Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!
03 March 2021
Post No. 185
The Week’s Contents
• Climate Action Month
• Climate Protection and Stake for African Children – Rebooting Phase 3, with Glasgow Steps It Up as a Working Theme
• Climate-induced Poverty as Situational/Transitory Poverty
… And much more!
• Climate Action Month: Stay on Track
For those who are familiar with CENFACS’ development calendar, they can remember that March is the Climate Action Month within CENFACS. This year’s Climate Action Month will revolve around actions to curb COVID-19 adversity and its repercussions on the climate agenda. Linking climate action and COVID-19 makes sense as many examples show that there are inter-linkages between the two. For example, taking action to reduce air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels (like coal, oil and natural gas) can help to protect people from respiratory infection and diseases like the coronavirus pandemic.
It is known that the coronavirus pandemic has taken more than one year since it broke out. Since then, it has disrupted many lives, economies and societies. It has diverted the directions of many poverty relief and development agendas. Some of the events that contribute to climate action could not be held as planned last year while others were simply postponed. Among the postponed events is the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) which was supposed to be held in November last year. This Conference is the one CENFACS normally follow in order to call the international climate community to account about the need to protect children against the adversity of climate change.
To stay on track with our climate actions and stop COVID-19 to become a severe drain for work on climate change, we have planned direct and indirect climate actions (or climate working days).
For further details about this month’s climate actions or working days, please read under the Main Development section of this post.
• Climate Protection and Stake for African Children – Rebooting Phase 3, with Glasgow Steps It Up as a Working Theme
We are continuing to work on Climate Protection and Stake for African Children (CPSAC). This is despite the postponement of COP26. We are rebooting Phase 3, which is Taking Climate Protection and Stake for African Children at the Implementation Level (TCPSACI), phase that is part our project known as Climate Protection and Stake for African Children (CPSAC).
We shall follow the postponed 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties to be held in Glasgow from 1 to 12 November 2021. Our follow up will be through the working theme of Glasgow Steps It Up.
• • What do we mean by Glasgow Steps It Up?
Glasgow Steps It Up (GSIU) means that we will be following the climate change talks to be held in Glasgow next November, and we expect the Glasgow gathering to step up and respond to our climate demand. GSIU is also the mantra or motto for this year’s climate talks follow up.
Glasgow Steps It Up to save the environment is another opportunity to advance on what was achieved in Madrid and at other previous climate gatherings and talks.
GSIU is also a further occasion to try to bridge the gaps within the climate community so that the stumbling points of COP25 can be resolved. One can hope that the postponement of COP26 has given enough time for various parties to come to a good agreement.
Without anticipating anything about GSIU, let us hope that at these coming climate talks the parties will respond to our climate demand.
• • CENFACS’ demand, Children’s demand
Our demand is and remains the same: to give and implement climate protection and stake for African children; the African Children being a sample of our working climate advocacy model.
This demand is undertaking through the follow up of global climate talks (through CENFACS’ Climate Talks Follow up project) like the incoming climate talks (COP26) to be held in Glasgow, Scotland. The COVID-19 makes even the case for children protection from climate adversity a compelling and appealing one.
So, CENFACS will continue to inspire climate action. This month, we are taking action to help, where we can, meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) while staying on track with our climate demand and stake for children.
The Paris Agreement, which was adopted in 2015, is an essential step to address climate change. As we all know, this Agreement has the central goal of keeping global average temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Supporting it makes sense. However, this month’s interim report from the UNFCCC shows that many countries are not close to the level of ambition needed to limit climate change to 1.5 degrees and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Most of the actions that we shall take this month in relation to this demand will be about the key points contained in CENFACS’ Compendium of CENFACS’ Climate Advocacy. The later is a summary of what CENFACS and its beneficiaries would like the climate community (like the one gathering on annual basis to talk about climate change, the COP) to achieve for children, particularly but not exclusively African children, in terms of outcomes.
To support and or enquire about CENFACS’ CPSAC, please contact CENFACS. To find out more about CENFACS’ Compendium of CENFACS’ Climate Advocacy, please also contact CENFACS.
• • Climate-induced Poverty as Situational/Transitory Poverty
Climate action is also about taking steps to deal with the consequences of adverse climate change on other people’s lives. One of these consequences could be the creation of climate poor because of treacherous weather events such as drought, torrential rains, floods, earthquakes, rise in sea levels, etc. These situations or events can create situational/transitory poverty.
Since situational/transitory poverty is one the seven goals of CENFACS’ 2020s Development Agenda and Poverty Reduction Programme, we are carrying on the work on this type of poverty. This time, the focus on situational/transitory poverty will be on the one that is caused by climate change events. Depending on the intensity and power of these events, they can seriously or less harm people.
Let us take the following examples. Last year in Congo, torrential rains that triggered flooding did cause population displacements, extensive crop, livestock losses and food insecurity. For the same year, consecutive unfavourable rainy seasons led to severe food insecurity in Djibouti. Likewise, floods and landslides brought severe food insecurity in Burundi.
