Monday, December 8, 2014

Africa identifies with Philippines over Typhoon Hagupit

by Atayi Babs, Lima

Over one hundred delegates from countries around the world including leading representatives of the African civil society under the aegis of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) stood together for two minutes of silence to show solidarity with the people of the Philippines who are suffering under the lash of Typhoon Hagupit. 
The latest reports say at least 21 people have been killed by floodwaters caused by the storm, that is continuing its painfully slow path towards the capital Manilla - 1 million people have been evacuated from their homes.

At the UN conference centre in Lima civil society representatives called on Ministers arriving today and tomorrow at the climate negotiations to make progress towards a mechanism that effectively addresses loss and damage from climate impacts. Climate change is causing an increase in extreme rainfall and sea level rise is making the storm surges more deadly. Vulnerable countries like the Philippines are already counting the cost, last year Typhoon Haiyan left more than 7,000 dead or missing.
"We stand in solidarity with the Philipines today because we are one," Robert Chimambo of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) declared. "Africa is in the same vulnerable boat with Philippines and that is why we are calling on those with historical responsibility and capacity to act now or we sink together in this titanic" Chimambo added.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Africa demands climate treaty ratification at Lima talks

Nagmeldin G. Elhassan, AGN Chair
The African group of negotiators on Climate Change has urged developed countries to ratify an extension of the second phase of Kyoto Protocol. They say the developed nations must show leadership in tackling climate change effects by ratifying the binding treaty.

Nagmeldin G. Elhassan, the Chair of the African Negotiating Group says ratifying the second commitment period is the only way Africa and developing nations can take the developed countries seriously on commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Le groupe Africain réclame plus d'action

Elhassan et Xolisa


 Le groupe Africain jure que la 20eme conférence des nations unies sur les changements climatique qui se tienne à Lima  doit  enregistrer un énorme succès coute que coute.
Ce groupe estime que tous les efforts du moment et des gouvernements devraient être engagés pour lever le défi de la question des changements climatiques.

"La science, notre peuple, le continent, les nations unies nous interpellent pour passer à l'action afin de faire face au grand défis  mondial du  climat et réduire les CO2.L'adaptation figure aussi parmi nos priorités " Rassure le président du groupe Africain Nagmeldin El Hassan.

El Hassan en outre fait allusion sur la priorité du groupe sur les deux principaux objectifs de la Conférence de Lima: privilégier toutes actions visant à  la protection dans la période pré-2020, et négocier un nouveau agenda à mettre en application d'ici 2020.

Renewable energy will create more jobs - WWEA

Heinz Kopetz (left) and Prof. Dr. Tanay Sidki at Lima Climate talks

The World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) has said renewable energy will not only mitigate the impacts of climate change but also create jobs substantially.

`If you promote renewable energy in your region, you be able to avoid spending a lot of money on energy. One economic benefit is new jobs and higher income` said Heinz Kopetz, member of WWEA who doubles as the President of World Bioenergy Association.

`Six point five million people around the world now have jobs from renewable energy. For this moment alone. Renewable energy will make the economy better and more stable. Everything is positive. Businesses will make money. It,s not like natural gas. It's everywhere. They water is here, the sun is here free of charge` said Prof. Dr. Tanay Sidik UYAR of WWEA.

Both men were speaking on the sidelines of the United Nations climate change conference taking place in Lima, Peru.

Renewable energy partnership critical for African farmers

by Kofi Adu Domfeh

African civil society at the climate talks in Lima, Peru, has identified renewable energy as key to stop deforestation and reduce poverty on the continent.
They therefore support the proposed Global Renewable Energy Partnership put forward by the African Group of Negotiators (AGN).
The proposal falls in line with the UN Secretary-General's sustainable energy for all initiative, launched in 2011.
"Our people do produce food but there is no value addition in the last 100years, so what we now need is to introduce energy so that at the smallholder farm level our people can add value to the products they produce," said Robert Chimambo of Zambia Climate change Network.
He believes access to renewable energy would be critical to enable smallholder farmers add value at the farm-level for higher income earnings.

