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Perspectives on Climate Change: What the Media Need to Know By: Grace Akumu (Ms) Executive Director Climate Network Africa Nairobi – Kenya

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Presentation on theme: "Perspectives on Climate Change: What the Media Need to Know By: Grace Akumu (Ms) Executive Director Climate Network Africa Nairobi – Kenya"— Presentation transcript:

1 Perspectives on Climate Change: What the Media Need to Know By: Grace Akumu (Ms) Executive Director Climate Network Africa Nairobi – Kenya Email: /

2 Background/Science – IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, 2007 Simply put, climate change has been taking place over time due to natural variability or human activity General agreement: Human activity has accelerated climate change than ever before

3 Some Causes of Climate Change Use/burning of fossil fuels e.g. hydrocarbons such as petrol, diesel, gas Land use change (though small but significant)

4 Some Recent Observations of CC Increase in global temperatures. For example, 1995-2006 has been the warmest in recorded history Sea level rise caused by thermal expansion of oceans, melting of glaciers, ice caps, Greenland ice sheet, Arctic ice sheet In Africa, ice caps on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya, Rwenzori Mountains, have almost disappeared

5 Recent Obsrvtns Contd.. Increased precipitation – within and without seasons Increased heat waves responsible casualties such as the 2003 heat wave in France Increased hurricanes

6 Projected Impacts of CC Agriculture and food security threatened (increase in lose of yields, food prices) Extreme wind and turbulence could decrease fisheries productivity Water resources in some regions such as Sub- Sahara Africa will decrease and IPCC Fourth Assessment Report predicts that by 2020, 250 million Africans will be at risk of increased water stress and by 2050, 350-600 million Africans

7 Impacts Contd.. Will be at risk of water stress Human health will be impacted. There will be increase in diseases such as malaria in highland areas e.g. Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, etc. Tourism will be impacted. Africa will experience losses in animal species. In some parks in Sub-Sahara Africa, 25-40% of species may be endangered or extinct by 2080

8 Impacts contd.. National economies will not be spared. In Kenya for example, there will be losses of some crops such a mangoes, cashew nuts, coconuts which could cost the national treasury some US$500 million for a 1 metre rise of sea level. Cities may disappear or be submerged. Banjul, the capital of Gambia, could be submerged with a 1 metre rise of sea level.

9 Mitigation How can the world mitigate greenhouse gas emissions? Undertaking energy efficiency Fuel switching Nuclear power Reneawbles (hydropower, solar, wind, geothermal)

10 Mitigation Contd.. Control of non-CO2 emissions Promoting efficient lighting Promoting efficient appliances/air conditioners Improving insulation Afforestation, Reforestation and Forest Management

11 Mitigation Contd.. Promoting fuel efficient vehicles Shifting from road transport to rail & public transport Land-use planning Cycling Walking Promoting more efficient electrical equipment Recycling

12 Adaptation to CC Impacts Previously adaptation was a taboo to discuss in the climate change negotiations as priority had been given to mitigation which is a priority of industrialised countries Now there is consensus that adaptation must be discussed along side mitigation There is also consensus that adaptation requires a lot of funds but there is no consensus on how much is required

13 Adaptation to CC Impacts Nobody is an expert on adaptation Indigineous knowledge should be supported. Some communities have used it for millennia Exchange of ideas Build capacity of developing countries in adaptation Mobilising info which is already there Share good practices for cost effectiveness

14 Adaptation Contd.. Meanwhile, IPCC has emphasised that Africa will suffer the most from the impacts of climate change.

15 What the Media Need to Know Climate change is a very technical subject There are those few denyers of climate change, but they are very few in deed Simplify the science of climate change for effective reporting Remember climate change is a national security issue (threat to food security, water, energy, etc)

16 Media Contd.. Media from Africa should remember that climate change is not only an environmental issue but equally an economic and political issue with every region angling for their interest African media should participate on a regular basis in the CC negotiations in order to enhance their knowledge and analytical capability All media should be sensitive to gender

17 Media Contd.. Climate Change has become a life and death issue in Africa and other regions. Need to be reported rapidly and effectively Work with and report local experts on climate change Be aware of external politics of CC, e.g., the skewed nature of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Adaptation Funds and their deliberate fragmentation

18 Media contd.. Politics of Green Technologies and the lack of commitments of industrialised countries in the Climate Change Convention WTO politics around Patenting, TRIPS, etc.

19 Challenges to Media The emergence of social media in reporting climate change on a minute by minute, hourly, daily basis reporting vs. mainstream media reporting climate change, sometimes on a once in while basis, or monthly, quarterly..

20 Media contd. THANK YOU!

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