As the United Nation’s annual climate change summit (COP27) draws closer (6th – 18th November 2022, Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt), a call has been sounded for communities, organisations, and governments in the Global South to come together for greater opportunities to have their voices heard.
This topic was discussed on day 2 of Island Innovation’s Virtual Island Summit 2022. The climate crisis is having intense affects on both African nations and Small Island Developing States and this event sought to establish connections to build bridges moving forward, on the road to and after COP27.
Basil Angaga, Chief Sustainability Officer, County Government of Mombasa Kenya stated that African nations and SIDS have climate challenges in common. He noted that both the SIDS and the African region face agricultural, cultural, and socio-economic challenges. “That’s why going into COP27, it will be important for both sides to unite against climate change and build more bridges.”
Basil emphasised how critical it is to set up cooperative and umbrella organisations across the regions most impacted by the climate crisis.
Kiesha Farnum, Director Public Sector Projects, Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator (CCSA) brought to mind that the climate crisis impacts us all and therefore it is important for us to work on climate actions together. This is why CCSA has been actively centering its work on building bridges between the private sector and the public sector, Kiesha informed the audience.
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CCSA is working on a Caribbean Climate- Smart Zone. This zone will involve a transformative and integrative approach that is explicitly focused on climate change and developing systems and ways to conduct business that promote green and climate resilience practices. Farnum indicated that in the context of building bridges with Africa, there is room for Caribbean countries to learn a lot.
She noted that it is challenging to find funding for projects in the region, as this is often seen as a risk.
According to her, this has to do with various reasons, including poor legislation, poor policy, and poor business climate. She therefore emphasised that the public sector and governments have an important role to play in creating the basic preconditions for climate investments to bear fruit.
Additionally, the private sector also has a vital role to play.
Dr. Omnia El Omrani, President of COP27 Youth Envoy (Egypt), added to the discussions through her interventions on the duties of young people during COP27.
“This is the first time that there will be an envoy for young people appointed by the COP Presidency,” El Omrani stated, “and we really want to bring a transformative shift in the way young people are engaging, beyond just participation and organising events. We want to integrate their inputs into the heart of the negotiation process across all the agendas.”
She indicated that the latest report on climate change indicates that humanity must act quickly and cited flooding in Pakistan as an example, increased temperatures, health disasters, death of millions of people, food shortages, increase in malaria and dengue, and forced climate migration. Not to forget gender, social and economic vulnerabilities (climate justice and intergenerational justice).
In her presentation, she showed that high-income countries are the largest contributors to emissions, while low-income countries suffer the worst impacts of climate change. She therefore emphasised the need for multilateral cooperation between both categories of countries with the common goal of a low-carbon future and climate resilience.
Yasmine Encelade, ambassador SMO Solar Process showed how producing green hydrogen through renewable sources with no fossil CO2 emission is certainly one of the most ambitious means for a low carbon future. SMO Solar Process is a compact, autonomous processor using solar energy as its primary power source. SMO turns waste and non-food biomass into green hydrogen, energy and carbonated byproducts with a negative carbon footprint. SMO is not only a technology, it is also a philosophy to use every bit of byproducts, let nothing to waste, support the circular economy and boost the affordable and accessible production for all.
In the context of building bridges with the African region, she said that SMO can also be a solution in Africa and SMO is actively seeking opportunities to create linkages between the two climate vulnerable regions.
During COP27 Island Innovation plans to create an “Island Space” to share key insights and developments related to remote, rural and island communities. REGISTER HERE.