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Environment

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

October 2018
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EDITO
Monday, 22 October 2018
Paul McCartney has called on Europeans to make at least one day a week meat-free in order to save the planet. Speaking in the European Parliament last Thursday, the former Beatle warned that eating meat was doing more damage to the earth's climate than any other activity. "The livestock industry produces more greenhouse gases than all of transport put together - cars planes trains trucking," he said. "They used to be what we thought were the villains, but it turns out the livestock industry is worse," he continued, noting that agriculture as a whole was responsible for between 20 and 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. One of the world's most famous vegetarians and author of some of the world's most well-known tunes, he said that meat production was incredibly wasteful and contributed to deforestation. He also highlighted the intense water use involved in meat production." "To produce one burger requires the amount of water used in a four-hour shower," he added, speaking alongside Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a vegetarian as well.
Tuesday, 08 December 2009
The principle of "differentiated responsibility" for reducing greenhouse gas emissions should be ratified by the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, says a resolution adopted by the Joint Parliamentary Assembly of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) MPs and Members of the European Parliament in Luanda (Angola) last Thursday. The JPA also condemned a coup d'état in Madagascar and debated the institutional crisis in Niger. The JPA sees helping developing countries to cope with climate change challenges as the key issue for the UN-backed Copenhagen conference, which starts on 7 December. It says the post-Kyoto protocol should be a legally-binding agreement which emphasizes equity and social justice and relies on "common but differentiated responsibility". In line with this principle, industrialised countries should set an example by substantially reducing their emissions. Developing countries and emerging economies should, for their part, undertake to introduce mitigation measures within their power, even if greenhouse gas emissions have considerably increased.
Monday, 07 December 2009
Gordon Brown proposed a new global fund today to "kickstart" the Copenhagen climate change process and encourages poorer countries to start cutting greenhouse gas emissions immediately. Just days ahead of the vital UN-sponsored climate change conference in the Danish capital, Mr Brown proposed a £10 billion rich-world fund - to which Britain would contribute £800 million - to give incentives to developing countries to halt deforestation, develop low-carbon energy sources and prepare for the effects of a warmer climate. The Copenhagen Launch Fund would cover the years 2010/12 and deliver funds to poorer states on a "payment by results" system, under which those which showed they were taking action to halt climate change would receive more cash. Mr Brown said the Launch Fund would allow the world to break the "deadlock" over a deal at Copenhagen and "get moving on climate change as quickly as possible".
Wednesday, 02 December 2009
The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT), which met near Recife, Brazil, adopted a number of new multi-annual management plans which align fishing opportunities with the latest scientific opinions. The European Commission is particularly satisfied with the consensus reached on the recovery plan aimed at Eastern bluefin tuna, whose total allowable catch for 2010 has been reduced to 13500 tonnes (as compared to 22000 tonnes in 2009). This will be accompanied by drastic cuts in fishing capacity. ICCAT also approved additional management measures for Mediterranean swordfish which will, on the one hand, reinforce the protection of juvenile fish through more stringent closure of fishing activities at the end of the year and, on the other, foresee the adoption of a long-term management plan at the 2010 ICCAT meeting on the basis of up-to-date scientific advice. Once again this year, bluefin tuna has been high on the agenda of the ICCAT meeting.
The European Commission has welcomed the adoption of a Convention for the setting up of a new regional fisheries management organisation (RFMO), to manage non-tuna fish stocks in the south Pacific, in Auckland, New Zealand. This Convention will allow to fill in the large gap that currently exists in the international conservation and management of non-highly migratory fisheries and in the protection of biodiversity in the marine environment in the high seas areas of the South Pacific Ocean. This development has been achieved after three and a half years of negotiations and the holding of eight diplomatic conferences. The Convention text represents one of the most modern examples of fishery management legal instrument, encompassing ecosystem considerations together with the precautionary approach principle and purely fishery management ones. The Convention is the fruit of the efforts by several States from the west and east Pacific as well as by a number of major long-distance fishing nations.
Tuesday, 01 December 2009
A man desperately reaches for a river bank as flood water pushes him to a likely death in the Lingadzi river in Kasache village close to Lake Malawi. Four rescuers in bright orange life jackets throw him a line in a last frantic attempt to reach him, realising this may be the last opportunity of saving his life. He reaches successfully for the line with his last reserves of energy and is finally pulled out spluttering water from his lungs. This man was actually never in any danger of losing his life, but was taking part in a realistic simulation of a rescue attempt during heavy rains that regularly cause widespread river flooding in this part of Malawi. Here, there is no water, no river.
The plan that Paris will put forward during the Copenhagen negotiations sets a figure of €16.5 billion for state aid to help developing countries fight climate change. That is €5 billion short of the minimum advocated by the European Commission. The French plan estimates the overall cost of aid to assist developing countries battling with climate change at around $490 billion over a period of 20 years. The plan is intended for submission to the Copenhagen Climate Conference. Dubbed “the climate justice plan,” it has already received detailed coverage in “Le Monde” and was posted on the Mediapart website on 19 November. The figure refers to the public share of the €100 billion a year the Commission deems necessary to support developing countries. However, the Commission’s proposal was that international public funding should amount to between 22 and 50 a per year. The Franco-Brazilian proposal of 490 billion falls far short of this bracket.
The expert who advises Tony Blair on climate change has voiced pessimism about the chances of a legally-binding treaty emerging from next month's UN summit in Copenhagen. Mark Kenber said, however, there was "no reason" why EU leaders and heads of state could not agree on emission-reduction targets and finance to help developing countries deal with global warming. Kenber, policy director at the international business and governmental NGO, the Climate Group, said, "On environmental grounds, the case is clear." He hopes the EU will go beyond its commitment to cutting CO2 emissions by 20% by the end of the next decade. He believes the EU should pledge to cut emissions by 30% by 2020. He also said that 80% of the technology needed to help achieve the targets by 2020 was "already in place".
Monday, 30 November 2009
Experts from Africa, Caribbean and Pacific are meeting since  Wednesday morning in Luanda, to prepare the documents that will be submitted to the 18th  session of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly, that will open on November 30 in the Angolan capital. The meeting is to tackle matters related to the impact of the world economic financial crisis on ACP countries, the situation in Madagascar, climatic changes, as well as the participation and  integration of youngsters in social and cultural affairs. The event will gather 400 participants from the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific plus Europe, to  discuss the reforms in international institutions and globalisation, including the refugees issue. The meeting will also tackle the impact of the world economic and financial crisis on the  ACP-EU states, the reduction of the effect of natural disasters, the World Trade Organisation  negotiations and the economic partnership accords, as well as the documents on regional and  countries strategies on the 10th Europe Development Fund.
Thursday, 26 November 2009
APRODEV Report which is an evaluation of legal outcome options for a post-2012 climate change agreement from an equity and climate justice perspective was launched on 5 November 2009 at the UN Climate talks in Barcelona. The report analyses different proposals for what type of climate change agreement should be agreed in Copenhagen, based on how well the different options respect the right to development of poor countries, how they provide for ambitious emission reductions from developed countries and recognize developed countries' historical responsibility for climate change.