EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete travelled to Brazil and Ecuador to advance dialogue and cooperation on climate action between the EU and Latin American and Caribbean countries. The trip came just weeks ahead of the landmark UN climate summit (COP21) in December. In Brazil, the Commissioner met with Brazilian Minister of Environment Izabella Teixeira and Vice-Minister Ambassador José Antônio Marcondes de Carvalho, as well as President Rafael Correa and Ecuador's Energy and Climate Ministers.
On Thursday 5th November, the European External Cooperation Infopoint held a lunch time conferecen on ‘Services to face climate change: Making climate information available and pertinent for everyday decisions.’ Mr. Denis Salord, Head of Unit, DG Development Cooperation on Thematic intra-ACP prgorammes introduced the conference, alongside Mr. Viwanou Gnassounou , Assistant Secretary General of the ACP and Head of Sustainable Economic Development and Trade at the ACP Secretariat. Presentatioins were made by Mr. Jolly Wasambo, MESA Project Coordinator at the African Union Commission.
On Tuesday 3rd November, the EU’s External Action Infopoint held a conference to discuss climate finance in the context of international climate change negotiations. The conference entitled ‘Climate Finance at COP21 and beyond’ highlighted the importance of achieving an ambitious outcome on climate finance in order to support sustainable and climate resilient development across the developing world. Presentations were made by Maeve McLynn, Policy Coordinator Climate Change and Development, CAN Europe – climate change finance at the UNFCC; Mette Quinn, Deputy head of Unit, DG Climate (Climate change and deforestation) and Mathieu Vervynckt, Eurodad. Here is the presentation.
Climate finance of all kinds now enjoys broad support and could be the ace up the sleeve of many developing countries ahead of the Paris Climate Conference (COP 21) . It has become clear that the success of the COP 21 hinges on the question of finance, without which the world will surely fail to wean itself off carbon. Developed countries have promised to provide $100 billion per year to help poor countries with the sustainable energy transition and to deal with the effects of climate change. This point took centre atsge at the recent IMF and World Bank meetings in Lima.
The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) is increasing its support for the development of green energy in the Eastern Caribbean. DFID has announced an agreement to contribute around $3.9 million USD to the Caribbean Development Bank’s Sustainable Energy for the Eastern Caribbean initiative. The program provides financing designed to advance sustainable energy solutions in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
A group of 30 agencies under the banner Somalia NGO Consortium warned that El Nino conditions are expected to severely hit the Horn of Africa nation during the rainy season. Oxfam’s Somalia Country Director Enzo Vecchio explained, “Thousands of people in Somalia are already feeling the effects of this super El Nino, seeing their crops fail, livestock stressed and the price of staple foods soar because of shortages (…) Such extreme weather events are only going to increase as climate change ramps up. We are likely to see floods in the coming weeks which risk devastating communities reliant on food aid for survival and pushing many more into crisis.”
Launched in 2011, the Green Climate Fund (GFC) was created four years ago during the COP in Durban (South Africa), with the aim of raising $100 billion per year from developed countries to help the developing world adapt to climate change by 2020. So far only has an annual budget of $700 million. The fund's executive director, Héla Cheikhrouhou has underlined that the GCF is in dire needs of funds and emphasizes that this could give the right signals before COP21 in Paris later this year. As host country of COP21, France has been particularly forthcoming with donations.
The new Belgian Ambassador to CARICOM Guy Sevrin met with CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque at the Headquarters of the regional body in Georgetown, Guyana. Belgian Ambassador Guy Sevrin noted that climate change and sustainable development “are vital issues for the planet”, but he did recognize that “There is no plan B for climate change.” According to a release from the Caricom Secretariat, Sevrin said that all countries must work together to save the planet from disaster.
The new Fairtrade Climate Standard is an add-on standard to Gold Standard certification of carbon emissions reductions and sustainable development benefits. The standard enables producers to improve their resilience to climate change, while also making their own contribution to reducing emissions. Additionally, producers receive a Fairtrade Premium for each credit sold: money to support them in the fight against the impacts of climate change in their communities.
Agricultural experts have warned against the practice of conventional agriculture, whereby the land is ploughed and the soil loosened before planting. According to the experts, it is not sustainable for the world's burgeoning population -- which the United Nations projects will reach 8.5 billion people by 2030, from 7.3 billion currently -- as it is putting a strain on land resources. Furthermore, the situation is worsened by the effects of climate change. Experts recommend soil management practices such as conservation agriculture, which increases productivity based on three principles -- minimal soil disturbance (reduced tillage), permanent soil cover (mulching) and crop rotation.