Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

January 2018
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EDITO
Wednesday, 17 January 2018

The Committee on Foriegn Affairs published a draft opinion for the committee on the environment, public health and food safety on the upcoming new international climate change agreement in Paris. The draft opinion underlines that “climate diplomacy should be part of the comprehensive approach to the EU’s external action (…) [and] calls on the Vice-Presidentof the Commission/ High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to develop strategic priorities for the external climate policy enshrined in the general foreign policy objectives and to ensure that the UE’s delegations increase their focus on climate monitoring issues.” It also warns that the EU should be prepared for climate induced geopolitical instability, noting that the EU should pay attention to cooperation with countries most afflicted by the impacts of climate change.

Wednesday, 01 July 2015

CTA is pleased to announce that the Centre has been granted Intergovernmental Organization (IGO) status under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This allows the Centre to participate as an observer in all UNFCCC events, such as meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP) and the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTA). UNFCCC is an international treaty, ratified by over 195 countries, under which countries cooperatively consider what they can do to limit average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and to cope with the impacts of these.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Members of Parliament from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific as well as the European Union joined leaders from the Pacific region in highlighting the urgency and significance of achieving a world-wide legally-binding agreement on climate change at the United Nations’ COP21 climate conference in Paris this December. During the keynote debate of the 29th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA), currently in session in Suva, Fiji, guest speaker President Anote Tong of Kiribati stressed that concrete action and achievements by the international community, including proposals for “credible technical solutions” to deal with the severest impacts of climate change faced by his own country, remain elusive.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Pope Francis's 180-page encyclical on the environment, a collection of principles to guide Catholic teaching on the issue, urges wealthier countries to change their lifestyle and energy consumption to avert the unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem. Pope Francis has called on the world’s rich nations to begin paying their “grave social debt” to the poor and take concrete steps on climate change. It reads, “The foreign debt of poor countries has become a way of controlling them, yet this is not the case where ecological debt is concerned (…) In different ways, developing countries, where the most important reserves of the biosphere are found, continue to fuel the development of richer countries at the cost of their own present and future."

Monday, 22 June 2015

Seas and oceans were amongst the major issues on the agenda at 29th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) in Suva, Fiji. These issues covered development-related dimensions of climate change, biodiversity, renewable energy, fisheries, maritime security, oil and seabed minerals. The ACP-EU JPA brought together lawmakers from across Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific as well as Members of the European Parliament to engage politically and take joint stances on a number of issues of common concern. JPA Co-Chair Hon. Fitz Jackson added, “There needs to be a recognition to the unique challenges SIDS face, which affect their long-term sustainable development.” The JPA intends to publish joint resolutions on the following issues:  financing of investment and trade, including infrastructure, in ACP countries and more.

The European Union EU shall provide funding, of a total of US$10 million to support 14 risk reduction projects in the Caribbean up until the end of 2016. The EU is taking this concrete action following the Caribbean’s positive moves to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, in order to achieve the goal of making communities more resilient in the face of natural hazards. More than 400,000 people are set to benefit, in a region frequently confronted by floods and hurricanes, as well as threats such as landslides and earthquakes.

 

At the UN, the world’s least-developed countries (LDCs) have publically stated that the richer nations have failed to provide essential financial support for a strong new global climate treaty. Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, from the Democratic Republic of Congo and chairman of the LDC group (which comprises of 48 countries) said, “The [UN] process is flawed by a complete lack of trust and confidence between rich and poor countries (…). Every year there is a watering down of the commitments. (…) Twenty countries contribute 80% of emissions, the rest 20%. Yet we in Africa are being asked to cut emissions. (…) Give us finance, technology.” Amjad Abdulla of the Maldives, chief negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States (39 countries) underlined, “our target is still to negotiate to hold temperatures to a 1.5C rise. But achieving it is going to be difficult and may require dramatic efforts by humanity.” 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Fiji shall host the 29th session of the African Caribbean and Pacific – EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly. This is a milestone achievement for the country, given that the Fijian parliament is barely six months old. Parliamentarians from 78 countries in the ACP and EU region will gather to discuss issues that are currently affecting these regions, including climate change, democratization, challenges of empowerment of women and others issues. EU’s Head of Delegation Andrew Jacobs said that the meeting also shows the confidence the region has in Fiji’s parliamentary democracy and the effective establishment and operation of Fiji’s parliament.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

The 9th edition of European Development Days 2015 (EDD2015) took place from 3-4th June at Tour & Taxi, Brussels. The panel addressed the impact of cyclone Pam which hit the Pacific in March 2015, with winds gusting to around 300 km per hour and seas surging onto the islands, specifically in Vanuatu, destroying crops, uprooting trees and flattening infrastructure. It took into consideration the number of shared issues between the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States' small island developing states (SIDS) including their geographical isolation, their limited size (and thus minor agricultural sectors and reduced domestic markets), and their vulnerability to climate hazards and climate change.

Friday, 05 June 2015

Ségolène Royal, the environment minister and former presidential candidate, said developing countries are “waiting to see” what rich nations will offer them in global warming talks. In her view, climate change was not merely a question of economics, but “a matter of civilization.” Royal explained, “Developing countries are not hostile [to an agreement]; I would say that they are positive, but they are waiting to see. We have to meet their expectations.” In contrast, she added, “the financial sector has been extremely predatory on natural resources for a long time.” Currently, more than 30 countries, including the EU and the US, have submitted emissions plans to the UN. Developed countries are expected to make absolute cuts in their emissions, by 2025 or 2030, as agreed at the landmark Copenhagen climate conference in 2009. Poorer countries are required only to curb the future growth of their emissions.