Archive for May, 2016

May 30, 2016

Botswana: SADC Secretariat Establishes a Regional El-Niño Response Team

Nantale Abbey
May 30, 2016

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat has established a Team to coordinate a regional response to the impacts of the 2015/2016 El-Niño phenomenon on livelihoods in close collaboration with Member States.

The SADC region is experiencing a devastating drought episode associated with the 2015/2016 El-Niño phenomenon which is affecting livelihoods and the quality of lives especially for women, children and the elderly in the region.

Dry weather in southern Africa has left several crops and pasture for livestock dry and affected 9 per cent of the SADC’s 293 million population

Dry weather in southern Africa has left several crops and pasture for livestock dry and affected 9 per cent of the SADC’s 293 million population

At least 27 million people, translating to about 9 per cent of the SADC’s 293 million population, are already affected by the current disaster and this figure is likely to increase.

The SADC El Niño Response Team has been established in response to a directive from the SADC Council of Ministers at their meeting held in Gaborone, Botswana on 14-15th March 2016.

The Team comprises of staff from the Secretariat and the UN Agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

According to SADC Secretariat, the SADC El Niño Response Team will: “Analyse and communicate the regional extent of the impacts of El Niño and the financial and logistical requirements for an effective response; coordinate the systems and institutional requirements for an effective importation and distribution programme of food and non-food commodities in the SADC region to mitigate the impacts of the El Niño event of 2016; perform monitoring and evaluation of the response to allow for effective decision making during and after the response; and based on lessons learnt during the response, make recommendations for future disasters.”

The SADC El Niño Response Team is currently preparing a regional drought appeal for assistance with the aim of mobilising resources to meet the needs of people requiring humanitarian support in the Region.

May 30, 2016

Nigeria: WaterAid Calls for Conversation on Why Menstruation Matters

Joyce Chimbi
May 30, 2016

Girls’ needs around menstruation have been neglected by health and education systems around the world, leading to inequity in education and missed opportunities for girls, says WaterAid Nigeria.

Dr. Michael Ojo, WaterAid Nigeria’s Country Representative, says: “In some communities in West Africa, women and girls are not allowed to use water sources and latrines during menstruation – the very facilities they need the most during this time! We must move away from the dichotomy of placing value on menstruation as a sign of fertility, celebrating the birth of new life and at the same time excluding women and girls and making them social pariahs during their time of menstruation. There is simply no logic to it whatsoever.”

Dr Ojo’s remarks came over the weekend as the world commemorated the third Menstrual Hygiene Day.

The world commemorates Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28 May; a day that affirms the urgent need to talk about periods and break the silence, taboos and negative social perceptions around menstruation. It is a day to remember and commit to doing something about the women and girls in the world without access to safe water and a safe toilet to manage their menstrual cycle.

A study by USAID has shown that safe, private toilets for girls in schools, combined with private places to wash, can boost their enrolment by 11%.

A study by USAID has shown that safe, private toilets for girls in schools, combined with private places to wash, can boost their enrolment by 11%.

In many countries, women and girls are not allowed to cook, go to the farm or are even banished from the family home to an outdoor shed during each menstrual cycle. WaterAid Nigeria recently carried out a study on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in Benue, Bauchi, and Plateau States in Nigeria to explore and understand existing MHM practices and the context that might impact positively or negatively on the implementation of a MHM programme in Nigeria.

The study revealed deeply rooted attitudes and myths surrounding menstruation including the belief that a menstruating woman or girl is cursed and possessed by evil spirits and brings bad luck. Such beliefs result in restrictions being placed on girls and women during their menstruation – including exclusion from attending religious services and even holding their infants in some of the communities. To make matters works, these women and girls lack access to safe water or private toilets at home, in schools and in public places. The effects are devastating.

Now, WaterAid is seeking to contribute to breaking the silence and building awareness about the fundamental role that good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) plays in enabling women and girls to reach their full potential. They are calling for cooperation with the education and health sectors as well as those working in reproductive and sexual health to ensure girls are prepared for the onset of menstruation, to ensure they can care for themselves in a dignified and hygienic way, and to dispel the myths and taboos that often accompany menstruation.

