Climate Action

Climate Action

What is Climate Action?

Climate Action is urgent action needed to combat climate change and its impacts. We need climate action because:

  • Climate change affects everywhere globally, and it (its impacts) disrupts national economies, lives, people, and communities. 
  • “Without action, the world’s average surface temperature is projected to rise over the 21st century and is likely to surpass 3 degrees Celsius this century—with some areas of the world expected to warm even more” (n.d)

Why do we need Climate Action in Developing Countries?

We need climate action in developing countries because: 

  • Developing countries are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change because the poorest and most vulnerable people are most heavily affected. 
  • Developing countries are the least able to afford the consequences of climate change. 
  • Climate change can reverse significant development gains made in developing countries. 
  • The WHO says that as of 2030, climate change is expected to contribute to approx. 250,000 additional deaths yearly from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress 
  • Girls and women are disproportionately affected by the adverse effects of climate change. 
    • This impact deepens existing social inequalities and threatens women’s and girls’ health, safety, and economic well-being. 
  • Gender inequalities and development gaps increase the impacts of climate change for those who depend on natural resources for their livelihoods. 
  • Developing countries have low-income levels and continue to increase their emissions while striving for economic growth and a better quality of life. 

The Paris Agreement and Climate Action

According to the Paris agreement, all countries agreed to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius and, given the grave risks, to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius. The agreement also states that developed countries are obligated to assist developing countries in implementing the agreement. 

Canada in 2015 agreed to implement the 2030 Agenda and the accompanying SDGs; SDG 13 calls on the international community to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. All countries will need to accelerate and intensify activities and investments in climate change to achieve SDG 13.

In Dec 2015, as a part of the Paris Agreement, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Canada would provide $2.65 billion (2015/2016 to 2020/ 2021) to help developing countries tackle climate change. 

The Kyoto Protocol set emission targets for developed countries only.

Climate Adaptation Initiatives in Developing Countries 

Adaptation priorities in many African and Asian countries include:

  • The agriculture sector
  • Protecting the freshwater supplies
  • Climate-based health impacts
  • Risks to the energy sector
  • Risks from extreme weather

You can get more insights into these priorities from their National Determinant Contributions (NDCs) reports. Kenya passed a climate change bill; they also have a National Climate Change Strategy and National Climate Change Action Plan. Bangladesh has a climate change strategy and action plan with funding from The Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund and the Bangladesh Climate change resilience fund, which provides millions of dollars for climate actions such as river bank protection, afforestation, and disaster management. 

The African heads of state launched the African Adaptation Initiative (AAI) during COP21 in 2015, and this initiative ensures that the continent urgently adapts to the adverse effects of climate change. The AAI aims to raise awareness of climate adaptation, facilitate knowledge management, capacity building, and strengthen capacity. It supports and facilitates resource mobilization for implementation, promotes cooperation and partnerships (at sub-regional and regional levels) for synergy, scales and maximizes shared benefits, and tracks progress by monitoring and evaluating an action. The AAI’s ‘pillars or focus areas are enhancing climate information systems, strengthening policies and institutions, enhancing ground action, and climate finance and investments.

What COP 26 says about Climate Action

The following highlights were gleaned from the outcome of COP26. 

  • There needs to be more action on adaptation to minimize and eliminate climate change’s damage and impacts. 
    • There needs to be more plans and finance put into improved early warning systems, flood defense, resilient infrastructure, and agriculture. 
    • Boosting resilience to the impacts of climate change will require that habitats are protected and restored. 
    • All countries should produce an “adaptation communication,” which summarizes what they are planning to do to adapt to the impacts, the challenges they will face, and where they will need help. 
  • In terms of mitigation, the world is not on track to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, requiring more action.
    • The world would need to halve its emissions over the next decade to limit global temp rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius to keep 1.5 degrees within reach.
  • As a part of the Paris agreement, every country needs to update its emission reduction targets every five years to reflect its highest possible ambition and progress over time.
    • They say that it is essential that the developed countries and highest emitters take the lead. 

Climate Action and our Upcoming Webinar

In our upcoming webinar, we will be discussing the business opportunities inherent in the challenges of integrating climate action with poverty reduction initiatives. You should attend to be part of a panel discussion. Register for the webinar via the following links:

EnvironFocus Learning Center: https://www.environfocus.com/environfocusknowledge/event/connecting-climate-action-with-poverty-reduction-initiatives/

Ontario Environmental Industry Association: https://www.oneia.ca/event-4634129

Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/integrating-climate-action-into-poverty-reduction-initiatives-tickets-230565917867

References:

Obie Agusiegbe
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