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Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) Uganda in Collaboration with PACJA Secretariat and with financial support from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) organized a half day workshop to officially launch the project aimed at Strengthening Partnerships for the Effective Implementation of the Agenda 2030 in East Africa.

The workshop was attended by 30 participants who included representatives from Government, Ministries and Agencies, Honourable members of Parliament, Development Partners, Civil Society working around the selected SDGs, Media, Staff from PACJA Uganda and PACJA Secretariat.

The one-year project will focus on mainly 5 Sustainable Development Goals which include:

  • Goal 5 –Gender Equality,
  • Goal 8 –Decent work and economic growth
  • Goal 10 –Reduced inequality
  • Goal 13 –Climate action, and
  • Goal 17 –Partnerships to achieve the Goals.

The main objective of the workshop was to explore the possibility of creating a strong SDGs Uganda forum through the strengthening existing platforms.

Attached is a report of the workshop.

Friday, 01 March 2019 00:00

Farmers field day on agro-ecology in Embu county

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 Farmers showcase the work with on Agro ecology and community climate resilience and adaptation.

Friday, 01 March 2019 00:00

Climate finance at COP24

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 Photo credits The guardian

The climate summit in Katowice, Poland, unfortunately failed to establish an adequate increase of the targets of the national climate action plans. This is quite disappointing, particularly in view of the worsening global climate crisis, which was once again underscored by the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C recently released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). At least the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change were able to agree on a significant number of the implementation rules for the Paris Agreement. While the outcome in this regard was also mixed, the agreed set of rules is a solid technical foundation, and it is now up to the signatory states to show considerably more political will.

Decisions on international climate finance play an important role in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, and these are explained below.

Rules for reporting on planned and provided climate finance

Information on planned climate finance

According to Article 9.5 of the Paris Agreement, industrialized countries are required to provide “indicative, quantitative and qualitative information” on the level of their planned contributions to public climate finance every two years. The article is based on the idea of the “strategies and approaches” adopted at COP19 in Warsaw and develops them further. In accordance with the mandate in Paragraph 55 of the accompanying decision at COP 21 in Paris, one of the tasks for the Katowice summit was to identify the types of information that fulfill the requirements of Article 9.5. The process, which had already been initiated in Marrakech in 2016, has been one of the controversial topics in the climate negotiations, particularly since the climate conference in Bonn. At its core is the old debate about the predictability and sustainability of climate finance. For some time now, recipient countries have been calling for clearer information on how much funding will be provided by industrialized countries in the future.

As expected, the negotiations on Article 9.5 in Katowice were tough. The sticking points soon became apparent: The information that donor countries must provide in their reporting had long been disputed. In particular, developing countries called for clear information on the share of promised climate finance contributions that is “new and additional”, i.e. contributions that are actually based on new announcements that have not previously been made and are made in addition to official development assistance (ODA). Furthermore, the small island states in particular called for information on the funds to be provided to address loss and damage caused by now-inevitable climate change. In addition, procedural questions were raised, such as the timing of reporting and how the reports submitted by donor countries would be used as input for global stocktaking.

In the end, the parties were able to agree on rules that provide a higher degree of predictability, at least in theory. It is regrettable that the issue of dealing with loss and damage has been removed from the final version of the decision and therefore no longer appears explicitly. However, other topics are also mentioned only in form of examples, so the door remains open for the financing of climate-related loss and damage. Despite these shortcomings, the Katowice Climate Package provides a sound basis for greater clarity and transparency in climate finance: For example, donor countries are required to disclose qualitative and quantitative information on amounts, as well as the channels and instruments used; provide information on regions, recipients and target groups; disclose the purpose and type of support (climate protection, adaptation to climate change, technology transfer, etc.) and clarify which parts of the pledged contributions are “new and additional”. Reporting is to begin in 2020 and the results will be issued as a synthesis report by the Secretariat of the Framework Convention on Climate Change. A positive aspect is that the synthesis report will be taken into account every five years as input for the target review rounds. It will also be possible to update and adapt the type or amount of information provided by donor countries in 2023 once experience has been gained with reporting.

An important decision was taken under the agenda item of the Standing Committee on Finance, namely that needs assessments on climate finance must be carried out every four years in developing countries in future, starting in 2020. This was a point called for by poorer countries in particular.

Rules for reporting on provided climate finance

In addition to ex-ante reporting, Article 9.7 of the Paris Agreement stipulates that every two years, industrialized countries must provide transparent and consistent information on how they have supported developing countries through public climate finance. The aim here was to define and adopt the modalities and guidelines for reporting. After the initial elements that the framework for reporting and accounting could encompass had been discussed at COP22 in Marrakech in November 2016 and at COP23 in Bonn in November 2017, the work had to be continued at the Katowice conference.