As these examples and many more show, climate/situational events such as floods, landslides, torrential rains, drought, etc. can create or lead to situational/transitory poverty. Where there is poverty or poverty appears because of such events, action needs to be taken to reduce and possibly end this type of poverty.
For those who want to find out more and or work with us on climate induced poverty, please do not hesitate to contact CENFACS.
• Leafy Year and Climate Action Month
Our dedication of 2021 as a Leafy Year will be looked at during the Climate Action Month. In this respect, one of the actions that one can take could be to try to do something to help in the reversal of climate change adversity in matters related to leaves.
Indeed, the science of leaves tells us climate change can precipitate autumn by making autumn leaves fall early than thought. This early leaf-fall may lead to less carbon storage by forests as some climate biologists and forest ecologists may think.
Although we are not yet in autumn this year, this does not stop anyone to take climate action to reduce pressure on the environment by making sure that trees continue to draw carbon dioxide from the air. It is scientifically known that trees convert and store carbon by using sunlight to make nutrients from CO2 and water.
The end of this month will take us to spring as leaves emerge and photosynthesis starts. It has been noticed that spring has been coming earlier than it used to be in some parts of the world. This early appearance of spring is also a message for the kind of climate action that is needed.
In brief, autumn leaf die-off or senescence and spring leaves emerging earlier are the indication of a changing climate that can impact carbon storage. The month of Climate Action in a Year of Leaves means that one can take action to reverse new patterns and trends so that trees and leaves can rediscover their seasonal course of cycle as they were naturally designed.
For any query or to support CENFACS’ Leafy Year and Climate Action Month, please contact CENFACS.
• In depth Discussion and Research Pilot Projects
Our campaign for good health and well-being is now closed with the end of Sustainable Development Month. However, our community projects relating to In-depth Discussion on Household Expenditure on Health and COVID-19 Community Pilot Study to How COVID-19 has Affected Family Spending Budget are still running.
Those who would like to take part in either of these projects they are welcome to contact CENFACS before the official start of spring 2021.
To contact CENFACS regarding these projects, just phone or e-mail or text or complete the contact form on this site.
• Climate Action Movements in Africa with a Focus on Youth Climate Activists and Initiatives
Our interest in climate actions carried out by Africans in Africa continues. We are carrying on with our interest where we left it last year. We are particularly attracted by work on how young Africans are shaping up the hearts and minds of people to influence the climate debate. Climate Action Movements in Africa are this type of environmental activism at local level, at person-to-person, by actions–based organisations working on a voluntary basis.
They are organisations of different sizes and shapes which can be classified in various forms. The common denominator to them is that they are grassroots movements that are trying to push the climate agenda forward in Africa and the world from bottom to up in places where sometimes ordinary people are more preoccupied with their daily pressure to economically survive rather than worrying about the changing climate.
At this extremely challenging time of the coronavirus pandemic adversity, there are still ambitious young Africans in Africa who are not given up the debate and fight on climate change. They know climate change is a long-term issue while COVID-19 may sooner or later be resolved despite the colossal damage it has caused so far.
Examples of such youth climate activists, youth initiatives and young environmentalist enthusiasts include the following: Youth for Future Africa, the Africa-based Rise Up Movement, African Climate Alliance, Green Generation Initiative, Green Treasures Farms, Fridays for Future, African Youth Climate Hub, etc.
We are looking at their climate action contributions as well as their efforts in poverty reduction work in Africa.
To add your climate action and or to support our Climate Action Month and Working Days, please contact CENFACS.
• Climate Action Month: Stay on Track
As introduced it above in the key messages section, Climate Action Month for this year will reflect the current condition of COVID-19. This means that any climate action conducted will take into account the current context of COVID-19 and its subsequent repercussions. In other words, our action will be on the relationships between COVID-19 and climate change. As we work on poverty reduction, we shall as well include some elements of poverty reduction. We also argued that there will be direct and indirect climate actions.
• • Direct and Indirect Climate Actions
Before covering direct and indirect climate actions, let us explain what do we mean by climate actions. Climate action is an activity of engaging and putting ideas into practice to deal with any natural or induced change in the long term average weather conditions of a place, especially when this change adversely affects people’s and communities’ lives and livelihoods.
Direct climate actions can directly lead to outcomes such as reductions of CO2 emissions, quality air, less pollution, etc. One example of such climate actions is the prevention of deforestation.
As to indirect climate actions, they help to keep the advocacy and campaign about measures and activities to be carried out to reduce the adverse impacts of climate change going. Examples of such climate actions will include the prevention of the next pandemic to happen.
Without breaking climate actions into direct and indirect ones, the coming periods and sub-themes of climate action will guide readers about the kind of climate actions CENFACS is conducting this month. These will help those who may be interested to join in.
• • Work Plan for Climate Action March 2021
The theme for Climate Action March 2021 is Stay on Track with Climate Action in the Era of COVID-19
From every Wednesdays of this month, the following Climate Actions have been planned:
# Actions no.1: STOP jumps in greenhouse gas emissions during and after the full reopening of economies and societies after lockdowns (03/03/2021 to 09/03/2021)
# Action no.2: REDUCE pollution and COVID-19 induced climate issues (10/03/2021 to 16/03/2021)
# Action no.3: PREVENT financial de-prioritisation of climate change (17/03/2021 to 23/03/2021)
# Action no.4: END any inaction of climate change actions (24/03/2021 to 30/03/2021)
These actions will be conducted in the way that supports the work that our Africa-based Sister Organisations are carrying out in order to deal with the problems posed by the impacts of climate change while considering the health and economic effects of COVID-19.