Lima talks: We must prepare to count the cost of delay - IPCC

Rajendra Pachauri, IPCC Chair
by Peter Labeja, Lima

"The window of opportunity to act on climate change is soon closing. Science offers clear rationale for climate action now" says Dr. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri the chairperson of the  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) during the opening ceremony of the twentieth Conference of Parties, also known as COP20 in Lima, the capital of Peru this morning.
According to Rajendra, any further delay will make response to Climate Change too late and too expensive for humanity. He stressed that nearly a quadrupling of low-carbon energy is required by 2050, to address the impact of Climate Change. So, what do we really need to reverse the rising warming of the globe observed in 2014, the hottest year according to IPCC?
Act now. Act with urgency. Failure will condemn developing countries and the extremely poor African peasant farmers to another unchecked generation of suffering extreme weather, frequent floods, droughts and crop failures. Already, little actions taken after COP19 has been greeted with widespread deaths brought about by typhoons and increasing floods on the African continent. According to Oxfam International, 6,000 people were killed and another 4.1 million displaced.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Climate Finance is flowing, but it isn’t enough - Figueres

by Wambi Michael

Climate financing across the globe has hit record high to about $650 billion dollars in the last two years but the UN Climate chief, Christiana Figureres says it is not enough to meet the growing financial needs to tackle global warming.   

A new financial assessment report presented to at the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru puts  the lower range of global total climate flows at $340 billion a year for the period between 2011-2012. 

The assessment compiled the UNFCCC standing committee on finance is the first to put together information and data on financial flows supporting emission reductions and adaptation within the countries and through international support.

Extreme heat signals possible failure of Lima climate talks

Delegates from over 190 countries at the ongoing Lima climate talks have come under serious pressure from the climate with extreme heat trailing the negotiations. As negotiations opened on Monday morning, delegates immediately found themselves on the hot seat as IPCC Rajendra Pachauri challenged delegates to "come to terms" with the fact that staying below the 2°C target requires zero or negative emissions, relative to 2010 levels, by 2100.  

The literal heat of the venue prompted one delegate to exclaim "this is just like a greenhouse and this is exactly what's happening to our planet." "Last October, those of us who were at the Convention for Biological Diversity COP in Pyeongchang, South Korea, were subjected to cold temperature extremes; now we're being tried by fire," complained another.

2014 will likely be the hottest on record, WMO warns

World Meteorology Organisation

World Meteorological Organization says the year 2014 is on track for being one of the hottest, if not the hottest, on record, according to preliminary results issued at the side lines of the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru.

The changes according to the estimates are largely due to record WMO high global sea surface temperatures, which are predicted to likely remain above normal until the end of the year. 

The report says High sea temperatures, together with other factors, contributed to exceptionally heavy rainfall and floods in many countries and extreme drought in others.

The high January to October temperatures according to WMO, Secretary General Michel Jerraud occurred in the absence of a full El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

ENSO occurs when warmer than average sea-surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific combine, in a self-reinforcing loop, with atmospheric pressure systems, thus affecting weather patterns globally. 

Civil Society demands shift in private sector investment at Lima talks

Rev Tholbert Jallah Jnr
By Kofi A Domfeh, PAMACC Team, Lima

Solving the problem of global climate change is impossible without huge shift in private sector investments, since this sector represents trillions of dollars with vast majority of economic activities around the world.
This is the view of Civil Society in contributing to a discussion at the ongoing climate change talks in Lima, Peru.
According to Dr. Tholbert Jallah of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), what is needed most is policy changes and regulations particularly in developed countries "to shift private investments from brown to green".
"National governments could do far more to shift incentives so that trillions of dollars of private investments will flow to sustainable climate-friendly activities," he said.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Africa to "name and shame" at Lima climate change talks

