Monday, May 16, 2016

Climate change: Flooding caused by global warming to put one billion people at risk by 2060, charity warns

Climate change: Flooding caused by global warming to put one billion people at risk by 2060, charity warns 
  More than a billion people will be at risk from flooding caused by climate change in just a few decades' time, a leading charity has warned.   Christian Aid says that  huge numbers of people in coastal cities would exposed to rising seas, flooding, extreme weather and storm surges by 2060.   The urban poor – a demographic expected to grow in coming years - would be hardest hit, the charity said, in a “humanitarian crisis waiting to happen”. However, the report says a widespread catastrophe was not inevitable and protective measures implemented now could negate the worst effects.   If trends continue, many of the places likely to be hardest hit will be in Asia, but the US will also badly suffer the effects, according to the paper.     South Asia will be the hardest hit, with the Indian cities of Kolkata and Mumbai, and the Bangladeshi city of Dhaka, predicted to have the largest populations – all of at least 11 million people - exposed to coastal flooding by the 2070s. More

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Do you know your NDA? The CCCCC is GCF Ready

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) aims to multiply current actions and responses to climate change while deploying unprecedented levels of funding to invest in low-emission and climate-resilient development in the battle to save our Earth. 

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) was accredited as a regional implementing entity by to this key multilateral financing mechanism to support climate action in developing countries on July 09, 2015.

 

The Executive Director of the CCCCC, Dr. Kenrick Leslie says “It speaks to the high calibre of work being done in the region and the strength of our internal systems. We will now move forward with a set of ambitious and bankable projects that we have been developing under a directive from CARICOM Heads”.

The first GCF “Readiness Week” was held from April 25 to 29th, 2016 to assist direct access entities in developing their project ideas. The event brought together the centre and 12 other accredited direct access entities and 27 developing countries to share project concepts and project proposals with each other. Caribbean Countries represented at the session included Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados and Guyana.

 

The CCCCC was represented by Sharon Lindo, International & Regional Policy Advisor and Dr. Mark Bynoe, Senior Economist and the Head of Project Development Management Unit.

According to Dr. Bynoe “The recent workshop demonstrates the Green Climate Fund’s aspirations to fulfill its fit-for-purpose mantra. The workshop clearly demonstrates that the institution and its Board have been listening to the issues raised by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and is seeking to address these through its Enhanced Direct Access approach. This is a step in the right direction and one should be applauded and encouraged.”

At the close of the session, GCF’s Executive Director Héla Cheikhrouhou reiterated to participants that “GCF’s role is to provide you with the necessary support so that you can lead transformative changes in your countries and regions…You are a trusted GCF partner, and the Fund can only be successful if you deliver on bringing about significant projects or programmes.”

Looking forward from the Sodongo Readiness session, GCF Regional Advisers will schedule calls with focal points to check on work programmes and also to organize group webinars to bring entities together for briefings on specific issues.

As the first regionally accredited organization, the CCCCC is now the interface and conduit for GCF funding to the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the Caribbean. Applications for GCF funding takes place in consultation with country focal points (NDAs) and the CCCCC.

For further information on GCF Funding, please contact your National Designated Authority listed below or the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre at http://www.caribbeanclimate.bz/ .

Monday, April 25, 2016

UN, World Bank Announce Members of High-Level Panel on Water

UN, World Bank Announce Members of High-Level Panel on Water
  21 April 2016: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced the appointment of ten Heads of State and Government and two Special Advisors to the High-Level Panel on Water, which was first announced in January 2016. The presidents of Mauritius and Mexico serve as Panel co-chairs, with the prime ministers of Australia, Bangladesh, Jordan and Netherlands, and the presidents of Hungary, Senegal, South Africa and Tajikistan also on the Panel. 
 The Panel's appointment was announced on 21 April 2016, when the UN General Assembly convened for a High-level Thematic Debate on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Panel aims to mobilize action to accelerate the implementation of Goal 6 (Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all). 
 Achieving the SDGs will require changes in the way governments, societies and the private sector manage water, according to a joint statement on the launch. SDG 6 aims to ensure water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for all, while also tackling challenges related to water scarcity and stress, improving water quality, and promoting integrated water resources management (IWRM). According to the UN, over 2.4 billion people lack access to improved sanitation and an estimated 663 million do not have access to safe drinking water, situations that contribute to premature deaths and economic losses. 
 “Ensuring water and sanitation for all is crucial for reducing poverty and achieving other SDGs,” Ban said in a press note. He urged partners to mobilize financial, political and technological support to mobilize behind SDG 6. Kim added, "Growing cities and populations, as well as a changing climate, are placing unprecedented pressures on our water resources.". He stressed that providing clean water and sanitation for all “requires the kind of global action, strong leadership and commitment shown by the [Panel] members.” 
 The Panel is expected to: provide leadership to develop and manage water resources and improve WASH access; champion a collaborative, comprehensive and inclusive approach to achieving SDG 6; work to advocate for financing and implementation approaches to effect concrete change; and "shine light" on institutions and policies that are placing the world on a more sustainable path. 
 The co-chairs of the Panel are Ameenah Gurib, President, Mauritius, and Enrique Peña Nieto, President, Mexico. The other members are: Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister, Australia; Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister, Bangladesh; János Áder, President, Hungary; Abdullah Ensour, Prime Minister, Jordan; Mark Rutte, Prime Minister, the Netherlands; Jacob Zuma, President, South Africa; Macky Sall, President, Senegal; Emomali Rahmon, President, Tajikistan. The Special Advisors are: Han Seung-soo, former Prime Minister, the Republic of Korea; and Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Minister of State for the Environment, Peru. 
 According to a joint statement, the Panel welcomes “an open and growing ‘friends of the water panel' network that encourages a voice for all and seeks to learn from the knowledge that already exists." [UN Press Release] [UNSG Note to Correspondents] [Joint Statement] [SDSN Website on Panel] [IISD Briefing Note on the High-level Thematic Debate on Achieving the SDGs] [IISD RS Story on Panel Establishment] 
   read more:  http://nr.iisd.org/news/un-world-bank-announce-members-of-high-level-panel-on-water/    

