Friday, November 3, 2017

Emissions Gap Report 2017: what is in it for Africa?

The UN Environment’s Emissions Gap report (eighth edition) has been released ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn. Interestingly, national pledges for emission cuts towards 2030 as enshrined in the Paris Agreement would only bring the world to only one-third of the expected reductions. How does this gap get closed? What should Africa do?

The Paris Agreement looks to limit global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius, with a more ambitious goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius also on the table. Meeting these targets would reduce the likelihood of severe climate impacts that could damage human health, livelihoods and economies across the globe. For the world's most vulnerable, there is no other way of looking at this situation of negative climate change impacts. But do they really have a voice?

Yes! Africa and the rest of the world that are highly vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change do have a voice and must be heard. We must seek new ways of doing things. We must go with our ideas, clearer ideas, to the table for discussion. We must always go prepared to negotiations and be forward-looking in our presentations. We must build synergies and look for whoever is willing to be part of a move towards saving humanity to be on our side to fight this.

African governments must engage their colleagues in the developing world. We have for a long time focused on adaptation to climate change and we will not change it in the foreseeable future. But we must also get actively involved in the mitigation discussion. We must engage whoever is willing to listen and help to urgently pursue actions that will bring deeper and more-rapid cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

How do we achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through our agriculture, for example? What about other sectors such as energy, forestry, industry and transport? What can technology do to help us to reduce green house gas emissions in Africa? Where is the technology and how do we get it? There is always the point of investment in solar energy, efficient appliances, efficient mass transport systems, afforestation and stopping deforestation. These are areas that we can take charge of and pull our resources together to make a difference in our lives and that of the whole world.

The time has come. Let's stand to be counted. We are not doing it for some people; we are saving our own lives. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to comment on anything you read here. Your comments are very important.