Paris Agreement and the incoming US administration
Déc29

Paris Agreement and the incoming US administration

  Paris Agreement and the incoming US administration By Aya Kathir and Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache All around the world, people, politicians and leaders are talking about the “changing American political landscape”. Donald Trump the president elect has yet  to decide his environmental agenda regarding the climate change and the fossil fuel which could cripple a decade of climate diplomacy. Barack Obama’s Clean Power Strategy could fail after Donald Trump’s decision to remove the US from the Framework Convention on Climate Change and remove his Nation from the Paris Agreement. How Climate Change is affecting the US? There are public health threats associated with the extreme weather including the heat stress, air pollution and diseases carried by food, water and insects. Climate Change has come at a cost to the US. Disasters in 2012 cost the American Economy more than $100 billion with drought, heatwave, western wildfires, super storm Sandy and hurricane ISAAC. What is the Clean Power Plan about? The Clean Power Plan aims to  reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. It should prevent up to 3,600 premature deaths, 1,700 non-fatal heart attacks, 90,000 asthma attacks in children, 300,000 missed workdays and schooldays. According to the current US administration, the Clean Power Plan should boost the US economy by leading to 30 percent more renewable energy generation in  2030, creating tens of thousands of jobs and continuing to lower the costs of renewable energy. President Obama renewable energy policy calls to keep global warming below 2 degree Celsius. On August 3, 2015, Mr Obama announced “the clean power plan”,  a turning point and an important step in reducing carbon pollution. By announcing a clean power plan, the US is committed to lead global efforts to address Climate Change. The Clean Power Plan was first proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency in June 2014, under the administration of the President Obama. Its final version set a national limit on Carbon pollution.  US Investment From 2010-2015, the US has invested more than $11 billion in International clean energy finance, while in 2016,  Mr Trump as a candidate  announced that investing in  Climate Change wasn’t worth it:  it was waste of money he said. But on November 17, 2016, “more than 360 businesses and investors sent a strong message to the US headers; reaffirming their support for the historic Paris Climate Agreement. They were calling the US administration to strongly support the continuation of low-carbon policies and the commitment of the US in the Paris Agreement. Financing developing countries: a priority While the current US administration announced statistics and numbers to continue the global transition to zero- and-low...

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“Southern Africa could create 78,000 new jobs in less than 20 years”- Thelma Munhequete
Déc19

“Southern Africa could create 78,000 new jobs in less than 20 years”- Thelma Munhequete

Southern Africa could create 78,000 new jobs in less than 20 years By Thelma Munhequete*   I have attended the global Gender Climate Alliance Innovation Forum, on the sideline of COP22,  the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Marrakech, Morocco last november. The event was supported by different UN Agencies, organizations and stakeholders. 200 participants from different countries attended the two days event. Different experience and action where shared. Mary Robinson from the Mary Robinson Foundation, addressed the need of bigger and great Dialogues among Women  globally, Regionally and at a country level. Participants  have concentrated efforts to   improve gender balance and increase the participation of women in all UNFCCC processes. The Forum addressed key questions:  Where  Are We?  Where  Are We Going? What topics? How  can we integrate gender into urban climate policy? These are my thoughts. Where Are We? Gender in the communities is a relatively new topic in Mozambique. But it  has not received much attention although it is acknowledged that women and the youth are the most vulnerable groups in the communities. In its response to ensure social safety and protection of the citizens, the Government of Mozambique introduced measures through departments. This is further supported by Policy Frameworks and Legal instruments. As Country Executive Director of Africa Foundation which works  in southern Africa Countries, both in Mozambique and Zambia,  I  shared my experience in Mozambique. The lack   of data  is the main obstacle to integrate climate change, gender mainstream and the sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) simultaneously, in order to reduce poverty, promote food security and further gender equality in my country. Climate change is affecting the youth. In most  cases, the youth helps the family. The decrease in water pressure reduces the reliability of the water borehole in the villages. During drought,people move with their livestock for grazing and so require water. These additional challenges compromise the health condition of the youth as well as the education. It is critical to assess the viability of scaling up successful local solutions as well as identifying new solutions for them. Where  Are We Going? The associated lack of food, water and income is already visible and it’s reaching social consequences such adoption of risky behaviours consuming of alcohol abuse, criminal activities (Poaching), theft and corruption that lead to family breakdowns. We have embraced the principles of gender equality and empowerment of women and youth . Through our affiliation to the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA), we  aim to mainstream gender in all  projects. We adopted the Global Environment Facility’s Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP) to guide our gender action plan which forms part...