The resolution on the rules for reporting on climate finance contributions was one of the key decisions for the rule book on the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and the topic was thus the subject of heated discussion. The round of negotiations in Bangkok in September 2018 had already provided a draft text for a decision, and the goal now was to negotiate and decide on the remaining options. The question of whether donor countries reporting on their climate finance contributions are only allowed to report the grant equivalent – i.e. whether in the case of a loan at preferential conditions, only the portion that does not need to be repaid relative to the higher market interest rate should be stated – was particularly controversial. For many developing countries, this was a core concern in order to obtain a more accurate picture of the contributions made. In addition, analogous to the negotiations on Article 9.5, the question was to what extent donor countries had to indicate which part of their climate finance was “new and additional” and how much money was being made available for dealing with loss and damage.

The Katowice Climate Package offers a detailed framework to provide more clarity and planning security for developing countries in the future. Nevertheless, there is still some leeway for donor countries – for example with regard to limiting the level of detail of their reports and determining what they consider to be climate finance. In particular, it makes no sense that the total amounts of loans or risk cover can be counted in the same way as grants. For comparability purposes, only the grant equivalent should be applied here – this would also prevent the total sum from becoming artificially inflated. It is to be hoped that the progressive countries will set a benchmark that can soon serve as an orientation for the remainder. In a few years, however, this should become compulsory for all countries. Conversely, particularly inflated crediting by other countries should be explicitly uncovered and criticized.

Long-term climate finance: 100 billion and more

Unfortunately, there has been little progress with regard to the requirements for long-term climate financing. This agenda item, which is of especially great political importance, traditionally describes the general orientation of climate finance until 2020 and is thus directly related to the annual USD 100 billion pledged by the industrialized countries by 2020. Two years ago, the donor countries presented a roadmap that set out how this goal is to be achieved in the coming years. COP 24 failed to provide more clarity in this respect, for example with a decision to update the roadmap. Information in this regard was only provided by the third Biennial Assessment and Overview of Climate Finance Flows, which was presented at COP24 by the Standing Committee on Finance. According to the assessment, just under USD 65 billion (2015) and USD 75 billion (2016) flowed from industrialized to developing countries in the years 2015 and 2016. Much of this is stated as assumptions and projections and thus involves a certain degree of uncertainty, especially with regard to private finance flows mobilized by the public sector. Nor were more concrete measures adopted to combat the imbalance between the total financial support for climate change mitigation and for dealing with the impact of climate change (adaptation in particular). The latest decision only calls on industrialized countries to step up their efforts to achieve a balance and allocate more public money toward adaptation.

There were also protracted discussions about a new common target for climate finance. The Paris Agreement calls for a new global target for international climate finance to be adopted before 2025. It is already clear that this will not be achieved by the traditional donor countries alone. Up to now it had not been clear what the process to set this target – above all the subject of hot political debate – should look like. After lengthy negotiations, the parties were able to agree on a decision that at least provides some clarity in this respect: discussions will begin on the definition of a new collective target at COP26. It is clear that the new target will be based on the lower limit of USD 100 billion annually.

The Katowice decision thus fulfills the minimum requirement of adopting a process for setting a new long-term target. The challenge now is to ensure that the mistakes made when setting the USD 100 billion target are avoided. That target was above all a politically motivated benchmark that was too general and unspecific. Therefore, there was always room for interpretation and, depending on the calculation method, different bases of assessment with regard to reaching the target. A new target should therefore be broken down into different sub-targets (such as for adaptation financing or mobilized private funds) to improve measurability while taking into account the real needs of recipient countries.

The future of the Adaptation Fund

The Adaptation Fund was also an ongoing topic of discussion in Katowice. The conference spent considerable time grappling with a decision to clarify whether, and how, the Adaptation Fund should serve the Paris Agreement in the future. The controversial issue was how the fund would be transferred from the Kyoto Protocol to the Paris Agreement and how the transitional period would be managed. Representatives of the developing countries worried that breaking the link with the Kyoto Protocol could lead to a renegotiation of the modalities of the Adaptation Fund, such as the composition of its Board. The debates thus dragged on for a long time. Another sticking point was the question of its future financing. Industrialized countries made it clear early on that a formal replenishment process was out of the question for them; developing countries balked at the reference to “innovative sources of finance” and the link to emissions trading.