Dr. Michael Ojo, WaterAid Nigeria’s Country Representative, notes: “Proper menstrual hygiene management for women and girls requires inclusive water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in schools and public places; provision of protection materials at affordable rates; behavioural change and communication and a review of existing policies to address this important issue. Everyone has a role to play. At WaterAid Nigeria the integration of menstrual hygiene management in all of our sanitation and hygiene interventions – with a focus on Equity and Inclusion, WASH in Schools and WASH & Health is critical.”

Menstruation is an important issue yet it is shrouded in silence because of deeply rooted taboos and negative social norms. On any given day, some 800 million women and girls are on their periods across the world, and hundreds of millions of them are subject to ostracisation, shame and risk of infection because of the stigma that still surrounds menstruation.

May 26, 2016

L’Esprit de Paris se poursuit tandis que les gouvernements entament la mise en œuvre du nouvel accord emblématique

Water Journalists Africa
May 26, 2016

La première réunion sur le changement climatique de l’ONU depuis que les gouvernements a adopté le jalon qu’est l’Accord de Paris s’est terminée aujourd’hui avec une série de résultats positifs qui soutiendront une entrée en vigueur précoce largement anticipée du traité, et une action plus forte et soutenue du monde à l’avenir.

La réunion d’environ deux semaines a vu les pays avancer la mise en œuvre de mesures climatiques plus vigoureuses et la construction du règlement du régime climatique global visant à garantir l’équité, la transparence et l’équilibre du traité entre les nations.

Alors que le travail sur les flux convenus de 100 milliards de dollars par an d’ici 2020 se poursuit, deux des canaux clés de financements internationaux, le Fonds vert pour le climat (GCF, en anglais) et le Fonds pour l’environnement mondial (FEM), ont souligné la manière dont ils soutiennent l’accord.
Le GCF a communiqué aux délégués que son conseil s’était fixé un objectif ambitieux de 2,5 milliards de dollars en 2016 à la fois pour les programmes et projets d’adaptation et d’atténuation. Le GCF a exhorté les pays à soumettre des propositions ambitieuses pour un financement le plus tôt possible.
Le FEM a annoncé qu’il avait établi des programmes de travail prospectifs pour le financement des projets d’atténuation et d’adaptation.

Dans le domaine de l’atténuation, 450 millions de dollars sont disponibles pour de nouveaux projets tandis que les projets en cours d’une valeur de 106 millions de dollars sont déjà mis en œuvre. En ce qui concerne l’adaptation, quelques 250 millions de dollars sont disponibles pour les projets. Le FEM soutiendra également le gouvernement marocain dans ses efforts de rendre la COP22 verte.

Farmers worldwide are already feeling the effects of rising temperatures and more frequent droughts as a result of climate change

Farmers worldwide are already feeling the effects of rising temperatures and more frequent droughts as a result of climate change

La session a comporté plusieurs événements visant à assurer un soutien rapide et adéquat à la mise en œuvre des contributions déterminées au niveau national (NDC) et leur intégration dans les plans économiques nationaux, alors que les gouvernements ont également commencé à explorer la manière de relier directement la coopération technologique respectueuse du climat aux accords de financement du GCF et du FEM.

Ségolène Royal, présidente de la Conférence sur les changements climatiques COP21 des Nations Unies et ministre française de l’Environnement, de l’énergie et de la mer, a salué l’« Esprit de Paris », évident tout au long des deux semaines de la session de Bonn.

« Les pays, avec leurs niveaux de développement différents, de différentes régions et d’opinions souvent divergentes sur de nombreuses questions, ont trouvé une vision commune à Paris. Ce travail et cette vision ont continué, et continué de manière positive ici à Bonn, alors que les pays se tournent vers le prochain événement jalon majeur prévu à Marrakech en novembre », a-t-elle déclaré.
Le travail de fond par le biais de trois organes techniques, ainsi que les organes constitués au titre de la Convention-Cadre des Nations Unies sur les Changements Climatiques (CCNUCC), comprend l’élaboration des règles de comptabilisation des ressources financières, les dispositions globales en matière de transparence et de communication, et la façon dont la science doit informer la mise en œuvre de l’accord.

