By Aghan Daniel I firstname.lastname@example.org
The media has been challenged to be at the forefront in reporting climate change issues even as the COP-27 conference approaches.
While addressing climate change journalists from Africa last Tuesday in Kigali, Rwanda Environment Management Agency deputy director Mr Faustine Munyazikwiye noted that access to climate change finance, carbon trade mechanisms together with loss and damage are top issues that Africa will be discussing in the conference.
He explained that African countries need to be ready to sustainably trade in carbon so that the continent does not lag behind. “Africa must identify her losses and to do this, they have to clearly work on the methodology of identifying the losses as well operationalise funding mechanism taking into account the fate of vulnerable countries.
According to Mr Munyazikwiye who is also Rwanda’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Focal Point, the media need to understand the expectations of their respective governments and Africa in general to help push the continents agenda at the COP. He stressed on the need for Africa to access finance behoving governments to go to the gathering with a clear picture emanating from the process of mobilising for $100bn pledged in the Paris Agreement.
According to the Director of Power Shift Africa, Mr Mohamed Adow, COP27 which will be held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt takes place on the frontlines of the climate crisis, at the peak of compounding, interlinked, international and local crises on food, energy and environmental security, and escalating cost of living everywhere.
“These crises can only be tackled if governments work together. COP27 will be a test of their resolve to agree to new forms of collaboration to address these challenges,“ said Adow.
He said that the $100bn is just a drop in the ocean because the continent needs nearly $150 trillion to contain the impact of climate change.
Progress on all pillars of the Paris Agreement, he told the journalists, is needed as part of the COP27 package. These, he pointed out are financing climate goals, adaptation action, loss & damage responses, and cutting emissions for 1.5°C.
“As an ‘African COP’, it is expected to spotlight finance, adaptation and loss & damage; for many developing countries, issues neglected at COP26,” he observed.
Climate experts hold it that at a time of food, energy, nature and debt crises and escalating cost of living, that can only be tackled if governments work together, COP27 is a political opportunity for governments to show they are moving beyond deep geopolitical rivalries to respond together to the threats causing national and global insecurity in 2022 through implementation as well as demonstrating implementation on climate promises of the past.
Other issues include collaboration in agreeing new forms of collaboration to tackle these intersecting crises; both inside the UNFCCC and outside the UNFCCC, beyond the traditional ‘climate’ agenda.
While addressing journalists in a separate meeting two weeks back, Ms Patricia Nying’uro challenged reporters to continuously highlight these issues to save the globe.
Ms Nyinguro, a climate scientist who works at Kenya Meteorological Department, and doubles up as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Focal Point for Kenya noted that other diverse implications of the phenomenon have been responsible for reduced economic growth across Africa, increasing income inequality between African countries and those in more temperate climates.
She stressed that Africa as a continent with a lot of challenges need to come up with urgent African led solutions to deal with these climate change problems.
“Climate change has great impacts on our health, ecosystem, water security, food security. These are some of climate change issues to be discussed during the COP-27 in Egypt,” she said.
The preCOP-27 media conference was called to sensitise African journalists on the issues at hand in the Egypt meeting due from Nov 6 to 18, 2022.
The event was held as a result of a partnership between Internews, Power Shift Africa and Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (MESHA) and Rwanda Media Commission. MESHA will be sponsoring 17 journalists from eastern and southern Africa to attend the conference.
The media conference came at a time US Senate voted to join more than 130 nations in pledging to phase out the use of super-polluting greenhouse gases found in refrigerators and air conditioners, a step that is expected to avoid as many greenhouse gas emissions as the entire planet emits every two years.
By a vote of 69 to 27, the Senate ratified the 2016 Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Two-thirds of the senators present were required to vote yes for ratification.
The Kigali amendment went into effect in many nations in 2019 — but not in the US. The Trump administration declined to submit it to the Senate for approval, despite unusually broad-based support from politicians in both parties, industry and environmental advocates.