In the end, a good compromise was found that gives the Adaptation Fund the necessary perspective in the international climate finance architecture: Starting January 1, 2019, the fund will serve both the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. As soon as revenues can be generated from emissions trading, which is to be reorganized by Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, the Adaptation Fund will be fully transferred to the Paris Agreement. In future, the fund is to be replenished by a levy on international emissions trading, as well as voluntary public and private sources.

Further financial resources were pledged to the Adaptation Fund in the course of the conference, enabling it to clearly meet its fundraising target of USD 90 million for 2018 (see Table 1). Once again, Germany set a good example, thus expressing its appreciation of the fund.

Table 1: New pledges to the Adaptation Fund

Donor country Announcement in national currency Announcement in US dollars

European Commission

EUR 10 million

USD 11.38 million

France

EUR 15 million

USD 17 million

Sweden

SEK 50 million

USD 5.5 million

New Zealand

NZD 3 million

USD 2 million

Germany

EUR 70 million

USD 80 million

Brussels-Capital Region

EUR 0.5 million

USD 0.57 million

Walloon Region

EUR 4 million

USD 4.5 million

Italy

EUR 7 million

USD 8 million

Total

 

approx. USD 129 million

The pledges of USD 129 million made at COP24 are a new record. This is to be applauded. However, as these are one-off voluntary contributions, it will be important to secure more stable sources of finance for the Adaptation Fund in the coming years.

Summary

The decisions on climate finance can be rated as good overall. The above-mentioned agreements on the transparency of climate finance are of key importance. Furthermore, the future of the Adaptation Fund under the Paris Agreement was secured by a decision in Katowice. Also, a process was set up to come up with a new long-term target for climate finance from 2025, starting in 2020. In addition, the Standing Committee on Finance of the Framework Convention on Climate Change was tasked with important mandates, the outcomes of which could serve as vital input for further debates in the context of global stocktaking and elsewhere. These include producing a regular report identifying the needs of developing countries with regard to implementing the Paris Agreement and a regular stocktaking of the direction of global financial flows.

The rules and institutions for climate finance have been strengthened – but now more money is needed as well. The replenishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) will also be due in 2019. Germany and Norway have announced that they would double their contributions to the Green Climate Fund (Germany: EUR 1.5 billion for the next few years). The other rich countries must follow suit and at least double their contributions next year, ideally by using the countries with the highest relative contributions as a guideline. The GCF website shows this transparently. Sweden, for example, is in the lead with a per-capita contribution of around USD 60 (in the first round), while Germany’s relative contribution is less than half of that, even considering the announced doubling. Per unit of GDP, however, Germany’s new contribution puts it among the leaders.

By David Eckstein, Germanwatch

Dr Moses Ama, National Coordinator, Nigeria REDD+ Programme

 

 

The Climate and Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet), a coalition of civil society groups, says it will partner with the government to achieve Nigeria’s targets for Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).

The REDD+ programme is the UN collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) in developing countries.

Dr Ibrahim Choji, Chairman of the Network’s Board of Trustees, made this known during a courtesy visit to the Nigeria’s REDD+ office on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 in Abuja.REDD+ is a market-based mechanism for achieving the effective reduction of carbon emissions from forests.Choji said that the visit was part of the activities for the commencement of the World Bank funded Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) project in Cross River and Ondo states.

“We are ready to create a workable and seamless flow of interactions between the government and the forest dependent communities in Nigeria.

“This is with a view to eliminating friction, needless suspicion and to build the capacity of forest-dependent communities to engage in the UN REDD process.”

He urged the Nigeria REDD+ Programme to always ensure strict adherence to the principles of equity and free, prior and informed consent that underpined the mechanism of engendering the collaboration and participation of a larger section of non-state actors in Nigeria.

“CSDevNet has a longstanding commitment to Nigerian forests and its relationship with the REDD+ Programme will reinvigorate the REDD+ Media Network it established in 2013.

“As well as the Nigerian Civil Society Framework on Paris Agreement and the SDGs (NCSFPAS) which was midwife into existence in August 2018 with support from Swedish and the International Development Agency (SIDA) to support Nigeria’s REDD+ programme.’’

Dr Moses Ama, the Nigeria REDD+ Programme Coordinator, welcomed the collaboration and applauded the civil society network for taking the right step in aligning with the National REDD+ Secretariat.

According to Ama, experience sharing is key to achieving such a huge task.

“The UN-REDD Programme is the United Nations collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) in developing countries.

“The Programme was launched in 2008 and builds on the convening role and technical expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

He assured the CSDevNet’s team of his secretariat’s support for the effective implementation of set plans which had already been shared with the REDD+ Secretariat.

He stressed the importance of experience sharing, adding that Ekuri, a forest dependent community in Cross River State, is considered as a forerunner in the REDD+ process.