Monday, April 18, 2016

Canada intends to show its climate leadership

New Secretary for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

 
Nairobi, 13 April 2016 - Current Vice-President of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Mr. Abdalah Mokssit, from Morocco, has been offered and accepted the position of new Secretary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).    The announcement was made at the forty-third session of the IPCC, convening in Nairobi this week.   Dr. Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of WMO said, "I have had the pleasure to collaborate with Mr. Mokssit for more than a decade as a colleague, WMO Director and as an Executive Council member. He has special organizational and diplomatic skills; these will be needed to engage more developing country experts and governments in the IPCC's work. I am convinced that he will be a very useful asset for IPCC."   UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Achim Steiner said, "I welcome the selection of Mr. Mokssit as the New IPCC Secretary. He brings to the position years of experience at the national, regional and global levels and UNEP looks forward to continuing to support the vital work of the IPCC, especially through the joint efforts of the UNEP-WMO Secretariat."     Mr. Mokssit has extensive experience with the IPCC, WMO and at the national level. Under his leadership, the Meteorological Service of Morocco became one of the leading meteorological agencies in Africa, meeting high international standards.   The final selection for the position was made by WMO Secretary General, the UNEP Executive Director and the IPCC Chair, following UN procedures.   About the IPCC The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the world body for assessing the science related to climate change. The IPCC was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly, to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.   The IPCC does not do its own research, conduct climate measurements or produce its own climate models; it assesses the thousands of scientific papers published each year to tell policymakers what we know and don't know about the risks related to climate change. The IPCC identifies where there is agreement in the scientific community, where there are differences of opinion, and where further research is needed.     Thus the IPCC offers policymakers a snapshot of what the scientific community understands about climate change rather than promoting a particular view. IPCC reports are policy-relevant without being policy-prescriptive. The IPCC may set out options for policymakers to choose from in pursuit of goals decided by policymakers, but it does not tell governments what to do.   To produce its reports, the IPCC mobilizes hundreds of scientists who work as volunteers. These scientists and officials are drawn from diverse backgrounds. Only fourteen permanent staff work in the IPCC's Secretariat.   The members of the IPCC, comprising the Panel, are the195 member states of the UN and WMO. They work by consensus to endorse the reports of the IPCC and set its procedures and budget in plenary meetings of the Panel. The word "Intergovernmental" in the organization's name reflects this.   IPCC reports are requested by the member governments and developed by authors drawn from the scientific community in an extensive process of repeated drafting and review. Scientists and other experts participate in this review process through a self-declaration of expertise. The Panel endorses these reports in a process of dialogue between the governments that request the reports and will work with them and the scientists that write them. In this discussion the scientists have the last word on any additions or changes, although the Panel may agree by consensus to change something in the summaries for policymakers of the reports.   The IPCC produces comprehensive assessment reports on climate change every six years or so. Among its other products it also issues special reports on particular topics requested by its members, and methodology reports and software to help members report their greenhouse gas inventories (emissions minus removals).   The IPCC completed the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) with the release of the Synthesis Report on 2 November 2014. AR5 is the most comprehensive assessment of climate change ever undertaken. Over 830 scientists from over 80 countries were selected to form the author teams producing the report. They in turn drew on the work of over 1,000 contributing authors and over 1,000 expert reviewers. AR5 assessed over 30,000 scientific papers.  

Further Resources

For more information, please contact   Shereen Zorba, Head of News & Media, UNEP, +254788526000, unepnewsdesk@unep.org

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Belize Joins Ten Island Challenge

Belize Joins Ten Island Challenge to Transition to 100% Renewable Energy
The islands of the Caribbean are some of the most beautiful places on Earth, which is why they are among the most popular tourist destinations. But those same island nations also suffer from some of the highest electricity prices in the world, a factor that fuels poverty, helps grow their national debts and blocks their ability to plan for sustainable development. Because relatively little of that electricity comes from renewable sources, these countries spend large portion of their GDP importing fossil fuels, money that could otherwise be spent growing their economies. And while these islands don’t contribute significantly to global greenhouse gas emissions, they suffer an outsized impact from climate change, with rising sea levels, hotter temperatures and extreme weather events such as hurricanes. That’s why Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson’s climate group the Carbon War Room (CWR), now partnered with Amory Lovins’ think tank the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), created the Ten Island Challenge to encourage these nations to tap into their abundant supply of sun and wind. The challenge was kicked off last year at the Creating Climate Wealth Islands Summit to start collecting commitments from the islands, with CWR and RMI working with them to set ambitious renewable energy goals, develop plans to do so and build the infrastructure and resource capacity to execute those plans.  Aruba was the first nation to join the challenge. Its government worked with the two organizations to create the Smart Growth Pathways, and it has committed to transitioning from fossil fuels by 2020. St. Lucia, Grenada, the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and San Andres and Providencia have already joined the challenge and are working to transition their economies away from fossil fuels. More