In South American country, Peru where delegates around the globe are meeting to negotiate a new blueprint for the world to follow in order to combat climate change, African civil society is categorical on its prime goal.
"We are here to name and shame and also to remind the world that the needs of the African people must be met. Lima should deliver a text that most be agreed on in Paris" declared Samson Ogalla of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), a continental coalition of Civil Society Organizations defending the position of Africa in climate change talks.
"Here in Lima, the call to action on world leaders, delegates, governments, negotiators across the divide have to be louder by Civil Society Organisations. To this course, PACJA remains committed" added Mithika Mwenda, Secretary General of PACJA
"For us, it`s a matter of life. If we miss this one we are finished. Climate is much more serious than has been predicted" said Robert Chimambo of Zambia Climate Change. All of them made their declaration in Lima on the eve of the UN climate change conference to run from 1-12 Dec. 2014. 

African Civil Society Groups Race To Make The Most From COP20

African Civil Society groups at the ongoing United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are racing to make the most of this year's conference of parties (COP20).
The groups attending the annual conference now underway in Peru's capital Lima want to see additional commitment from the developed countries in providing US$ 100 Billion by the year 2020 among other crucial objectives.
"With fresh momentum and better organization, the conference should provide us better opportunity to push the developed countries to honour and deliver on its commitment. The industrialized countries must scale up their Commitments to fulfilling their obligation to providing adequate, new and additional funds as this amount is far from all estimates of climate finance needed by developing countries", Samuel Samson Ogallah of the African Civil Society Umbrella group, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) told a pre-COP consultative meeting in Peru November 30th. 

African fish industry in peril as global warming intensifies

By Arison TAMFU
Peru, Lima, and Dec. 2: Ana Faustor, a middle-aged Peruvian lady takes a passionate bite
at a grilled fish as she follows proceedings at the UN Climate change talks in Lima just outside the hall where deliberations are taking place. Inside the hall, officials reflect on how dangerous climate change has become to mankind and insist that the time to act is now but Ana`s thoughts are buried in nostalgia of the days of abundant fish and how she used to go fishing with her father in Chimbote, in the north of South American country, Peru.
“Things have changed now. Fishing is becoming difficult and fishes are disappearing” she says regretting how good fish is becoming rare in Peru, a country that holds second place in the worldwide production of aquatic species. As the UN Climate change conference opens this Dec. 1 in Peru, Ana hopes for an outcome that will mitigate the impacts of climate change across the globe.
“That is why I am attending the conference. Things are getting out of hand. We do know what to do” she laments. Millions of miles across the Ocean in Limbe, a town in West African country, Cameroon, Enoh Joseph shares her sentiments.

COP 20: We must prepare to count the cost Of delay - IPCC

Rajendra Pachauri, IPCC Chair

“The window of opportunity to act on climate change is soon closing. Science offers clear rationale for climate action now” says Dr. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri the chairperson of the  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) during the opening ceremony of the twentieth Conference of Parties, also known as COP20 in Lima, the capital of Peru this morning.
According to Rajendra, any further delay will make response to Climate Change too late and too expensive for humanity. He stressed that nearly a quadrupling of low-carbon energy is required by 2050, to address the impact of Climate Change. So, what do we really need to reverse the rising warming of the globe observed in 2014, the hottest year according to IPCC?
Act now. Act with urgency. Failure will condemn developing countries and the extremely poor African peasant farmers to another unchecked generation of suffering extreme weather, frequent floods, droughts and crop failures. Already, little actions taken after COP19 has been greeted with widespread deaths brought about by typhoons and increasing floods on the African continent. According to Oxfam International, 6,000 people were killed and another 4.1 million displaced.