Il comprend également des travaux techniques visant à améliorer la prestation du renforcement des capacités et la coopération technologique et à faire évoluer un régime crédible en ce qui concerne les pertes et préjudices causés par le changement climatique.

L’objectif central de l’Accord de Paris est de limiter l’augmentation de la température mondiale moyenne bien en dessous de 2 degrés Celsius avec de préférence, la cible plus sûre de 1,5 degrés au-dessus des températures préindustrielles. Les données scientifiques montrent que près d’un degré de cette hausse a déjà eu lieu.

Les objectifs de l’accord exigent donc une culmination précoce des émissions mondiales, suivie d’une réduction très rapide, qui doit aller de pair avec un renforcement significatif de la résilience sociale et économique au changement climatique.

May 26, 2016

‘Spirit of Paris’ Continues as Governments Get Down to Implementing their New Landmark Climate Change Agreement

Water Journalists Africa
May 26, 2016

The first UN climate change meeting since governments adopted the landmark Paris Agreement closed today amid a suite of positive outcomes that will support the treaty’s widely anticipated early entry into force and stronger, sustained action world-wide into the future.

One of the placards at COP21 in Paris creating awareness about the need for everybody to get on board and fight climate change

One of the placards at COP21 in Paris creating awareness about the need for everybody to get on board and fight climate change

The nearly two week meeting saw countries push ahead with implementing stronger climate action and constructing the global climate regime “rule book” in order to guarantee the treaty’s fairness, transparency and balance between nations.

While work towards the agreed flows of USD 100 billion per annum by 2020 continues, two of the key international funding arms—the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF)—underlined how they are supporting the Agreement.

The GCF told delegates that its board had set an aspirational goal of 2.5 billion USD in 2016 for both adaptation and mitigation programmes and projects. The GCF urged countries to submit ambitious proposals for funding as soon as possible.

The GEF announced that it had put together forward-looking work programmes for the funding of both mitigation and adaptation projects. On mitigation, 450 million USD is available for new projects while current projects to the value of 106 million USD are already being implemented. On adaptation, some 250 million USD is available for projects. The GEF will also assist the Moroccan Government to green COP22.

The session featured several events on ensuring early and adequate support for the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and their integration into national economic plans while ggovernments also began exploring how to directly link climate-friendly technology cooperation to the funding arrangements of both the GCF and the GEF.

Segolene Royal, President of the COP21 United Nations Climate Change Conference and French Minister of the Environment, Energy and the Sea, praised the ‘Esprit de Paris’ evident throughout the nearly two weeks of the ‘Bonn session’.

“Countries with different levels of development and from different regions and often differing views on many issues, found a common vision in Paris. That work and that vision has continued, and continued positively here in Bonn, as countries look towards the next major milestone event in Marrakesh in November,” she said.

The substantive work across three technical bodies, as well as the constituted bodies under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), includes developing rules for accounting financial resources, overall reporting and transparency arrangements and how science should inform the implementation of the agreement.

Climate change as a result of global warming continues to cause havoc in various parts of the world, drying up farmlands that livestock used to depend on.

Climate change as a result of global warming continues to cause havoc in various parts of the world, drying up farmlands that livestock used to depend on.

It also includes technical work to improve the delivery of capacity building and technology cooperation and to evolve a credible regime covering loss and damage from climate change.

The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to limit an average global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius with a preference for holding this to a safer 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures. Scientific data shows that around one degree of this rise has already occurred.

The agreement’s goals therefore require an early peak in global emissions followed by a very rapid reduction, which must go hand in hand with a significant strengthening of social and economic resilience to climate change.

May 26, 2016

‘Water Everywhere but Not a Drop to Drink’: Nigeria’s Eleme People Cry Out

Christian Chibuzo Maduka
May 26, 2016

Eleme town is one of the various towns inhabited by the Eleme people of Ogoniland, the indigenous peoples that inhabit the Niger Delta region of Southeast Nigeria.

The Eleme people live in ten village-clusters situated in Eleme Local Government Area (ELGA) of Rivers State, around 20 km East of Port Harcourt. The total territory occupied by the Eleme people expands across approximately 140 square kilometers.

