Technological Innovation, Energy Efficiency Key To Reducing Impacts Of Climate Change – Barkindo

Photo Credit: Official OPEC Twitter account

 

Innovations in technology, improved energy efficiency have been identified as part of the solutions to mitigate the impact of climate change globally.

This is according to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretary General, Mohammad Barkindo, during the UN Climate Change Conference in Spain.

Mr Barkindo said that OPEC recognizes the complexity of climate change and there is no solution for global warming, while adding that all viable mitigation measures are necessary.

He stressed the support given to the Paris Agreement and urged that nobody should be left behind by the energy transition.

“At OPEC, we listen extensively to the scientists. We wholeheartedly support the Paris Agreement and the ethos of multilateralism that underpins it. The core elements of the Convention, particularly historical responsibility and national circumstances must be adhered to.

“We recognize the complexity and magnitude of climate change we are living in our countries. There is no panacea for global warming. All viable mitigation and adaptation measures are necessary.

“Technological innovation, including CCUS, enhanced investment for energy access, and improved energy efficiency must be part of the solution. The oil industry is committed to all of these,” he added.

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The OPEC Secretary General restated the role of oil companies in offering solutions, stating that the transition must be holistic.

“Nobody should be left behind by the energy transition. We reject an energy transition from one source to another.

“The oil industry must be part of the solution to the impacts of climate change.

“The energy transition must be holistic, inclusive, fair and equitable in accordance with the core UNFCCC principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.”

Mr Barkindo, while making reference to his early days in Yola, Adamawa State, stated the challenges faced in accessing energy, particularly fuel.

He said that the experience is what replicates globally, stating that almost one billion people worldwide lack access to electricity.

“I grew up in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria. There, even today, keeping the lights on in our houses, insulating our homes or accessing clean water  ̶  amenities taken for granted by many countries  ̶  are beyond the reach of the most vulnerable in our communities.

“Sadly, this is a situation experienced in many developing countries.

“The almost one billion people worldwide who currently lack access to electricity and the three billion without modern fuels for cooking are not just statistics on a page. They are real people. Each one is an individual.”

He stated that: “Fuel poverty is not an abstract concept; rather it is a profound challenge for sustainable development. It is an all-too brutal reality for hungry families living in the cold or dark, for the millions of children currently attending schools without power, and for many hospitals without reliable energy.”

Paris Agreement: FG Remains Committed To Climate Change Policy

Minister of State for Environment, Mr Ibrahim Jibrin

The Federal Government says it will not pull out of the Paris Agreement, which is seen as a turning point for global climate change policy.

Addressing a media briefing in Abuja, the Minister of State for Environment, Mr Ibrahim Jibrin said Nigeria entered into the Paris Agreement as a sovereign state hence will remain committed to its provisions taking into account its national circumstances and interests.

The Minister was reacting to the withdrawal of the United States from the Climate Change deal.

Mr Jibrin explained that the withdrawal of the United States will make developing nations to sit up and explore possibilities to make the agreement work.

The Paris Agreement is a consensus within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020.

UNICEF: Boko Haram Recruited Over 2,000 Child Soldiers In 2016

UNICEF, Boko Haram, Child SoldiersOver 2000 child soldiers were recruited and used in combat by the terrorist group, Boko Haram in 2016.

These statistics were provided on Tuesday by the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on the anniversary of the Paris commitments to end the use of children in conflict.

UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake, said the exact data on the number of children used in armed conflict was difficult to ascertain because of the unlawful nature of the exercise.

“For instance, since 2013 an estimated 17,000 children have been recruited in South Sudan and up to 10,000 have been recruited in the Central African Republic (CAR).

“Similarly, nearly 2,000 children were recruited by Boko Haram in Nigeria and neighbouring countries last year alone, and there have been nearly 1,500 cases of child recruitment in Yemen since the conflict escalated in March 2015.

“We cannot give up the fight to end child recruitment,” the UNICEF chief said.

Lake offered estimates that tens of thousands under the age of 18 were being used in conflicts worldwide.

“It is not only about looking back at what has been accomplished; but looking forward to the work that remains to be done to support the children of war,” he said.

