By Isaiah Esipisu
Nairobi, Kenya (PAMACC News) – African organisations championing against climate change have called on climate deniers to be compelled to finance climate change adaptation in developing countries and as well finance all the pledged Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) by all African countries.
This comes only two days after the Democrats in both United States chambers of Congress introduced a resolution condemning the efforts of fossil-fuel industries among others companies to deliberately cast doubt on science so as to mislead the public about the impact of the fuels on climate change, in an effort to protect their financial interests.
According to the resolution, fossil fuel companies have long known about climate change and the harmful climate effects of their products following numerous peer-reviewed scientific research and investigative reporting.
And yet, directly and through their trade associations, and foundations, the multi-billion dollar companies have developed sophisticated and deceitful campaigns that funded think tanks and front groups, and paid public relations firms to deny, counter, and obfuscate peer-reviewed research.
“This comes at the right time when the world is working towards implementation of the Paris Agreement, and therefore we call on the Republicans to join the Democrats into holding these companies accountable,” said Benson Ireri, the Senior Policy Advisor at Christian Aid.
Ireri’s sentiments were reiterated by Robert Chimambo of the Zambia Climate Change Network (ZCCN) and Mithika Mwenda of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).
“Over the years, these companies have made super profits from fossil fuel, and therefore, apart from just financing adaptation, they should support Africa’s quest for development using cleaner and sustainable energy,” said Chimambo.
The resolution points out that the companies have “used that misinformation campaign to mislead the public and cast doubt in order to protect their financial interest.
“It is a sign on the wall that 19 senators have to fight so hard against the super rich of the world, who have been misleading the general public for such a long time,” said Gerrit Bogaers, responding to a blog by Greg Laden.
According to the United States Environment Protection Agency (EPA), majority of greenhouse gases come from burning fossil fuels to produce energy.
EPA recognizes that the earth's average temperature has risen by 1.5°F over the past century, and is projected to rise another 0.5 to 8.6°F over the next hundred years, noting that small changes in the average temperature of the planet can translate to large and potentially dangerous shifts in climate and weather.
As a result of the slight changes that have already hapenned, Africa has turned out to be the hardest hit by climate change, and now many countries suffer severe droughts that result into starvation and famine, flash floods, landslides among other disasters that have direct impact to health and economies alike.
Par Kané Illa
Le samedi 18 juin dernier, le Centre de presse de la station régionale de l’ORTN (Office de Radiodiffusion et Télévision du Niger) de Dosso, à 150 kilomètres à l’est de Niamey, a servi de cadre à un atelier de formation des animateurs des radios communautaires des régions de Dosso, Niamey et Tillabéry sur les changements climatiques.
Cet atelier a été organisé par le Réseau des Journalistes pour un Environnement Sain (RJES), dans le cadre de son projet «Conscientiser les populations rurales du Niger sur les changements climatiques, à travers les radios communautaires», financé par l’Ambassade de France au Niger à travers le Fonds d’Appui à la Société Civile du Sud (FASCS).
Lors de la cérémonie d’ouverture de l’atelier, le Coordonnateur national du RJES, M. Illa Kané, a précisé que le projet en question vise à outiller les animateurs des radios communautaires sur les questions des changements climatiques pour qu’à leur tour ils puissent sensibiliser les populations rurales sur les effets néfastes de ces changements climatiques et les mesures d’adaptation qu’elles doivent prendre pour y faire face.
Le Coordonnateur du RJES a ajouté qu’en plus des ateliers, le projet comporte aussi l’élaboration, en français et dans les différentes langues nationales du Niger, des émissions de sensibilisation et des lexiques sur les changements climatiques qui seront mis à la disposition des radios communautaires pour leur diffusion. Dans son discours d’ouverture de l’atelier, le Gouverneur de la région de Dosso, M. Abdoulaye Issa, a déclaré qu’à l’instar des autres pays, dont ceux du tiers-monde, «le Niger subit malheureusement les effets néfastes des changements climatiques».
Il a poursuivi en rappelant que dans sa Contribution prévue déterminée au niveau nationale (CPDN), soumise à la Convention cadre des Nations Unies sur les changements climatiques (CCUNCC) à l’occasion de la 21ème Conférence des parties (COP) tenue à Paris (France) au mois de décembre dernier, «le Niger a retenu plusieurs actions d’atténuation et d’adaptation aux changements climatiques».
