By Catherine Ageno
With COP27 just a few days away, Uganda has been asked to join other African voices in calling on developed countries to commit to funding loss and damage.
According to Mr. Hussein Kato Muyinda, the Executive Director Earth and Rights Initiative, African countries face similar climate challenges and so now, more than ever, the continent needs to speak with a unified voice.
COP27 to be held from November 6-18 in Egypt’s coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh seeks renewed solidarity between countries, to deliver on the landmark Paris Agreement, for people and the planet.
COP stands for Conference Parties, with Parties referring to the 197 countries that agreed to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992. The conference is convened annually by the United Nations.
In an interview with KFM, Mr. Muyinda noted that Africa contributes only 3% of the greenhouse emissions but suffers the most from the negative climate impacts, yet it does not have access to the kind of financing needed to address effects of climate crises.
He warns that if not addressed now, Africa will by 2030 need between $1.3bn and $1.5trillion to fund adaptation.
“Because we rely totally on agriculture, Africa loses between 5 to 15 percent of this GDP because of climate crises. So that means, COP27 we have to look at it from that perspective,” Muyinda said.
Mr.Muyinda also tells KFM that since agriculture is the backbone of Africa’s economy with tremendous potential for future job creation (employing 60-70 percent of Africa’s workforce), and accounts for upto a third of the continent’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), there is urgent need for climate activists to take steps towards protecting the sector from negative impacts of climate change.
“Some of the causes of some of the worst protracted conflicts raging on in different parts of Africa can be traced to climate crises. For instance the conflicts between farmers and herders”, he said in a telephone interview.
Mr. Muyinda notes that Africa loses between $7-$15bn a year to climate change and if the situation does not change, this loss is projected to grow to upto $50bn by 2030.
Earlier, while speaking to UN News in Geveva, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that unless governments everywhere reassessed their energy policies, the world would be uninhabitable.
He also warned that unless action was taken sooner, some major cities would be under water, forecasting “unprecedented heatwaves, terrifying storms, widespread water shortages and the extinction of a million species of plants and animals”.