“In a community like Ekuri, capacity building and mobilisation will be very strategic to meeting set objectives,” he added.

Ama called for more collaboration and civil society support for the Nigeria REDD+ processes and the country’s ambitious efforts at forest conservation, climate change adaptation and community development.

CSDevNet is the Nigerian chapter of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), which is a coordinating organisation to several other regional and international groupings that are relevant to its core objectives.

The network brings together organisations comprising grassroots community practitioners, youth, media, women and faith-based organisations to commonly promote and advocate pro-poor, climate-friendly and equity-based responses to climate change.

The UN-REDD Programme supports nationally-led REDD+ processes and promotes the informed and meaningful involvement of all stakeholders, including indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities in national and international REDD+ implementation.

By Ebere Agozie

Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

WHAT NEXT AFTER CoP24?

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Representatives from across the world gathered in Katowice, Poland, for the 24th Conference of Parties (COP24) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They set the course for action on climate change by discussing the implementation plan for the 2015 Paris Agreement which aims to coordinate international effort to reducing global warming with the target of  at 1.5°C.

While negotiators and observers breathed a sigh of relief that COP24 delegates managed to reach an agreement that will keep the Paris Agreement on climate change on track, many also acknowledged that the rules now in place are a far cry from what will be required to prevent dangerous climate change and help vulnerable countries adapt.

Every country had its expectation and position paper; Kenya, and Africa in particular, expected Katowice climate talks to come up with a strong decision on issues like ‘loss and damage’ to protect vulnerable communities at the frontlines. A section of stakeholders accused developed countries of blocking any link between loss and damage and finance, right across the guidelines.

 The Katowice Package confirmed that whatever the cost, the climate action burden will be borne by the world’s poor, rather than those responsible –The rich countries, who have abandoned their moral and legal obligations yet again!

It is in connection with this that Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) will hold a one-day workshop to engage participants on the key outcomes of COP24 especially on the agreed rules to implement the Paris Agreement that will come into effect in 2020.The workshop will also interrogate the overall Country performance at COP24, the Outcomes and implications to the country and Africa in the short and long-term.

This one day workshop will take place in Nairobi and is expected to bring together all stakeholders in the climate discourse, government, academia and Non state actors.

 

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Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

Global Major Groups and Stakeholder Forum (GMGSF-18)

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Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) will co-host the Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum, which facilitates the participation of civil society in the UN Environment Assembly and associated meetings. This event will take place prior to the fourth meeting of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA- 4), which it taking place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 11-15 March 2019.

This year’s Forum will benefit from the outcomes of the preceding Regional Consultative Meetings. The outcomes and results of those meetings are direct inputs by Major Groups and Stakeholders into the Assembly’s preparatory processes as well as actual proceedings.

The Forum will prepare participants for the Assembly and associated meetings, identify important themes and decisions under consideration by the Assembly, and will provide a platform for an exchange of views and expertise on these themes between governments and Major Groups and Stakeholders, as well as UN Environment.

The Forum will also focus on the main theme of the Assembly “Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Production and Consumption” and will link it to the “Towards a Pollution Free Planet” theme of the previous Assembly allowing Major Groups and Stakeholders to contribute with their unique expertise to the inter-governmental decision-making process.

Some of the outcomes that were made during the 17th GMGSF include;

  • The major groups and stakeholders applauded UNEA for the introduction of an online resolutions platform and facilitating of major groups access to the resolutions negotiations processes. This has enabled the major groups to provide inputs as they are developed.
  • The stakeholders expressed their disappointment on the stakeholder engagement policy not being on the agenda of the UNEA 3 assembly. They stated that it was important to have transparent, progressive and proactive policies for stakeholder’s engagement in national decision-making processes.
  • They also expressed their disappointment in the budget allocated for stakeholders’ engagement in UNEA3.They stated that the budget allocated was only half as much as for the last Unite Nations Environment assembly. They urged member states to take up their responsibility to obtain more funding for UNEA.

 

Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

ONE PLANET SUMMIT

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Kenya will host world leaders, heads of state, business leaders and non-state actors in the Third edition of the one planet summit in Nairobi. The summit will be co-chaired by president Uhuru Kenyatta and France president Emmanuel Macron during the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4), on 14 March 2019.

The summit Organized by the Government of France, with the UN, the World Bank Group and Bloomberg Philanthropies, aims to accelerate and step-up climate action to deliver high-impact outcomes for African populations and to protect biodiversity in Africa. While Africa is responsible for only 4% of global greenhouse-gas emissions, 65% of the African population is considered to be directly impacted by climate change. This first regional edition of the One Planet Summit will therefore highlight the unique role of Africa as a global partner facing both challenges and opportunities, in particular in the field of innovative solutions for adaptation and resilience.