COP 20: Opening Ceremony in Pictures

Nagmeldin G Elhassan, Chair of the African Group of Negotiators 
COP 20 President & Peruvian Environment Minister: Manuel Pulgar-Vidal

Rajendra K Pachauri, IPCC Chair

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Africa eyes comprehensive 2015 draft as Lima climate talks begin

African civil society at COP 20 Lima
The United Nations Climate Conference opening today in Lima, Peru carries the prospects of putting the world on the pathway to a comprehensive climate agreement in 2015, experts say. 

Amidst cautious optimism, African civil society groups under the umbrella of the Pan-African Climate Justice (PACJA) have called for a draft text to be adopted in Paris next year that will commit countries to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Speaking at the Pre-UNFCCC COP 20 Consultative Consultative workshop in Lima, Sam Ogallah stated that PACJA’s strength is embedded on the preparedness of the African civil society at all levels to ensure that the New Climate Change Agreement to be concluded in Paris in 2015 is responsive to African aspirations and realities.

Robert Chimambo added that Africa expects nothing short of a comprehensive draft agreement for 2015 in Lima as the stakes are already high with Africa being at the receiving end of the disastrous consequences of climate change. The UN environment programme warned earlier this month that industrialised countries were falling short of the emissions reductions needed to prevent warming of 2C above pre-industrial levels, the goal set by world leaders. Carbon dioxide emissions are expected to reach a record high of 40bn tonnes in 2014. Meanwhile, 2014 is shaping up to be the hottest on record.

PRE-COP 20: African civil society consultative workshop, Lima in pictures

COP 20: Our Position for Lima Climate Talks - by Nigerian civil society

We, the representatives of Nigerian Civil Society under the aegis of Climate and Sustainable Development Network of Nigeria (CSDevNet) with support from Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) held nation-wide consultations and mobilisation meetings on the imperatives of Climate Justice and Post-2015 Agenda as well as draw strategies and action plans for a robust participation in COP 20/CMP10 by the Nigerian government. The meetings which took place from the 15th – 20th of November 2014 across four geo-political zones in the country drew participants from Government, CSOs, Media, International Development Partners, grassroots community practitioners, trusts, farmer cooperatives, federations of slum dwellers and pastoralists, home based caregivers, youth, women and faith-based organizations, including those working on child welfare, the elderly, disabled and those focusing on livestock and animal welfare.

Recognising the role of Nigeria to speak with one voice along with other African countries at the forthcoming Lima COP 20 and desirous that this one voice should be that of and be informed by realities of the local communities; and the fact that non-state actors contribution to the UNFCCC process and its outcome is essential for informed policy formulation and monitoring of its implementation at all levels;
Acknowledging that these meetings held at a time that the world is expressing its deep solidarity with the families of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls and the people of North-East Nigeria, we hereby join the global call for solidarity and compassion with the Chibok families and we say “Bring Back Our Girls, Now and Alive”!

Affirming the authority of the Nigerian Civil Society and communities, as the expression of the sovereign will and voice of the people;
Concerned by the cruel irony that a people who have lived for so long in harmony with Mother Earth, imprinting the lightest of footprints, now suffer a crisis they contributed the least towards it cause; 
Noting the release of the Synthesis Report of the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report that cited evidence of increasing warming globe.
We hereby declare and adopt the following as our position for Nigeria:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

UBA Ruby Account Offers More Exclusive Perks For Women, Introduces Priority Pass

Women who chose Ruby, a female focused current account offered by pan-African bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, will now enjoy more perks as the bank has expanded its list of exclusive partners offering special services to its female account holders.

UBA Ruby Account
Ruby is a current account offered by UBA exclusively to its female bank customers to satisfy some of their business and personal and needs comes with several specially attached privileges for account holders.   The current account is specifically designed for the discerning woman of substance providing unique services to fit the banking needs of UBA’s exquisite female customers.

 “Priority Pass” is the new value added services offered by UBA to Ruby Acct Customers. The “Priority Pass” grants customers access to over 600 VIP lounges in more than 100 countries and 300 cities worldwide regardless of the class of travel or airline a Ruby account holder flies.