The Elemes are traditionally an agricultural society, with workers travelling out to farms situated around the villages. Crops include yams, cassava, palm-oil fruit, fluted pumpkin and bitter-leaf.

Crops are primarily used to sustain each family, but each family also typically trades their excess crops at one of the town markets. Even where family members are employed outside of agriculture, they still farm their own land as a supplement income. Farm workers are usually women.

Women and Children of Eleme Community fetching Water from the provided outlets

Women and Children of Eleme Community fetching Water from the provided outlets

With the discovery of oil in the Niger Delta in the 1958, the Eleme territory has become home to both Oil Refineries and Fertilizer industries, increasing its role as an industrial economy.

The nearest oil refinery is within a mile of an Eleme village, and around 100 wells are thought to be in use throughout the Ogoni territory. The mining of oil has had notable political and environmental effects on the status of the small towns of Niger Delta, with pollution from petro-chemical industries based on Ogoni-land increasing acid rain and reducing soil, water and air qualities. The Niger delta is Nigeria’s restive oil region massively degraded from decades of environmental pollution by oil producing companies and the activities of other ancillary oil service providers as well as illegal crude oil refiners.

Unsurprisingly, Eleme land and its surrounding towns have become areas of much political interest over the last 40 years since oil exploration is estimated to account for around 65% of Nigerian government budgetary revenue and 95% of all foreign exchange earnings. Consequent high levels of migration into Eleme territory by other ethnic groups in Nigeria have made a sizeable impact on Eleme society.

The environmental impact of oil explorations and siting of petro-chemical industries on Eleme land were so severe that even the United Nation Office has commissioned numerous studies on the area and surrounding oil towns. The ground water in and around Eleme and the whole of Ogoni land were declared unwholesome for both agricultural and human consumption. The environmental effect and the fear of enormous harm the oil activities pose on the people of Niger Delta of Nigeria became source of great global concern.

Niger Delta is a land of numerous creeks, rivers and lagoons emptying into the great Atlantic Ocean in the Rivers State’s capital of Port Harcourt and other oil towns of Patani, Warri, Sapele etc in Delta State. These great sources of water have been polluted greatly by oil related activities. The level of spills and pollutions from legitimate and illegitimate oil refineries, bunkering and explorations has made Niger Delta an environmental emergency zone.

When Professor John Pepper Clarke wrote in his verse 50 years ago concerning Niger Delta, he said there are “Water everywhere but not a drop to drink”. Today Professor Clarke’s poetic prophesy has not only become true but has raised serious concern for good source of clean water for the good people of Rivers State.

The Shell Petroleum Development Corporation as part of its social responsibilities, commissioned an integrated water treatment plant to serve the oil ravaged land of Ogoni. The water treatment plant sited in Eleme town is technology driven but shows high level of sustainability. The plant is currently managed by the Contracting Firm that built it. The plant which harnesses raw underground water and takes it through a high level of purification and treatment, provides daily supply of laboratory certified clean water to Eleme people and the surrounding villages.

Manager of the Eleme Integrated Water Treatment Plant Explaining a point to visitors

Manager of the Eleme Integrated Water Treatment Plant Explaining a point to visitors

Currently the Rivers State Ministry of Water and Rural Development having spent so much on water supply and sanitation is embracing reforms in the sector. With the development of water law Rivers State is on track for the sustaining water services. The Rivers State Water law clearly defined the roles and responsibilities of all the key players in the sector and also established the new agencies that shall drive performance and service delivery in the various segments of the sector.

The vision of the State is to have a water sector that is focused on efficiency of service delivery, customer satisfaction and financial viability through different cost recovery models applicable to the different segments whilst providing a means of regulating the sector to ensure that the interest of all parties – government, service provider and the consumers are protected. Their focus in the State is to strengthen the newly established Rivers State Water Services Regulatory Commission and the Rivers State Small Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Agency as well as the preparation of Water Sector Development Plans for selected Local Government Areas in the State.