The second edition of the One Planet Summit reviewed progress on commitments taken in 2017 and announced a variety of new initiatives to accelerate implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change. The report titled, ‘One Planet Summit: The Review of the Commitments,’ released at the conclusion of the event, describes 30 actions being taken under 12 broader commitments that span 150 countries. https://www.oneplanetsummit.fr/sites/default/files/2018-09/OneplanetSummit_ReviewOfTheCommitments_VGB_1.pdf The report also describes announcements and commitments made at the 2017 One Planet Summit, reviews accomplishments and implementation to date, and outlines next steps to be taken.

Some of the announcements made at the second edition of the summit include establishment of research innovative agendas to build on support climate action, lead efforts on climate finance, encourage more climate friendly and sustainable finance innovations.  https://www.oneplanetsummit.fr/sites/default/files/2018-09/Fact%20Sheet%20Annoucements%20-FINAL%20V4_0.pdf

 The Summit will bring together high-level officials and inspiring voices from youth, and civil society to showcase concrete achievements and breakthrough initiatives, and trigger new coalitions and commitments.

Boosting the number of women and girls entering careers involving science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) is vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, UN chief António Guterres said in a message to mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science..

Each year in February, the United Nations marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. It’s a chance to reflect on how the situation has improved for women working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM), and how much remains to be done. The day of February11th was established in 2015 is a reminder that women and girls play a critical role in science and technological communities and that their participation should be strengthened.

Recent studies show that, while more girls are attending school than before, they are under-represented in STEM subjects and they appear to lose interest as they reach adolescence. Women are mostly under-represented in STEM careers despite the high number of females graduating from university in the fields.  For example, in Kenya, slightly more than 35% of the 6,664 doctors and dentists registered with the Kenya Medical Practitioners and dentists board by 2018 are women. Figures from UNESCO indicate that the representation of women researchers is also low in other science fields in Kenya. The exclusion of women from STEM is not unique to Kenya but common around the world.

Women and girls’ voices and expertise in science, technology and innovation are vital to bring solutions to disruptive change in our rapidly evolving world. We urgently need to close the gender gap in STEM fields and promote gender equality in the respective careers.

In the recent months we have seen young women and girls around the world being vocal in calling for action to combat climate change. When 16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg charged World Economic Forum attendees in Switzerland to ‘act as if our house is on fire’, she was voicing sentiments similar to many of her age.

When women have the educational and leadership opportunities to pursue careers in STEM, they have influenced the development of policies, programs, and inventions that have changed our world. We cannot afford to leave the talent and contributions of half the world’s population on the table. Advancing women’s participation in STEM to ensure a new generation of female scientists follows in the footsteps of these pioneers is a national security and moral imperative.

The question on the link between climate change and conflicts in the Horn of Africa has constantly come up as a factor in conflict and climate change dynamics at the regional and international levels. In order to address this matter, FES and PACJA have begun to engage stakeholders in the Horn of Africa to unpack the complexity of conflict and its relationship with climate change – how conflicts transcend borders and generally how the two issues can be weaved together.

Thursday, 14 February 2019 00:00

ADIDAS HOPES TO SELL 11 MILLION PAIRS OF SHOES IN 2019.

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Photo credits,Adidas.

Recently adidas signed the climate protection charter for fashion industry at the UN climate change conference. They committed to becoming carbon-neutral by 2050 with an interim target of a 30% reduction in its overall carbon footprint by 2030.In addition, adidas is committed to using only recycled polyester in every product and on every application were a solution exists by 2014.

New figures reveal we are now producing nearly 300 million tons of plastic every year, half of which are disposables.

The Ultra boost running shoes are in partnership with marine conservation parley for oceans and contain around 5% 500ml bottles of recycled plastic bottles. The plastic used to manufacture the shoes is sourced from parley for oceans which are based in the Maldives and along 1,000 coral islands off the western coast of India. The waste is made into a yarn becoming a key component of the upper material of adidas footwear. 

The upcycling is the newest sustainability trend with the retail industry. This is the reusing of discarded objects or materials to create a product of higher quality with the use new technology innovations, recycling plastics is becoming more efficient and popularly used in consumer products. Many retailers are jumping on the sustainability trend and creating different ways to recycle old goods. By 2020, Adidas wants all of their shoes to be made using recycled plastic, which is good for the health of the planet, but it's good to know that their first foray into sustainability has been a success.

 

 

 

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