End To Child Recruitment

Adopted 10 years ago, the Paris commitments, together with the Paris Principles and Guidelines, lay out guidance for protecting children from recruitment and use by armed forces or armed groups.

The Paris Agreement also assists the release of child soldiers and their reintegration, with other vulnerable children affected by armed conflict in their communities.

“There has also been progress: since it was adopted, the number of countries endorsing the Paris commitments has nearly doubled from 58 countries in 2007 to 105 at present, signalling an increasing global commitment to end the use of children in conflict.

“Globally, more than 65,000 children have been released from armed forces and armed groups, including 20,000 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“Nearly 9,000 in the Central African Republic; and over 1,600 children in Chad. But more needs to be done,” the UNICEF chief said.

According to him, seeking to build on the current momentum, the Paris International Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Children in Armed Conflicts has appealed for unconditional release of all children without exception, and putting an end to child recruitment.

“It is also calling for increased resources to help reintegrate and educate children who have been released, and urgent action to protect internally displaced children, child refugees and migrants.

“As long as children are still affected by the fighting, we cannot give up the fight for the children,” Lake added.

Paris Agreement On Climate Change Comes Into Effect

paris-agreement-logoThe Paris agreement on climate change has officially taken effect on Friday, November 4, 2016.

The historic agreement opens a new phase in the global climate governance and its implementation is a major step in coping with the global climate change.

The threshold for entry into force of the Paris agreement was achieved on October 5, 2016, when 97 of 197 countries that signed the agreement, ratified it.

Nigeria signed the agreement on September 22, 2016, although it is yet to ratify it.

President Muhammadu Buhari said that his signing of the Paris Agreement demonstrated Nigeria’s commitment to a global effort to reverse the effects of the negative trend.

The President made the statement while addressing the opening of the meeting on Taking Climate Action for Sustainable Development in New York, co-hosted by Nigeria and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as one of the Side Events of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA71).Buhari, Paris Agreement, Nigeria, Climate Change, Muhammadu Buhari, UN General Assembly

President Buhari, with the signing of the Paris Agreement, committed Nigeria to reducing “Green House Gas Emissions unconditionally by 20% and conditionally by 45%” in line with Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contributions.

He expressed confidence that with support from development partners, Nigeria will meet these targets.

The President also promised to ensure the ratification of the Paris Agreement before the 22nd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Marrakesh, Morocco in November 2016.

The United States and China officially ratified the Paris agreement on September 3, saying the ratification could help put the pact into force before the end of the year.

UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, who was in China to witness the declaration, received the plan to join the agreement from American President, Mr Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping.

Buhari Signs Paris Agreement; Says Nigeria Will Reverse Effects Of Climate Change

Buhari, Paris Agreement, Nigeria, Climate Change, Muhammadu Buhari, UN General AssemblyPresident Muhammadu Buhari has said that his signing of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change has demonstrated Nigeria’s commitment to a global effort to reverse the effects of the negative trend.

The President made the statement while addressing the opening of the meeting on Taking Climate Action for Sustainable Development in New York, co-hosted by Nigeria and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as one of the Side Events of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA71).

President Buhari, had shortly before this event, signed the Paris Agreement, where he committed Nigeria to reducing “Green House Gas Emissions unconditionally by 20 per cent and conditionally by 45 per cent” in line with Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contributions.

Describing the signing as historic, he had also expressed confidence that with support from development partners, Nigeria will meet the above targets.

The President also promised to ensure the ratification of the Paris Agreement before the 22nd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Marrakesh, Morocco in November 2016.


He stressed that it was to demonstrate his personal dedication to the process of implementing the Agreement that he was hosting the side event on Taking Climate Action Towards Sustainable Development.

Genuine Efforts

President Buhari, who said he was privileged to have been part of the Paris Agreement, expressed appreciation to what he called “the genuine efforts by President Francois Hollande of France in drawing global attention to reviving the Lake Chad Basin,” and for galvanizing the political will that led to the global consensus in reaching the Paris Agreement.

Buhari, Paris Agreement, Nigeria, Climate Change, Muhammadu Buhari, UN General Assembly

The Nigerian President said his country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement is articulated through its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) “that strive to build a climate resilient society across the diverse terrain of Nigeria. We have instituted an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change to govern implementation of my country’s NDCs, thereby ensuring a strong cross-sectoral approach, coherence and synergy for Climate Action.”