May 24, 2016

Nigeria: Dirty Water Riles Some Kaduna State Residents

Mohammad Ibrahim
May 24, 2016

Lack of good access to clean water has forced Residents of Unguwar Kanti village located in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna state North-West Nigeria to drinks from a pond covered with dried lives.

For the people of this community, clean water is a scarce commodity in the village as women trek a distance to fetch water from the only pond serving the whole community.

It was learn that the community which is close to Kaduna main city but far from development have a total of 3000 inhabitants and surrounded by four other rural villages.

Women Fetching Water From a Pond in Unguwar Kanti village

Women Fetching Water From a Pond in Unguwar Kanti village

The residents there say that lack of clean water has made them drink from the pond, even though the water makes their children sick.

A housewife, Talatu Iliya seen fetching from the pond in company of other women said “The water smells and it’s covered by dried leaves, but that is what we use to cook, because we have no choice,” she said

The women lamented that their children complain of frequent stomach ache and also suffer from cholera.

“You can see the kind of water we drink. Even dogs wouldn’t drink from the pond. The water smells and that is what we use to cook our food,” she said.

It was further gathered that the only surviving well in the village was dug by a white lady as all other wells have sunk down due to nature of the soil and because they have no rings, hardly dish out more than a bucket of water to whoever is fetching.

“The water is only fetched very early in the morning. Hence the decision to reserve the well water to primary school pupils who attend the community primary school,” she explained.

The residents appealed to Kaduna State government and other international Non-Governmental Organizations to come to their aid by constructing a bore-hole that will provide water to communities in the area.

Water Which Some Residents of Unguwar Kanti Village Drink

Water Which Some Residents of Unguwar Kanti Village Drink

Chairman of School Based Management Committee (SBMC) Peter Alkali said during rainy season the only road linking them with other villages usually get flooded for months which means they will be stranded until the water subside.

“The School lacks chairs and other teaching materials. The pupils miss classes during rainy season, because the only route linking the community with others get flooded and so it’s not safe for them to attend classes,” he said.

May 17, 2016

Les gouvernements entrent dans une nouvelle ère de collaboration sur le climat

WaterSan Perspective
May 17, 2016

En lançant le coup d’envoi de la conférence sur le changement climatique de l’ONU à Bonn (du 16 au 26 mai), la Secrétaire exécutive de la Convention climat de l’ONU, Christiana Figueres, a déclaré que, suite à la conclusion de l’accord historique de Paris l’année dernière, les gouvernements laissent maintenant derrière eux la phase des négociations et en entrent dans une nouvelle ère de collaboration.

La réunion intervient quelques semaines après que 176 pays et l’UE ont signé l’accord historique sur les changements climatiques de Paris conclu l’année dernière en France, et est un événement clé de la planification de la prochaine conférence climat à Marrakech en novembre.

Protestors during COP21 in Paris

Protestors during COP21 in Paris

En s’adressant aux délégués lors de la séance plénière d’ouverture de la réunion, la Secrétaire exécutive de la Convention-Cadre des Nations Unies sur les Changements Climatiques, Christiana Figueres, a déclaré: « Le monde entier est uni dans son engagement envers les objectifs mondiaux énoncés dans l’Accord de Paris, ainsi que les moyens permettant de les atteindre.

Mais plus important encore, avec l’adoption des objectifs de développement durable, vous avez déverrouillé la possibilité de relever le défi du changement climatique en grande partie par l’accomplissement de l’Agenda 2030 pour le développement durable ».

Dans ses remarques liminaires, la ministre de l’Environnement française et Présidente de la COP21 (le nom officiel de la Conférence sur le changement climatique de l’ONU à Paris l’an dernier), Ségolène Royal, a déclaré que le 12 décembre 2015 (le dernier jour de la conférence de Paris, lorsque l’accord a été conclu) avait montré au monde que la communauté internationale est capable de s’unir pour répondre au défi mondial du climat et de s’embarquer sur la voie du développement durable.

« Depuis l’accord de Paris, il s’agit désormais de bâtir sur les compromis ambitieux, équilibrés et justes qui ont été trouvés en décembre dernier, pour renforcer l’action sur le terrain. Les fondations sont posées, à nous maintenant de construire notre maison commune. Je vous appelle à être des constructeurs et des facilitateurs », a-t-elle dit.

