Africa Climate Conversations.

Sophie Mbugua

Over the years, news about the continent has been shaped by others, while political news dominated the local media until recently, leaving climate and environmental issues mostly to foreign outlets. Africa Climate Conversations (ACC) believes that Africa cannot grow, leaving its media behind. Also, as part of the agenda 2063 (the Africa We Want), the continent must shape its own narrative for the benefit of its current and future generations. At the ACC podcast, we are doing our best to lead in shaping these narratives. read less
Society & CultureSociety & Culture

Episodes

African Lead Negotiator: "I hope the loss and damage fund does not become a bargaining chip at COP28."
20-11-2023
African Lead Negotiator: "I hope the loss and damage fund does not become a bargaining chip at COP28."
A 24-member transitional committee on loss and damage issued a proposal for a new loss and damage fund ahead of the 28th UN Climate Summit (COP28) taking place in Dubai this November.According to Alpha Oumar Kaloga, the African group's lead negotiator on loss and damage, the final decision was made in a tense atmosphere; thus, there is a need to understand the status of the final decision, as the United States had objected at the last moment.Kaloga told the Africa Climate Conversations podcast that developing countries have made compromises because “we cannot abandon our people. We cannot wait any longer, and we recognise that we are in a multilateral process and must make compromises. We accepted the World Bank (a red line) as the financial intermediary fund, but only under conditions."Developing countries have been pushing for a loss and damage fund since 1991, when the Alliance of Small Island States proposed creating an international insurance pool to compensate for loss and damage.The fund is intended to help developing nations recover from losses and harm caused by climate change. It is anchored on the UNFCCC’s principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, which underlines that the global challenge of tackling climate change should be met in a fair and equitable manner."We want justice; we want loans to safeguard our progress, but it only takes one dramatic occurrence to undermine what has taken decades to establish." Says Kaloga.However, according to Kaloga, as part of the Paris agreement package, the world community agreed during COP21 in Paris that there would be no compensation and no culpability for loss or damage."The devil is in the details; people only see the Paris agreement, but the operational decisions, and particularly paragraph 54, speak about no liability, no compensation”.However, though Article 8 of the Paris Agreement does not provide a basis for any liability or compensation, it specifies some areas of cooperation and facilitation to enhance understanding of and action to address loss and damage, such as irreversible loss and damage, slow onset processes, early warning systems, and risk management.Will the transitional committee proposal sail through at COP28, or is it likely to be a bomb? Have a listen.
Lake Ol' Bolossat community volunteers saving Kenyan endangered bird.
31-10-2023
Lake Ol' Bolossat community volunteers saving Kenyan endangered bird.
Lake Ol' Bolossat is the only lake in the Kenyan highlands, situated in Nyandarua County, about a three and a half-hour drive from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The lake is situated in the valley between the northwestern slopes of the AberdareRange of Mountains and Dundori Ridge.The lake forms the head waters of the Ewaso Ngiro North Basin, Kenya's largest basin, offering a variety of habitats ranging from open water through floating marsh and swamps to open grasslands and riverine forests along rivers and springs that feed the lake.One of the unique things about Lake Ol’Bolossat is that it has both fresh and saline waters that never mix at any given time. It's also an internationally recognised wetland as a Key Biodiversity Area. It's Kenya’s 61st Important Bird Area, with over 300 bird species. It is a breeding site for endemic and endangered birds and an international flight corridor for migratory birds.Among the birds nesting here are the Grew-crowned cranes. The grey-crowned crane is classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List. These birds are non-migratory; however, they undertake local and seasonal movements and are most abundant in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, according to the International Crane Foundation.On my recent trip to Nyandarua County, I caught up with George Ndungu, the Cranes Conversation Volunteer’s founder. Ndungu tells us more about their work with local communities to protect these beautiful birds and benefit the locals.
Loss and Damage Fund must be fair and just.
03-10-2023
Loss and Damage Fund must be fair and just.
Economic and non-economic loss and damage associated with the extreme event are increasing in developing countries. Extreme events such as droughts, floods, cyclones, tropical storms, and forest fires have significantly increased globally in intensity, frequency, and scope. The devastating floods and landslides in Bangladesh caused an estimated loss of USD 176.0 million in housing, an estimated damage of USD 230.8 million in total damage in the agriculture and livestock sectors, and an estimated loss and damage of USD 55.7 million in the water, sanitation, and hygiene services sectors, according to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief.The Loss and Damage Collaboration's calculated midpoint estimates of economic loss and damage in Global South countries suggest that losses totaled 425 billion USD in 2020 and 671 billion USD in 2030.After 30 years of negotiations, a new financial mechanism and a loss and damage fund to aid developing nations were agreed upon at the 27th UN Climate Summit last year at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.A 24-member transitional committee is expected to give recommendations on how to implement both the new financial arrangements and the fund this year in Dubai for consideration and adoption at the 28th UN Climate Summit (COP28).Their key role, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is to establish institutional arrangements, modalities, structure, governance, and terms of reference for the fund, define the elements of the new funding arrangements, identify and expand sources of funding, and ensure coordination and complementarity with existing and new funding arrangements.Loss and damage compensation, which is part of climate justice issues, goes back to the UNFCCC treaty, which acknowledges both the global north and the global south's contributions and responsibilities to the climate catastrophe. It is founded on the UNFCCC's premise of shared but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, which emphasises the importance of addressing the global challenge of climate change in a fair and equitable manner.What happens at COP28 in Dubai and beyond, as far as not just actualizing the loss and damage fund but making it accessible, is critical for climate justice, rebuilding trust, and ensuring that communities and nations in developing states are supported to rebuild better and sustainably.