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.