Canada unveiled Wednesday a national carbon emissions market to help it meet its climate goals by allowing cities, farmers and others to sell credits for CO2 reductions to heavier polluters.
Under the system, registered participants can generate one credit for each tonne of emissions they reduce or remove from the atmosphere.
Credits can then be sold to others in Canada to help them meet compliance obligations or emissions reductions goals.
“This system gives foresters, farmers, Indigenous communities, municipalities and others an opportunity to earn revenues by cutting pollution,” Environment Minister Stephen Guilbeault told a news conference.
Some environmental groups, however, called it a step backwards in the fight against climate change.
“Offsets don’t stop carbon from entering the atmosphere and warming the planet, but on paper they make the big polluters look good,” Greenpeace’s Salome Sane said in a statement.
Ottawa has pledged to reduce Canada’s carbon emissions by up to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
But several independent reports have said the government is not doing enough to reach that target, and is lagging behind its G7 counterparts in slashing emissions.
Its new offset credit system, which allows credits to be generated from projects started after January 1, 2017, would allow landfills to sell credits for captured methane, for example.
Farmers could generate credits by sequestering more carbon in their soil by alternating fields in which they plant crops, or using feed for livestock that produces less burped gasses, while forestry firms could do the same by thinning diseased trees and managing brush to reduce wildfires.
“You can’t just go out and plant a tree in your front yard and get a credit,” an official told a briefing.
The emissions cuts must be new, verifiable, and permanent to qualify under the program, which will also include direct carbon capture from the air once those details are hammered out.
The federal system also prohibits trading of duplicate credits. The province of Quebec, for example, is already part of the US state of California’s cap and trade system known as the Western Climate Initiative.
Africa faces an “unprecedented” crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, particularly with soaring food and fuel prices, United Nations officials said on Friday.
The conflict and Western sanctions on Moscow are disrupting supplies of wheat, fertilizer and other goods, compounding difficulties facing Africa from climate change and the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is an unprecedented crisis for the continent”, UNDP Africa chief economist Raymond Gilpin told a press conference in Geneva.
Gilpin, who spoke by video-conference from New York, said there were risks from a widespread surge in inflation, particularly in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone.
“We are seeing a reduction of GDP growth on the continent, supposed to rise slightly this year after Covid,” he said.
That puts millions of households at risk across the continent — which includes a majority of the poorest countries in the world.
Economic difficulties could also exacerbate social tensions in crisis-hit parts of the continent, such as the Sahel, parts of central Africa and Horn of Africa.
“Tensions, particularly in urban area, low-income communities, could spill over and lead to violent protests and violent riots,” he said.
Countries holding elections this year and next year were particularly vulnerable.
Many African countries depend heavily on food imports and fertilizer from Russia and Ukraine, two major exporters of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower oil. Rising oil prices from the war have also increased fuel and diesel costs.
In some African countries, up to 80 percent of wheat came from Russia and Ukraine.
“With the disruptions that now happen, you see an urgent situation materialise because where do these countries turn overnight for commodities?” said UN Under-Secretary General and UNDP Africa regional director Ahunna Eziakonwa.
She said the crisis could also impact debt for many African countries with high borrow rates such as Ghana.
“There needs to be an effort by multilateral, bilateral institutions to really think about” restructuring debt, she said.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said this week he was seeking talks to bring back Ukrainian and Russian agriculture and fertilizer products into world markets to help end a “three-dimensional” crisis in developing nations.
The International Monetary Fund said last month the war in Ukraine had already significantly impacted the Middle East and North Africa, warning high prices may lead to social unrest in Africa.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned that 19.4 million Nigerians may face an acute food shortage between June and August 2022.
It hinged this on rising inflation and insecurity. This is according to a report by the agency in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The report analyses acute food and nutrition insecurity in the Sahel and West African region and noted that the food crisis will affect Nigerians in 21 states and FCT.
According to the report, about 14.4 million people in 21 States and FCT are already in a food crisis till May 2022.
The FAO analysis for March covered Abia, Adamawa, Benue, Borno, Cross-River, Edo, Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Lagos, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Tarba, Yobe, and Zamfara, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Fire has ripped through the Mokwa Central Market in Niger State on Thursday, destroying goods, mostly food items worth millions of naira.
Four persons, especially traders who slept in their shops, were said to have sustained various degrees of injuries and were taken to Mokwa General Hospital for medical treatment after the inferno.