Dans ses remarques, Salaheddine Mezouar, président désigné de la conférence sur le changement climatique de l’ONU à Marrakech (COP22) et ministre des Affaires étrangères du Maroc, a présenté les principaux objectifs de la réunion qui aura lieu en novembre.

« Notre ambition pour la COP22 est de contribuer à l’adoption des procédures et mécanismes d’opérationnalisation de l’Accord de Paris, et l’adoption d’un plan d’action pour la période pré-2020 en termes d’atténuation, d’adaptation, de financement, de renforcement des capacités, de transfert de technologie et de transparence », a-t-il dit.

En soulignant l’importance du financement climatique, M. Mezouar a ajouté que la COP22 serait également l’occasion de convenir d’une feuille de route prévisible et concrète en vue de mobiliser les 100 milliards de dollars que les gouvernements ont convenu de mobiliser pour aider les pays en développement à verdir leurs économies et à s’adapter au changement climatique.

Paris hosted the COP21 in December 2015

Paris hosted the COP21 in December 2015

À cette fin, il a suggéré que les gouvernements, ainsi que les institutions financières publiques et privées, envisagent la création d’un “mécanisme accéléré” pour le financement du climat.

Après l’ouverture de la conférence climat de l’ONU à Bonn, Mme Figueres et les présidents de la COP, actuel et désigné, ont planté un arbre sur le terrain de l’ONU, pour commémorer la signature de l’Accord de Paris et marquer la Journée de la Terre 2016.

May 17, 2016

Governments Enter New Era of Collaboration on Climate Change

WaterSan Perspective Reporter
May 17, 2016

The UN’s top climate change official Christiana Figueres has said that following the successful conclusion of the historic Paris Climate Change Agreement in Paris last year, governments are leaving behind the phase of negotiations and entering a new era of collaboration.

She was speaking at the opening of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn yesterday.

Officials, including the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres (second from left) at the opening plenary of the meeting.

Officials, including the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres (second from left) at the opening plenary of the meeting.

The meeting comes weeks after 176 countries and the EU signed the historic Paris Climate Change Agreement clinched last year in France, and is a key planning event for the upcoming Climate Change Conference in Marrakech in November.

Addressing delegates in the opening plenary of the meeting, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres said: “The whole world is united in its commitment to the global goals embodied in the Paris Agreement, as well as to the means by which to achieve them.

Most importantly, with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, you have opened the opportunity to meet the climate change challenge to a great extent by fulfilling the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

In her opening remarks, French Environment Minister and President of COP 21 (the official name of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris last year), Ségolène Royal said the 12 of December 2015 (the final day of the Paris conference, when the agreement was concluded) had shown the world that the international community is capable of unifying to respond to the global challenge of climate and to embark on the path of sustainable development.

“Since the conclusion of the Paris Agreement, our priority is to build on the ambitious, balanced and fair compromises which were reached last December, in order to reinforce action on the ground. The foundations have been laid, it is now up to us build our common house. I call on you to be builders and facilitators,” she said.

Following the opening of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Ms. Figueres and the present and incoming COP Presidents planted a tree on the premises of the UN, to commemorate the signing of the Paris Agreement and to mark Earth Day 2016.

The present and incoming COP Presidents planting a tree on the premises of the UN in Bonn

The present and incoming COP Presidents planting a tree on the premises of the UN in Bonn

In his remarks, Salaheddine Mezouar, incoming President of the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech (COP22) and Morocco’s Foreign Minister, outlined the key objectives of the meeting this November.

“Our ambition for COP 22 is to contribute to the adoption of the procedures and mechanisms to allow the Paris Agreement to be operationalized, and the adoption of an action plan for the pre-2020 period, covering mitigation, adaptation and finance, and to step up capacity building, technology transfer and transparency,” he said.

Stressing the importance of climate finance, Mr. Mezouar said COP22 would also be an occasion to draw up a road map for concrete and predictable provision of the USD 100 billion governments have agreed will be mobilized for developing countries to green their economies and adapt to climate change.

