Take urgent actions to tackle climate change
I followed the events of 2022 African Climate Week (ACW), which took place from August 29 to September 2 in Gabon.
AcW 2022, organized by the government of Gabon, was organized by the UN on climate change in collaboration with global partners; United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Environment Programme and World Bank Group.
The partners in the region were The Africa Union, Africa Development Bank (AfDB), the United Nations Economic Commission on Africa (UNECA) and the UN GABON.
More than 2,300 delegates attended the event in Libreville, and the conference provided a crucial platform for the continent to address social inequality and invest in development to promote climate action and protect people and ecosystems.
The event, held as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is an important step towards COP27, which will be held in Egypt in November.
At the opening of the session, a ministerial dialogue was held on the challenges of mobilizing and accessing climate finance at scale to encourage the implementation of nationally determined contributions (NDC) of countries and priority national climate plans and strategies.
As a reminder, in October 2021, Uganda submitted its National NDC to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
With these NDCs, the country hopes to reduce emissions from its usual scenarios (BAU) by 22 percent by 2030 through a series of policies and measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change. This will cost approximately $7.80 billion (World Bank, 2016). Mitigation efforts focus on agriculture, energy supply, forestry and wetlands.
According to the UABio scenario, by 2030, the production of 77.3 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year (MtCO2eq/year).
Contributions under the Nationally Determined Contribution include end-to-end respect for human rights and gender-sensitive actions on climate change.
The vital activity of Ugandans is highly dependent on the exploitation of natural resources, including climate.
In presenting these NDCs, Uganda's priority is adaptation. The country is committed to working to reduce vulnerability and address adaptation issues in agriculture and livestock, forestry, infrastructure (with a focus on human settlements, social infrastructure and transport), water, energy, health and disaster risk management.
Although Uganda's NDC includes end-to-end respect for human rights and gender-sensitive actions on climate change, the protection of vulnerable groups, including women, none of the priority sectors addressed for the NDC mentions exclusively women and girls.
In addition to highlighting women as vulnerable in terms of food insecurity, water shortages and fuel shortages, Uganda's NDC does not have sufficient information on prioritizing women's involvement in the implementation process, despite progress in incorporating gender equality results into numerous national policies.
Women, girls and young people continue to face greater risks and bear a heavier burden on their ability to respond and adapt to climate change due to the inequalities they face in society.
Even with the development of NDCs aimed at combating climate change, the climate crisis remains the biggest challenge of the time and affected the country through both rapid and slow events.
Notable impacts include rapid changes in water levels in lakes and rivers, more frequent and severe droughts, and unstable and excessive rainfall leading to floods, mudslides and landslides across the country. For example, on August 1, floods claimed the lives of 24 people in the Bugis subregion.
In addition, more than 300,000 people have been affected by floods and landslides in the Bududa and Syronko areas of eastern Uganda and Bundibugyo in the western region, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. In addition, an estimated 65,000 people have been displaced.
Given the above, the government needs to work more with various stakeholders to increase the cost of climate change to support the implementation of the NDC.
Currently, state funding through budget allocations for climate measures is being developed at the Ministry of Water and the Environment, as part of a sub-vote on climate change. Although this is not in line with the Department of Climate Change, it remains negligible compared to the country's required climate-related spending.
Environmental engineer and program assistant,
Africa Institute of Energy Management