The Paramount Ruler of the town, the Ndalile-Mokwa, Mohammed Shaba confirmed the incident to Channels Television via a telephone conversation, saying that the fire, which started at about 4 am, had razed down more than half of the market.
“The fire started around 4 o’clock in the morning. They called me and I called the fire service. They have been trying to put off the fire but because of lack of tanks, as I am talking to you, the fire is still on,” he said.
According to the traditional ruler, some hoodlums took advantage of the raging fire to steal goods but four of them had been apprehended.
“This is a rural market where foodstuffs are being sold in abundance. We are a bridge between the north and the south in terms of the supply of food. More than half of the market is gone,” the traditional ruler explained.
One of the traders simply identified as Etsu-Kpo Mokwa said marketers were counting their losses.
While describing the incident as devastating, he said: “It will take many traders years to recover from this disaster. We are still counting the losses. Fire service officials are still doing their best to put off the fire.”
Fire gutted the popular Ogbe-Ijoh Market in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State, destroying several goods worth millions of naira.
The market is well known to be one of the biggest fish markets across the country.
Although the cause of the fire incident is still sketchy as of the time of filing this report, residents and shop owners were seen running helter skelter to rescue what is left of their respective goods.
“The state government, however, did not approve the reopening of livestock markets (kara) of any of these markets,” Dosara stated. “The government equally warns against any act of violations of law and order in the markets.
“People should not be seen carrying any weapons into the markets, as well as no person should be seen attacking or threatening anybody in the name of whatever group or organisations.”
The commissioner explained that the government took the decision to reopen the markets following reports of some sanity in parts of the state.
He added that authorities received a series of requests by residents, saying the reopening of the markets was effective from Monday.
According to Dosara, the security agencies have been directed to ensure that people carry out their lawful businesses within and around the markets without harassment or intimidation.
“Task Force for the implementation of Executive Order should ensure compliance and guard against breach of the Executive order.
“The government would not hesitate to close down once again, any market found to be violating the order,” he warned.
The closure of all weekly markets in Zamfara was announced by the government on August 27, as part of the stringent measures to curb the activities of bandits in the state.
Although the normal market activities of buying and selling for local consumptions were exempted from the ban, authorities suspended the transportation of livestock to and from the state, saying the transportation of food across the state and outside Zamfara must be verified.
Several shops at the popular Jos road auto spare parts market at the Oriapata area in Kaduna State have been gutted by fire.
Although the cause of the fire which began in the early hours of Friday is yet to be ascertained, traders and residents of the area told Channels Television that the fire started from one of the shops which also has some tenants inside the compound, and later spread to nearby shops.
The leadership of the Automobile Spare Parts Dealers Association said the fire outbreak has negatively affected the traders whose goods were lost in the inferno.
The COVID-19 Enforcement Team in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has shut down some markets in the nation’s capital.
Among the places visited and closed down by the enforcement team on Tuesday included the UTC Area 10 Market and the Wuse Market in Abuja.
The spokesperson for the task force, Mr Attah Ikharo, stated that the markets were shut for violating the measures put in place by the government to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
He explained that the team would later meet with the union leaders at the markets, adding that the exercise was carried out in line with the directive of the President on the enforcement of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Health Protection Regulations 2021.
The regulations were made by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday last week at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The nine-page document, which was published by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), comprised six parts.
They include restrictions on gatherings, operations of public places, mandatory compliance with treatment protocols, offences and penalties, enforcement and application, as well as interpretation and citation.
In the document, President Buhari explained that the regulations were made in the exercise of the powers conferred upon him by Section 4 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010 and all other powers enabling him in that behalf.
He also noted that he had considered the urgent need to protect the health and wellbeing of Nigerians in the face of the widespread and rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the country.
See the breakdown of confirmed cases of COVID-19 according to states below:
Traders at the Marian market in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital are counting their losses following a fire disaster that occurred at about 8:00 pm on Friday, destroying several shops stocked with goods.
Some eyewitnesses told Channels Television that, while the number of shops destroyed cannot be ascertained at the moment, the losses could be running into millions.
According to them, the inferno was a result of high voltage power which resulted in sparks and the eventual fire which was out of control.
Shop owners have, therefore, called on both the Federal and State government and well meaning Nigerians to come to their aid.