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African environment activists have called on the sixth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6), underway in Nairobi, Kenya, to order the global industry to turn the tide on the menace of solid waste, mainly plastic pollution and hazardous agrochemicals. According to Philip Kilonzo, a Nairobi-based environment activist and a smallholder dry-land farmer, several groundbreaking resolutions have been made since UNEA-1. Still, there has never been any global commitment to ensure that they are implemented. “A good example is the declaration to end the use of disposable plastic materials issued at UNEA 5.2,” said Kilonzo. “But what have we achieved? On average, African countries have made quite progressive commitments, and actions are evident in countries like Kenya and Rwanda. But countries like Korea are headed in the opposite direction, with plastic bags being used to wrap everything, including oranges and bananas. He added: “Most of the plastics end up in oceans, and since oceans have no boundaries, they transport them to countries that are making efforts to abide by international rules.” Integrated approaches for a water-secure world So far, the 2024 UNEA will push for implementing the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, advancing integrated approaches for a water-secure world, and going for responsible mining and sustainable mineral and metal use. The assembly will also seek action on advancing cooperation concerning nutrients, especially phosphorus, reviewing climate-altering technologies and measures, and aligning the financial system for sustainability. However, African activists feel that agriculture should have been one of the major factors, considering this year’s theme; ‘effective, inclusive and sustainable multilateral actions to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.’ According to Dr Million Belay, the Coordinator for the Alliance for Food Sovereignty for Africa (AFSA), agriculture is one of the main sources of environmental degradation and pollution globally. “As a continent, we need to shift towards sustainable agriculture, heal our soils which synthetic fertilizers have acidifed, move away from agrochemicals, some of which have been banned for use in their countries of origin,” he said. Unacceptable risks to human health and the environment A report released in 2023 by Route to Food Initiative (RTFI), a program of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, confirms that African countries are being used as dumping grounds for some of the most hazardous agrochemicals. The report titled Toxic Business: Highly Hazardous Pesticides in Kenya revealed that almost half of the pesticides used in Kenya (44 percent) of the total volume are already banned in the European Union due to their unacceptable risks to human health and the environment. So far, the country’s Pest Control Products Board (PCPB) is reviewing the status of some active ingredients on selected pesticides considered Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) for phased withdrawal by December 2024. Unique platform for decisions and new ideas “The world has reached the peak, and we must change the mode of production and consumption and address climate change comprehensively,” said Dr Mithika Mwenda, the Executive Director of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance. “The delegates should reflect on all the…
NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) – KyoGreen, an online platform, which is a tool that helps calculate carbon footprint is the latest winner of the prestigious award for the Global Excellence and Innovation as announced at the Qatar Financial Expo 2024. Hosted by Kyoto Network, a global leader in the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) arena, bringing together expertise in Environmental Management Systems (EMS), sustainability reporting, and market advisory services, KyoGreen allows users to quickly calculate their carbon footprint as well as the ability to offset it in the click of a button. The platform allows both individuals and enterprises to seamlessly gauge their carbon footprint, invest in carbon offsets, and foster a harmonious relationship with the environment. With its cutting-edge solutions and intuitive design, KyoGreen equips its users with the means to make impactful decisions and engage in actions that promote environmental conservation. "This global recognition is a testament to our team's relentless dedication and hard work,” said Sheraz Malik, the Founder and the Chief Executive Officer at the Kyoto Network. “It's a reflection of our collective effort to make a significant impact on sustainability practices worldwide," he added. Malik noted that the honour not only celebrates KyoGreen as a pioneer in environmental leadership and sustainable business models but also aligns with Kyoto Network's mission to forge a sustainable future. According to Amro Zakaria, the Middle East & Africa Director for Kyoto Network, the fight against climate change is no longer an option. "Achieving carbon neutrality is no longer optional but a crucial component of any future-proof business strategy. It's about building resilience and staying relevant in a world where sustainability is at the forefront," he said. The award was lauded by Suhair Alashqar, the CEO of AFAQ Group of Companies and the organizer of the Qatar Financial Expo. “We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Kyoto Network for their groundbreaking achievement in sustainability with their innovative carbon footprint and offsetting dashboard, KyoGreen,” she said. “The (team’s) commitment to environmental stewardship sets a remarkable example for the industry and inspires us all to strive for a greener, more sustainable future," added Alashqar. “As we are determined to spearhead the movement towards environmental sustainability, we extend an open invitation to individuals and companies alike to join in this crucial endeavour to combat climate change,” said Malik So far, a Swiss Company Climeworks has identified Kenya as a suitable site for a constructing a major carbon capture facility. “As we move towards COP 29 later this year, we must have tangible solutions or techniques that will help us reduce the carbon emissions as envisioned by the Paris Agreement,” said Ben Lang, the East Africa Regional Project partner for Kyoto Network. “We are pleased to see Kenya taking the lead under the leadership of President William Ruto,” he noted