To this end, he suggested that governments, along with public and private financial institutions, consider the creation of a “Fast Track Facility” for climate finance.


May 16, 2016

Global Installed Hydropower Capacity Clocks 1212 GW

Agonza Innocent Atenyi
May 16, 2016

The world’s total installed hydropower capacity reached 1,212 GW, including 145 GW of pumped storage at the end of 2015.

This is according to the 2016 Hydropower Status Report published by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) last week.

The Crocodile River, South Africa. Hydro power is generated by using electricity generators to extract energy from moving water

The Crocodile River, South Africa. Hydro power is generated by using electricity generators to extract energy from moving water

Building on statistics published by IHA earlier this year, the report highlights that 33.7 GW of new installed hydropower capacity was commissioned in 2015, including 2.5 GW of pumped storage.

Alongside comprehensive hydropower statistics, the report provides detailed regional analysis and insights into global developments and trends in the sector, including the expected impacts of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate action. The 2016 edition is expected to be widely cited as the most up-to-date source of statistics on hydropower development worldwide.

Richard Taylor, chief executive of IHA, says that: “The 2016 Hydropower Status Report reflects a dynamic sector that is evolving to meet the challenges of the energy transition, which has been accelerated further by the recent international commitments.

“IHA continues to identify and advance hydropower’s role in enabling clean energy systems, responsible freshwater management and solutions for climate change.”

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is a not-for-profit, international organisation working to advance sustainable hydropower. IHA has members active in more than 100 countries, and also partners with international organisations, research institutions, governments and civil society.

May 3, 2016

A Global Wave of Actions to Break Free from Fossil Fuels Begins

Aaron Kaah Yancho in Cameroon
May 03, 2016

A global wave of peaceful direct actions lasting for 12 days has kicked off today across six continents targeting the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects, under the banner of Break Free.

2015 was the hottest year ever recorded and the impacts of climate change are already hitting communities around the world. From rising sea levels to extreme storms, the need to act on climate change has never been more urgent. Added to that, the fossil fuel industry faces an unprecedented crisis — from collapsing prices, massive divestments, a new global climate deal, and an ever-growing movement calling for change. The time has never been better for a just transition to a clean energy system.

To harness the moment, activists and concerned citizens committed to addressing climate change – from international groups to local communities to individual citizens – will unite to ensure that strong pressure is maintained to force energy providers, as well as local and national governments, to implement the policies and additional investments needed to completely break free from fossil fuels.

Climate-related natural disasters including floods, storms and heat waves have steadily increased across the globe over the past 40 years. Photo by Muchunguzi Emmy

Climate-related natural disasters including floods, storms and heat waves have steadily increased across the globe over the past 40 years. Photo by Muchunguzi Emmy

People worldwide are providing the much needed leadership by intensifying actions through peaceful civil disobedience on a global scale as so much remains to be done in order to lessen the effects of the climate crisis. This includes demanding governments move past the commitments made as part of the Paris agreement signed last month.

In order to address the current climate crisis and keep global warming below 1.5C, fossil fuel projects need to be shelved and existing infrastructure needs to be replaced now that renewable energy is more affordable and widespread than ever before. The only way to achieve this is by keeping coal, oil and gas in the ground and accelerating the shift to 100% renewable energy. During Break Free people worldwide are rising up to make sure this is the case.

In Africa, the actions are taking place in Nigeria and South Africa.

In Nigeria, in the Niger Delta actions will be held in three iconic locations to show what happens when the oil goes dry, and the community is left with the pollution and none of the wealth. An action at Ogoni land will demand an urgent clean-up of decades old oil spills and underscore how it is possible for citizens to resist the power of the oil corporations, and keep their oil in the ground where it belongs. Another action will be on the Atlantic coast, where Exxon’s offshore wells frequently leak, impact fisheries and harm coastline communities’ livelihoods.

In South Africa, two actions will take place each with hundreds of people highlighting the local impacts of coal and climate change. The first on 12 May will see people gathering in Emalahleni, one of the most polluted towns in the world, to speak out on the effects of climate change. The second on 14 May is focused on the Gupta residence in Saxonwold, Johannesburg.

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