Parmi les actions d’atténuation, il a cité, entre autres, la séquestration du carbone ; l’aménagement durable des formations forestières ; l’amélioration du taux d’accès à l’électricité ; la réduction de la demande en bois énergie et la promotion des énergies renouvelables. S’agissant des actions d’adaptation, le Gouverneur Abdoulaye Issa a parlé, entre autres, de la restauration des terres agro-sylvo-pastorales ; de la régénération naturelle assistée ; de la fixation des dunes, l’aménagement des forêts naturelles ; de la plantation des haies vives et des espèces à usages multiples, ainsi que de la promotion de la foresterie privée.
Il a indiqué qu’au vu de toutes ses actions, le Niger «n’est pas resté les bras croisés face au phénomène des changements climatiques qui mobilise tous les pays du monde», même s’il a reconnu que «tous les efforts déjà accomplis et ceux à venir n’auront de véritables impacts que si les populations, notamment celles vivant en milieu rural et qui subissent directement les conséquences des changements climatiques, ne prennent véritablement conscience des dangers de ce phénomène».C’est pourquoi le Gouverneur Abdoulaye Issa a salué l’initiative du RJES qui, a-t-il expliqué, «est d’autant plus porteuse que les radios communautaires sont très proches des populations, parce qu’elles sont non seulement installés dans des villages, mais aussi et surtout parce qu’elles diffusent dans les langues du terroir».
La formation a été assurée par deux experts du Secrétariat Exécutif du Conseil National de l’Environnement pour un Développement Durable (CNEDD), assurant le point focal national des trois Conventions post Rio, dont celle sur les Changements climatiques. Il s’agit de M. Gousmane Moussa de la division changements climatiques du CNEDD et de Mme Issa Hamsatou Kaïlou, chargée de communication et des relations publiques du CNEDD. Le premier a fait une présentation d’ensemble sur les changements climatiques, tandis que la seconde a axé sa communication sur les techniques d’élaboration des émissions radiophoniques sur les changements climatiques.
UNEP's Adaptation Finance Gap Report: Failure to cut emissions will dramatically increase the annual costs of adaptation, which could be up to five times higher by 2050 than previously thought.
ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands (PAMACC News) – The cost of adapting to climate change in developing countries could rise to between $280 and $500 billion per year by 2050, a figure that is four to five times greater than previous estimates, according to a new United Nations Environment (UNEP) report.
Released as nations sign the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change, the report assesses the difference between the financial costs of adapting to climate change in developing countries and the amount of money actually available to meet these costs – a difference known as the “adaptation finance gap”.
The report, the second in UNEP’s series of Adaptation Gap reports, finds that total bilateral and multilateral funding for climate change adaptation in developing countries has risen substantially in the five years leading up to 2014, reaching $22.5 billion. But the report warns that, despite this increase, there will be a significant funding gap by 2050 unless new and additional finance for adaptation is made available.
“It is vital that governments understand the costs involved in adapting to climate change,” said Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme.
“This report serves as a powerful reminder that climate change will continue to have serious economic costs. The adaptation finance gap is large, and likely to grow substantially over the coming decades, unless significant progress is made to secure new, additional and innovative financing for adaptation.”
Previous estimates place the cost of adapting to climate change at between $70 to $100 billion annually for the period 2010-2050, a figure based on a World Bank study from 2010. The Adaptation Finance Gap Report, which is written by authors from 15 institutions and reviewed by 31 experts, builds upon these earlier estimates by reviewing national and sector studies.
As a result, the report finds that the World Bank’s earlier figures are likely to be a significant underestimate. The true cost of adapting to climate change in developing countries could range between $140 and $300 billion per year in 2030, and between $280 and $500 billion per year in 2050, it says.
Adaptation costs are likely to increase sharply over time even if the world succeeds in limiting a global rise in temperatures to below two degrees Celsius by 2100, the report warns. For higher scenarios of global warming, estimates of the adaptation costs in developing countries are higher even in early years, the report states.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has called on developed countries to provide $100 billion annually by 2020 to help developing countries mitigate climate change, and adapt to its impacts, such as drought, rising sea levels and floods.
However, the UNEP report notes: “There is no agreement as to the type of funding that shall be mobilised to meet this goal. This hampers efforts to monitor progress toward meeting the goal.” The report further highlights the need for the proper measurement, tracking, and reporting system of adaptation investments, to help ensure that finance is used efficiently and targeted where it is most needed.
The report states that, while dedicated climate funds are breaking down the barriers to investing in adaptation projects in developing countries, contributions to these funds are low when compared to the contributions made to funds that mitigate climate change.