Sham El Sheikh, Egypt (PAMACC News) - The African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN) has re-affirmed its commitment to Africa’s climate and development aspirations. Addressing a high-level stakeholder post-COP28 meeting taking place on the margins of the African Union (AU) summit, AGN Interim Chair, Alick Muvundika said the group will continue to represent and defend Africa’s priorities and aspirations in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) multilateral processes. Dr. Muvundika said the AGN stands ready and eager to continue receiving guidance from the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) and the Committee of African Union Heads of State on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) to ensure that the continent’s climate interests are safeguarded. He cited the historic establishment and operationalisation of the loss and damage fund at COP27 and COP28 respectively, as an outstanding outcome where the AGN was a key player in reaching the decision and ensured that Africa’s interests were well articulated. “As we start the year, looking back at COP28 and planning for 2024, I wish to re-affirm our commitment to the continent’s cause. The group, guided by AMCEN and CAHOSCC, has in the presented Africa, and remain a strong and united group of technical negotiators ready to safeguard and defend Africa’s interests in the UNFCCC processes,” said Dr. Muvundika. “As always, we remain committed to the guidance of our policy makers at the level of the AMCEN and CAHOSCC to ensure that we keep in tune with relevant policies guiding the continent’s development agenda.” The AGN Interim Chair highlighted key decisions from COP28 which include; operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund where; operationalisation of the Global goal on adaptation; the first Global Stocktake (GST); and the Just Transition Pathways work programme. In highlighting the multifaceted nature of climate change and its impacts on various sectors most African countries, Dr. Muvundika said the group is looking at innovative ways of how to constantly engage and enhance synergies between climate negotiators and policy makers from the environment sector and other climate sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water and health among others. “Climate change is a development issue beyond the environment sector. For example, climate impacts on health and agriculture have widely been articulated. For the first time, we had a health day at COP28 where climate and health issues were discussed. As negotiators, we therefore need innovative approaches to engage with these climate sensitive sectors in order to expand not only our own understanding but also be of support to the entire development spectrum which is impacted by climate change,” said Dr. Muvundika as he addressed the AGN LC post-COP28 meeting in Sham el Sheikh, Egypt, supported by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Egypt. Speaking during the same meeting, UNDP Egypt Resident Representative, Alessandro Fracassetti, highlighted the importance of partnerships and lauded the existing partnership between UNDP and the Egyptian government, and by extension, the AGN. “I would like to take a moment to highlight the fruitful partnership between UNDP and the COP27…
DUBAI, UAE (PAMACC News) - Vice President Kamala Harris was in Dubai at the UN climate summit last weekend, touting America’s climate leadership in front of hundreds of country leaders. Indeed, the Biden-Harris administration has taken some impressive steps, committing to halve emissions of climate-wrecking pollution by 2030, and backing that up with the most significant climate legislation in the nation’s history, the Inflation Reduction Act. Yet, one pivotal piece was glaringly absent from her remarks: any commitment to cut fossil fuels, the root cause of the climate crisis. President Biden must match his prowess for promoting clean energy with an equally ambitious plan for curbing America’s fossil fuel production. As the world’s largest and most powerful economy, the U.S. can’t simultaneously remain its biggest oil and gas producer and be an effective climate leader on the global stage. The posture is untenable — and the math doesn’t add up. This year, the U.S. experienced a record 25 climate-connected weather disasters that each exceeded $1 billion in damage and killed nearly 400 Americans combined. Despite that grim milestone, a recent United Nations report found that our country plans to produce more oil and gas in 2030 than at any time in its history — the same fuels driving these disasters. This projection flies in the face of the White House’s stated desire to slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and convince other nations to do the same. Even as the world transitions to clean energy, some fossil fuels will continue to be used for decades. Given that reality, U.S. fossil fuel executives and their allies argue that America might as well supply this fuel by increasing oil and gas exports even while we work toward reducing domestic consumption. The problem is that every major energy producer in the world has the same idea. The UN report shows that, taken together, government plans would result in global oil and gas production exceeding current levels until at least 2050. Should that much fossil fuel be produced, energy companies and markets would be expected to ensure that demand matches the supply — an outcome that would blow past agreed global temperature limits. The U.S. can only seriously address climate change by rapidly cutting both fossil fuel demand and fossil fuel supply to zero, or at least near enough to zero, so that the remaining carbon dioxide emissions can be captured. Yet, while carbon capture technology may have a limited role to play, it is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for fossil fuel producers. The International Energy Agency estimates that out of the 15 billion tons of emissions reductions needed by 2030, only 1 billion could be expected to be achieved through carbon capture. Biden has an admirable record to build upon in expanding clean energy production. Clean energy investments totaled $213 billion nationwide from July 2022 to June 2023, and it’s estimated the Inflation Reduction Act will create 1.5 million more clean energy jobs by 2030. The law’s incentives will cut household energy bills and…
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