President Buhari, while admitting that implementing the Roadmap will not be easy in the face of dwindling national revenues, however, indicated that both internal and external resources would be mobilized to meet Nigeria’s targets, adding that the 2017 Budget will reflect Nigeria’s efforts to accord priority to realizing its NDCs.

“In addition, we are set to launch our first ever Green Bonds in the first quarter of 2017 to fund a pipeline of projects all targeted at reducing emissions towards a greener economy,” he said.

Expectations

While urging global support to transit to a low-carbon climate resilient economy, the President specifically reminded industrialized nations “to play their role and deliver on their commitments on access to climate finance and technology transfer and help with capacity-building”.

He added: “Expectations are high for their leaders to deliver US$100 billion per year by 2020 in support of developing countries to take climate action, thus keeping the promise to billions of people.”

Buhari, Paris Agreement, Nigeria, Climate Change, Muhammadu Buhari, UN General Assembly

President Buhari, who thanked the Presidents of Chad, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo and Niger for attending the event, also called on the international community to “give special recognition to the plight of Lake Chad and support our effort to resuscitate the livelihoods of over 5 million people in the region.

“This will reinforce our efforts to reintegrate the thousands of Boko Haram victims and returning Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).”

The President noted that the Niger Delta region is a unique biodiversity-rich coastal environment that is highly prone to adverse environmental changes occasioned by climate change, such as sea level rise, coastal erosion, exacerbated by poverty and many decades of oil pollution leading to loss of livelihoods and ecosystems.

He added however, that “through an integrated approach, implementation of the NDCs, and our efforts to clean up Ogoniland, we will improve livelihoods, protect the environment and take climate action, and ensure the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

US, China Ratify Paris Climate Agreement

Barack-Obama-Xi-JinpingThe United States and China have officially ratified the Paris agreement to curb climate-warming discharges.

The world’s two biggest economies confirmed this on Saturday, saying the ratification could help put the pact into force before the end of the year.

UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, who is in China to witness the declaration, received the plan to join the agreement from American President, Mr Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping.

A senior adviser to President Obama, Brian Deese, observed that the joint announcement should push other countries to formally join the deal.

“The signal of the two large emitters taking this step together and taking it early, far earlier than people had anticipated a year ago, should give confidence to the global communities and to other countries that are working on their climate change plans, that they too can move quickly and will be part of a global effort,” Reuters quoted Deese as saying.

Obama’s aide hinted that the US President was expected to meet the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, on the sidelines of a Group of 20 nations meeting in Hangzhou, China, this weekend.

Climate Change: ECOWAS To Adapt Paris Agreement   

ecowas, Climate Change, Paris AgreementRepresentatives of civil society organisations and the private sector in the ECOWAS sub-region are discussing ways to adapt the Paris agreement on climate change to realities in Africa.

This comes with a plan to give special attention to specific sectors including agriculture.

ECOWAS Director of Environment, Dr Johnson Boanuh, said that the African continent in 2015 got its fair share of extreme weather conditions, necessitating the adaptation of agreements reached by African leaders last April in New York.

The project coordinator of climate change agreement in the sub region, Tahu Kwame, also said that the input of the private sector is crucial, especially considering the sectors most affected in the sub region such as energy, forestry, transportation, industry and agriculture.

The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, at the World Economic Forum in January 2016, asked countries of the world to quickly ratify the historical agreement reached at the last climate change deal in Paris, in December.

He pointed out that natural disasters have undermined the gains made in climate efforts.

“First, national climate plans must urgently be converted into bankable investment strategies and projects.

“Second, we must generate sufficient financing for developing countries to bypass fossil fuels and meet high energy demands with low carbon sources.

“Third, we need greater attention and resources for climate resilience.

“That is why I launched a new Climate Resilience Initiative in Paris called A2R – to anticipate risks, absorb shocks and adapt development approaches.

“Fourth, we need to rapidly increase climate actions at every level. I will work to help strengthen the action agenda and public-private partnerships.

“Fifth, governments must quickly ratify the Paris Agreement,” he said.