“Priority Pass Membership offers great value for money and allows members to use any of 600 airport lounges whenever they travel” explained Olumide Osunyomi, UBA’s Head of Retail Products

Lima climate talks must produce comprehensive draft for 2015 deal, civil society insists

Nigerians demanding Climate Justice

The meeting of nearly 200 governments in Peru later this year for the 20th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) must produce the first draft of a global deal to cut emissions, a coalition of Nigerian civil society says.
In a release marking the commencement of the 2014 Global Week of Action for Climate Justice, Atayi Babs of the Climate and Sustainable Development Network of Nigeria (CSDevNet) decried the slow progress at the last round of talks in Warsaw, Poland which means significant progress is needed in key areas including climate financing and how to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.
The meeting in Lima in December is a staging point towards a crunch summit in Paris in 2015 when it is hoped world leaders will agree, for the first time, a global deal on cutting emissions that includes both rich and poor countries.

"If what we want by Paris 2015 is a new binding global climate agreement, then Lima must produce a solid working draft," said Atayi Babs.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Setting green finance on the right track

Illustration: Patrick Hoesly
Environmental disasters around the globe keep reminding us that humankind has to change its unsustainable ways of living. Therefore we need enormous amounts of green finance to tackle these challenges in the coming decades. The good news is that we have a broad consensus on this necessity. However, almost acknowledged as much as the notion that we have to restrict our ways of living in a way that we stay within the planetary boundaries, is the sense of helplessness about where this green finance shall come from.

At this point, we are facing the first hurdle: we do not have a precise definition of ‘green finance’, which makes it hard to mobilize it. For the moment, we will define ‘green finance’ broadly as finance flows or investments that respect the planetary boundaries.

A multitude of reports on the bottlenecks and challenges of green finance have been published. The same is true for estimations of financing resources and needs, as well as case studies on best practices. In a nutshell, financing needs are impressively high, with estimates for investments in green infrastructure varying between US$1-2trn per year for the next decades.

Government budgets are insufficient, even more so in the aftermath of the latest crisis, and private and institutional investors (such as pension funds, assurances and sovereign wealth funds) that have assets under management of several tens of trillions of dollars only invest less than 1% of their portfolios in capital products that are targeted for green investments. The well-known constraints include high risks, insufficient policy support and enabling environments, and a lack of a project pipeline.

Climate Action: A consensus of the sensible can beat polluters' PR

Climate Action: A consensus of the sensible can beat polluters' PR

Six steps the world should take to fight climate change

Last month, the most thorough scientific review of climate science in history was released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  However, confirmation of clear, dangerous and present epochal changes in our planet drowned in the noisy coverage of the UK’s carnival-esque party conferences, the US Government shutdown, and coquettish phone calls between Americans and Iranians.

Financing the transition to a green economy: Where’s the money?

climate change
 Credit: Agni Klintuni Boedhihartono

According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Earth is set to warm by 4 to 5 degrees compared with pre-industrial levels, warming that will wreak devastating effects on the planet and lead to massive destruction, loss of life and loss of subsistence for millions. In order to avoid this outcome, the International Energy Agency says we need US$1trn a year until 2050 to finance a transition to green growth and green lifestyles.
Where is this US$1trn going to come from?
First, based on research by the Climate Policy Initiative, three-quarters of all climate financing already comes from the country it is spent in. We will need (and will have to get) funding from most countries, even very poor ones, though that’s not the same thing as saying we need it from their public purse: climate change is a global “commons” and requires every individual, company, and country to participate in its solution.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Climate change raises issues of equity, justice and fairness, IPCC affirms

The Synthesis Report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Sunday, November 2, 2014 has affirmed that limiting the effects of climate change raises issues of equity, justice, and fairness and it is increasingly becoming necessary to achieve sustainable development and poverty eradication.

The Synthesis Report makes a clear case that many risks constitute particular challenges for the least developed countries and vulnerable communities, given their limited ability to cope. People who are socially, economically, culturally, politically, institutionally, or otherwise marginalized are especially vulnerable to climate change.

