’âge, de ceux qui y ont pris part. Ils sont jeunes pour la plupart, plus vulnérables aux effets des changements climatiques et donc conscients de l’enjeu.
Une marche sous surveillance
Un kilomètre pas plus et très encadré par la police égyptienne, la marche s’est achevée au pied du représentant du ministre égyptien de l’environnement Amr ESSAM, qui avait fait preuve d’une grande patience, afin d’écouter les doléances des uns et des autres.
Des doléances, il y en avait, des plaintes aussi et des propositions. « De façon globale, les africains ne veulent pas continuer par subir les effets dus aux changements climatiques, sans que quelqu’un ne paye la note ». Et dans la bouche de tous ceux, qui se sont relayés pendant cette séance, le mot le plus important à retenir est l’argent.
L’argent pour l’adaptation, pour les pertes et dommages, pour les énergies renouvelables, l’argent pour l’agriculture. Et en même temps, il faut arrêter la production des énergies fossiles afin de limiter les gaz à effet de serre. La doléance la plus poignante est celle du représentant des éleveurs. Leur secteur foudroyé par le réchauffement climatique sombre à petit coup, si ce n’est déjà pas fait et le risque, qu’ils sombrent avec, est une évidence.
La COP sur la terre africaine est donc une opportunité de mettre sur la table tous les problèmes liés aux changements climatiques, qui fragilisent le continent.
Le document qui fait tout ce point a été remis en mains propres par le Directeur Exécutif de l’Alliance Panafricaine pour la Justice Climatique Mithika Mwenda au représentant du ministre de l’environnement.
Tout en reconnaissant la réalité d’un climat qui change, Amr ESSAM ne nie pas aussi la réalité de ses effets et ces dégâts sur le continent africain. « C’est ensemble, a-t-il souligné, que les solutions seront trouvées ». Rendez-vous donc dans deux semaines pour les résultats.