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Crowding the private sector into Africa’s climate action
Déc12

Crowding the private sector into Africa’s climate action

Crowding the private sector into Africa’s climate action It is in the enlightened self-interest of African private sector to begin to mobilise investment capital for Africa’s climate action LAGOS, Nigeria, December 12, 2016/ — The global community for climate action was spooked by the November 8 election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States. The US President-elect had earned the sobriquet of “climate denier,” for his claim that climate change is a hoax. However, there is cautious optimism that his presidency will not overturn the global agenda on climate change. Hopefully, his views on climate change will change and align with reality when he settles into the Oval Office. Policymakers also believe that global climate agreements cannot be reversed easily. In the meantime, stakeholders are pressing on with formulating strategies for climate change mitigation and adaptation. The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the United Nations’ agency on climate change held on November 7 – 18 in Marrakech, Morocco. At the climate talks, Australia, Japan, United Kingdom, Pakistan and seven other countries ratified the December 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. A total of 111 countries, including the United States, China and Member Countries of the European Union ratified the agreement by the time COP 22 concluded. Since the Paris accord entered into force on November 4th, quite earlier than anticipated, global action against climate change has effectively shifted to strategic programming. Therefore, in Marrakech, Canada, Germany, Mexico and the United States published their plans to significantly decarbonize their economies by 2050. A group of 47 developing nations also committed to running entirely on renewable energy sources “as rapidly as possible.” Some of the plans are already gaining traction. Investments in renewable energy totalled $286 billion in 2015. This surpassed by 3% the previous high of renewable energy investment achieved in 2011. Data gleaned from Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016, a joint publication by United Nations Environment Programme and Bloomberg, further revealed that last year, coal and gas-fired electricity generation drew less than half the record investment made in solar, wind and other renewable energy sources. The trend in renewable energy investment is a mixed bag, even in developing countries. China alone accounted for 55% of total investment last year; Africa’s share was less than 5%. As climate change mitigation is being driven by investment in green energy, Africa is already taking the familiar position at the back seat on the ‘green energy train’. This was not unanticipated by climate policymakers. Although China is the clear leader in investment in renewables, other developing countries, in particular the low-income countries, are...

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World Green Economy Organization :  A New approach from the Arab world
Nov26

World Green Economy Organization : A New approach from the Arab world

World Green Economy Organization :  A New approach from the Arab world Recently at the UN Climate Conference in Marrakech, the World Green Economy Organization was announced globally in presence of  Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, United Arab Emirates Minister of Climate Change and the Environment,  Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, and Chairman of the board of the World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO) and Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). By Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache Towards a green economy “The World Green Economy Organization aims to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement and increase awareness on climate change to enhance the shift towards a green economy and a low carbon economy that is climate-resilient, resource-efficient, and socially inclusive,” said in Morocco Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, and Chairman of the board of the World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO), during the global launch of the World Green Economy Organization in Marrakech (Morocco). “ Launching WGEO at this time reflects the relentless efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals outlined in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” he added . After the October 2016 third World Green Economy Summit in Dubai, the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties, COP 22, in Marrakesh, Morocco, was an opportunity for the Arab world to show its willing to diversify its economy and also a way to promote its willing to work with all countries around the world towards a green economy. Dubai Plans Last June, Mr Al Tayer, announced in Dubai that  his country will build within the next five years  a largest Concentrated Solar Power (CPS) which will generate  1,000 megawatts (MW) of power by 2030 as part of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy to generate 75 per cent of Dubai’s power from clean energy by 2050. This solar project could reduce more than 6.5 million tonnes of CO2. It can therefore meet its pledges linked to the Paris Agreement : keep global warming temperatures below 2°C in a long term goal, he added. The project will even surpass the existing world’s largest CPS tower in Morocco that has a power generating capacity of 150MW, senior energy officials said. How the World Green Economy Organization will work? According to Mr Al Tayer, the World Green Economy Organization, based in Dubai,  will play an instrumental role in mitigating climate change.   It will serves as a mechanism for adaptation and mitigation to climate change by generating new solutions for sustainable energy, water and other environmental challenges. How ? “by lowering the risk of green economy investments and bridging...