“Many of those most vulnerable to climate change have contributed and contribute little to greenhouse gas emissions,” Pachauri said. “Addressing climate change will not be possible if individual agents advance their own interests independently; it can only be achieved through cooperative responses, including international cooperation.”

IPCC Synthesis Report Press Conference

From Marrakech to Bulawayo, African CSOs confront climate change

Cross-Section of African CSO Leaders at Launch of PACJA Morocco

It took twenty-two (22) days in the month of October 2014 to complete the race of about 70707km from Morocco to Zimbabwe.

What is at stake here, the Olympics, the World Cup, Africa Cup of Nations torch or the visit of King Mohamed VI to President Mugabe? You be the Judge!

If East Africa was involved in this race, you can guess they will lift the gold medal but it was between the north and south so it can't be it.

Well, this was the distance covered by the Morocco Network on Climate Change (MNCC) at Marrakech on October 7, 2014 and Zimbabwe Climate Change Coalition (ZCCC) on October 29, 2014 when the two national chapters of PACJA were launched respectively.

What did the two nations have in common besides been African countries- THE CHALLENGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE!

"We are holding your German Hostage," Shekau boasts in a new video

Abubakar Shekau
Boko Haram has claimed in a new video obtained by AFP that a German national is in their custody. Leader of the terrorist group, Abubakar Shekau's boast that "we holding your German hostage," makes it the first claim of responsibility for the abduction, which happened on July 16.

The German foreign ministry in Berlin said it did not want to comment when contacted by AFP.
Armed gunmen kidnapped the foreigner, who was said to be a teacher at a government technical training centre in Gombi, about 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the Adamawa state capital Yola.

Suspicion immediately fell on Boko Haram, which has repeatedly attacked schools teaching a so-called Western curriculum, as well as teachers and students. An offshoot of Boko Haram, Ansaru, has previously claimed the kidnapping of at least eight foreigners in northern Nigeria since 2012 but the group has been largely dormant for more than a year.

The group reportedly broke with Boko Haram to specifically target foreigners instead of Nigerians and executed seven expatriates it seized from Bauchi state in 2013.

In January 2012, Boko Haram kidnapped German engineer Edgar Raupach at a construction site on the outskirts of the northern city of Kano. He was killed during a military raid on a Boko Haram hideout on the outskirts of the city four months later.

With emission cuts and adaptation, climate change effects can be limited, Says IPCC

Limiting climate change would require substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions which, together with adaptation, can limit climate change risks, a UN-backed expert panel says.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reveals in a blunt report that continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.

The IPCC's Synthesis Report was published on Sunday in Copenhagen, after a week of intense debate between scientists and government officials.

“Adaptation can play a key role in decreasing these risks,” said Vicente Barros, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II. “Adaptation is so important because it can be integrated with the pursuit of development, and can help prepare for the risks to which we are already committed by past emissions and existing infrastructure.”

But adaptation alone is not enough. Substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions are at the core of limiting the risks of climate change. And since mitigation reduces the rate as well as the magnitude of warming, it also increases the time available for adaptation to a particular level of climate change, potentially by several decades.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Practice Makes Perfect in the Agriculture sector

Accompanied by his 2 year twin girls, Manyoh Besong and Ayamba Besong; Josiah Egbe strolls out of his family house to extend a hand shake to a journalist. His cold and solid smile creates a good friendship. Josiah’s typical playful African twin -(talkative indeed) run around the giant cocoa nut tree, in front of their house where their father Josiah Egbe has planted their family treasure, 4 active snail farms. Josiah is a tall handsome dark young man referred to in his community as “Tanyi” meaning father of twin. 

In the context of the Cameroon’s snail farming project Josiah is a special case and his slow space belies his accomplishments. Josiah, wife and three children live in the Ekona village some 10KM from Buea the capital of the South West Region in Cameroon.