• • From Wednesday 03/03/2021: Action to Stop Jumps in Greenhouse Gas Emissions during the Progressive/Full Reopening of Economies and in the Post-lockdown Era
• • • Economic Reopening and Action to Stop Rise and Jump in GHG Emissions
As economies and societies progressively fully reopened following the COVID-19 lockdowns, organisations and people will resume those parts of their activities and lives that were closed during lockdowns. Both individual and collective production and consumption as well as the physical distribution of goods and services may increase. Non-essential economic activities which were closed will tend to recover and catch up with the loss incurred during COVID-19 lockdowns.
With this resumption and the fully functioning of economies and societies, there could be a tendency to disproportionately emit greenhouse gases (GHG). This is despite that many organisations and individuals suggest that COVID-19 recovery plans need to come with a window of opportunity to build back greener and cleaner.
Because of that, action needs to be taken to curb any potential rise or jump of GHG emissions beyond the acceptable level/limit in order to support the central climate goal, that is of keeping global average temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This action can be taken by everybody who cares about global warming and the global commons. CENFACS and Africa-based Sister Organisations need as well to take climate action.
• • • CENFACS and Africa-based Sister Organisations Working Together in Helping to Stop GHG Emissions
It is known that this time is painful one since the health and economic repercussions of COVID-19 shock waves and subsequent lockdowns are still being felt within many communities here in the UK and elsewhere like in Africa. Despite that we should work together to make sure that the brunt of COVID-19 lockdown should not be an excuse to give up progress made in reducing GHG emissions or to push us back to the resumption of disproportional GHG emissions.
Our Africa-based Sister Organisations can continue to work with their locals to keep low GHG emissions while helping them in finding and accessing sustainable ways of meeting their needs (of for example cooking, heating, housing, travelling, etc.). It is quite difficult to achieve this since those local people are still feeling the side effects of COVID-19 and lockdown.
However, if one wants to make the world a better place, they need to do what is necessary in order to achieve it. In their work, reducing or ending poverty is also integrative part of climate action as there is a link between climate change and poverty. Climate induced poverty or situational/transitory poverty caused by climate change can explain why something needs to be done to reduce CO2 emissions.
• • • Ways of Stopping the Rise and Jump in GHG Emissions during the Full Economic Reopening
As explained above, it is possible to work with local people and communities to try to understand together the need to stop the rise and jump in GHG emissions. To do that, it may require involving potential GHG emitters in our work and those who suffer from the consequences of GHG emissions. It is also important to find out their conditions of life and explore together with them sustainable solutions to their problems. This can lead to develop practical ways of dealing with the GHG emissions, ways which may include the following:
√ Doing afforestation (e.g. planting trees)
√ Stopping the burning of the fossil fuels for electricity, heat and transport
√ Using renewables
√ Adopting a climate-friendly diet
√ Involving and empowering those who can help deliver these practicalities (like women)
√ Using cleaner energy sources
√ Embracing the circular economic model (i.e. reduce, reuse and recycle)
√ Building back greener and cleaner from the coronavirus
√ Briefly, developing a roadmap with them on how they can refrain themselves to make a jump in GHG emissions as economies and societies keep reopening.
• • Interrelationships between Climate Action, Poverty Reduction and the Fight against Coronavirus Pandemic
Staying on track with our climate actions and stopping COVID-19 to become a severe drain for work on climate change means also acting to reduce poverty, especially situational/transitory poverty.
This involves working with transitory poor to explore solutions to the kind of poverty they are facing as a result of such climate change events like foods, drought, cyclones, etc. What one can try to do is to avoid that the solutions that transitory poor would like to use lead to GHG emissions.
This implies working together with them to reduce both climate-induced poverty and any attempt to appeal to polluting means to resolve the hardships they are facing. In this respect, there could be a relationship between climate action and poverty reduction, between action to stop rise and jump in GHG emissions on the one hand, and effort to reduce poverty generated by climate events on the other.
However, we may have a situation whereby transitory poor face COVID-19 poverty as well. It means they could suffer from the double impact of climate change and COVID-19 shock. This happened in some parts of Africa where people and communities were displaced because of torrential rains and floods while they were trying to cope with COVID-19 shock which has impoverished them.
This tells us that with the persistence of COVID-19 side effects, there is a possibility of interrelationships between the fight against COVID-19, poverty reduction and climate action. How strong or weak these interrelationships could be? This remains a matter of study.
To sum up, in order to stay on track with our climate actions and stop COVID-19 becomes a severe drain for work on climate change this means in this case that both COVID-19 induced poverty and climate-led poverty need to be tackled.
For those who may be interested in the above mentioned links and those who may be willing to further discuss this year’s climate actions, they can contact CENFACS.
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With many thanks.