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COP 22 : Vers l’arrivée décisive des Chefs D’Etat
Nov14

COP 22 : Vers l’arrivée décisive des Chefs D’Etat

COP 22 : Vers l’arrivée décisive des Chefs D’Etat   Par Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache Quelques jours après le début de négociations sur la mise en œuvre de l’accord de Paris adopté dans la capitale française, en 2015,  et entré en vigueur le 4 novembre dernier, les chefs d’Etat de la planète se rendent à Marrakech pour marquer leur volonté d’agir. Mais, le chemin semble semer d’embûches. L’élection du président américain Donald Trump présente une certaine « incertitude » , selon le président Français, François Hollande.  Cette élection a effectivement marqué les esprits des participants de la Conférence des Parties sur le Climat. Les Etats-Unis vont-ils annuler l’accord de Paris, comme l’avait annoncé le président élu américain lorsqu’il était candidat ?  Et quelles sont  les décisions prises par les négociateurs la semaine dernière ? Retour sur les points importants des négociations. Par Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache L’Accord de Paris est-il en danger ? Depuis lundi 7 novembre, début des discussions, 109 pays couvrant 77% des émissions de gaz à effet de serre ont ratifié l’accord de Paris, tels que l’Australie  et  le Japon, le Botswana et le Burkina Faso. Mais que va devenir cet accord avec le « Brexit » américain ? L’accord de Paris est-il remis en cause ? Oui et non disent de nombreux observateurs. Les actions de mise en œuvre se poursuivront  « Let’s wait and see », affirme en conférence de presse Patricia Espinoza, la Secrétaire Générale de la Convention Cadre des Nations Unies sur les Changements Climatiques.  Elle dit avoir proposé au nouveau président élu de travailler avec lui sur les questions de changements climatiques.  Pour  le Ministre des Affaires Etrangères et de la Coopération du Maroc, Salaheddine Mezouar  l’élection de M. Trump à la présidence française n’est pas une menace : “ Nous devons faire confiance au peuple américain qui sont déterminés et   fortement engagés à lutter contre les changements climatiques.» Des réformes américaines sont-elles en vue ? Fin octobre, l’administration américaine en charge de l’information sur l’énergie avait affirmé dans son dernier rapport que l’énergie solaire est la source d’énergie renouvelable la plus rapide et croissante aux Etats-Unis, et cela devrait continuer. Or, le site de campagne du candidat Trump, aujourd’hui président élu, précise que les actions du président Obama liées aux changements climatiques seront supprimées, notamment le « Clean Power Plan », le  plan Obama pour le climat, la ratification de l’accord de Paris et l’agence pour l’environnement.  Les raisons : ces actions sont jugées  trop couteuses et peu efficaces. Le site toutefois précise que le candidat Trump soutient les énergies renouvelables, mais tient aussi compte  des autres sources d’énergies comme les énergies fossiles. Le facteur rentabilité entrerait donc en jeu dans les décisions. Toutefois, plusieurs questions restent en suspends. Que...

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COP 22-  Knowledge and Learning: Strategies for Managing Climate Change
Nov05

COP 22- Knowledge and Learning: Strategies for Managing Climate Change

COP 22-  Knowledge and Learning: Strategies for Managing Climate Change By Olumide Idowu   Education: the key Many Africans are aware that some changes occur in the environment year in and year out but they need to understand  such change: increased disease, food shortages, and extreme flooding at various localities during certain periods of the year. Yet there have been no efforts to reduce the occurrences or avert them altogether. It is urgent to educate the public of the signs of climate change as well as management and prevention strategies. Many of us are aware that climate change is severely affecting livelihoods in Africa through changes in rainfall patterns. About seventy percent of the farmers expressed that their crops were washed away by floods, eliminating their yields for consumption or sale. In some part of West African countries the fishermen were not spared since they could not catch as much fish as they used to and the environment was not conducive for human life since all the debris washed away by water or flood was deposited at various places. About 70 percent of them at various fishing ports lamented that they suffer this disaster yearly but do not have the solution to their problems. According to Zack [1], Knowledge Management consists of a series of strategies and practice used in an organization to identify, create, distribute and enable adoption of insights and experiences. Such insights and experiences consist of knowledge integrated into or embodied in organizational theories and practice [2]. For many years, researchers have explored local knowledge about environmental change and increasingly over the past decade, local knowledge in relation to climate change specifically. They know much more about the content of the different types of knowledge that are important for responding to climate change-from modeling future rainfall changes in a particular country to how to get the most out of an agricultural environment in highly variable conditions. However, they still do not know how to translate these different forms of knowledge into practice and make them accessible to policymakers, front-line staff (such as agricultural extension officers or health workers), and people in poor communities on the ground. They also have a poor grasp of strategies for bringing together people from different backgrounds and starting points, so that they can reconcile what they know. Bringing together different perspectives is important for both the quality and legitimacy of decisions about adaptation [3]. In African schools, practical demonstrations are needed in order for children to actively use their acquired knowledge and skills to improve society. Teachers should also demonstrate the importance of agriculture in the growth of the nation. In...

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