The Green Climate Fund, which was set up by the UNFCCC, with its stated goal of splitting funding equally between mitigation and adaptation efforts, is expected to play a significant role in efforts to fund adaptation, the report states.
“The adaptation finance gap is large, and likely to grow substantially over the coming decades, unless significant progress is made to secure new and additional finance for adaptation,” the report concludes.
“To meet finance needs and avoid an adaptation gap the total finance for adaptation in 2030 would have to be approximately six to 13 times greater than international public finance today”.
Adaptation costs are already two to three times higher than current international public funding for adaptation, states the report, which was launched today at Adaptation Futures – the biennial conference of the Global Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation.
Closing this gap will be vital if the world is to address future adaptation needs, especially those of developing countries.
The Paris Agreement on climate change, which 195 countries negotiated in December, includes several key provisions designed to advance adaptation. Three are particularly momentous: the adoption of a global goal on adaptation, the commitment to increase developed country funding to developing countries and the requirement that all parties draw up and regularly update adaptation plans and strategies.
In an unprecedented move, the Paris Agreement also calls for a balance between adaptation and mitigation finance and support in a bid to meet longstanding demand for adaptation finance from developing countries.
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By David Njagi
NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Illegal traffic in live animals is one of the leading causes of zoonotic diseases spread around the world, a new report by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) has warned.
The report, Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern, lists Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), avian flu, monkey pox and even ebola as some of the diseases which may have jumped species into the human genome.
According to the document, humans are likely to catch infections from animals because a live animal requires a courier to transport it along the value chain, often though secret trade routes.
“The animals may not be quarantined and often make contact with the person transporting them,” explains Jacqueline McGlade, the chief scientist at UNEP.
At least 40,000 primates, four million birds, 640,000 reptiles and 350 million tropical fish are traded globally each year, argues the report, adding that it is the fourth most lucrative black market after drugs people and arms trafficking.
The Middle East is the leading transit and destination for wildlife, where cartels are using technology to pitch for markets.
“It is an industry that now uses the internet and popular social media sites such as facebook and instagram to contact customers,” says the report launched today at the ongoing United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi.
Zoonotic diseases are those that are transmitted from animals to human beings, and have widely been linked to climate change.
Latest intelligence collected by UNEP however indicates that crime syndicates are also causing the spread of disease.
“We need to bring together veterinary and medical experts to tackle the spread of zoonoses,” says McGlade.
DAR ES SALAAM (PAMACC News) - Nigeria's Minister of Water Resources, Eng. Suleiman Adamu has restated Federal Governments’ commitment towards increasing access to potable water for all Nigerians by 2030.
Adamu said this in an interview with PAMACC News at the recently concluded Africa water Week in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
He said that without universal access to safe water and sanitation, poverty and inequality cannot be eradicated in any country.
``We are working to ensure that all Nigerians have access to potable water by 2030 through urban water sector reform programme.”
``We realise that implementing the first and second urban water reform programmes have resulted in moderate success and improved piped water supply, if we put more efforts, we can achieve more.’’
Adamu said that the results from the Millennium Development Goals, showed that Nigeria was not able to meet its target due to sole reliance on budgetary allocation. He said Nigeria would soon launch the National Programme on Partnerships for Extending Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, aimed at meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 6) of universal access to water.
This programme, the minister said, was a partnership between the three tiers of government, the development partners and communities to commit funds and mobilise towards meeting the SDG 6 by 2030.
``We have also realised that one of the reasons why Nigeria failed to meet the MDGs was because we have been relying only on budgetary allocation from the three tiers of government.
``Due to dwindling resources, there is a huge challenge of scaling up; this is why we must include all other stakeholders.
He said Nigeria needed to take the lead on its issues, rather than relying also on development partners.
He said Nigeria would do everything possible to reform the water sector because of its centrality to health, agriculture, and others.
He said the ministry has created a data bank and census for water supply and sanitation for all water infrastructures in the country. Adamu emphasised the need for attitudinal change toward public utilities, saying Nigeria must begin to see the importance of paying for water consumed.
He stressed the role of political will and commitment from state actors and chief executives in funding water, saying they are the decision makers in parts of the country.
He said the ministry would continue in its advocacy to ensure that governments begin to allocate more funds for such projects.
The minister commended the World Bank and other development partners for funding water projects in the country and pledged government`s commitment to increasing fund allocation to water.
The 6th Africa Water Week aspires to lay the building blocks for Africa to achieve the SDG 6 as well as other inter-linking SDGs connected with water resources management. The week represents a political commitment at the highest level for creating platform to discuss and collectively seek solutions to Africa's water and sanitation challenges.