The UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, has been a rollercoaster for civil society organisations as well as states in Africa and the MENA region. The events and stories leading to and during COP26 were filled with immense hope for various climate adaptation and mitigation projects, as well as climate financing projects and an equal amount of uncertainty getting closer to its final days.
Several stakeholders from the continent have watched the proceedings with dismay and frustration as talks on various climate action topics have either been watered down or overlooked. However, there have been some huge wins as well during the global summit.
One inescapable conclusion is that needs of these countries should be elevated on the global climate agenda. With this in mind, we want to take a look at the stories published by our online and in-person fellows reporting on COP26 for the Africa and the MENA region.
Ronald Musoke, Uganda
Ronald has a special interest in reporting on the environment, agriculture, business, and human rights, among other beats. He has been working at The Independent, Uganda’s premier political and business magazine, since 2012.
Before this, he worked with The Sunrise, a Kampala-based weekly English newspaper (freelance); Green Chronicles, a local environmental magazine (Contributing Editor), and EnviroConserve AFRICA, a regional environmental magazine (Staff Writer).
- COP26 message for Uganda. As COP26 ended, indigenous community rights activists gathered outside the offices of banking giants, JPMorgan Chase, in Glasgow, to demand big banking institutions stop financing oil and gas projects in sensitive ecosystems around the world.
- Rich nations must pay for African conservation. African leaders, business executives, and climate change activists have stressed the need for financial resources to be mobilized by rich countries to ensure that the African continent restores and protects its critical ecosystems.
- COP26: Ugandan youth call on global leaders to stop “empty talk.” Ugandan youth have been among the strongest voices calling for urgent global action to address climate change.
- Mixed emotions as COP26 ends. Will the Glasgow Climate Pact be able to speed up climate action?
Rahma Diaa, Egypt
Rahma is an Egyptian freelance journalist & trainer, and the founder of the “Climate school” initiative. She is particularly interested in covering Climate Crisis & Sustainability. She graduated from the faculty of mass communication, journalism department at Cairo University in 2012, and got a diploma in Media Translation from the American University in Cairo (AUC) in 2018.
She has also won seven local, regional, and international press awards, the most recent is the covering climate now award for 2021.
- What are the main points of contention for countries at COP26? Will the summit succeed in pushing world leaders to reach common points of understanding?
- After the announcement of Egypt and the UAE, where are the Arabs’ plans to switch to hydrogen? Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced plans to enhance the trend towards clean energy, by announcing the start of plans to use hydrogen as a source of energy generation, as well as the UAE’s aim to capture the lion’s share of the low-carbon hydrogen fuel market
- Will Egypt succeed in mobilising climate finance post-COP26? For Egypt, climate finance and the urgent need to expand the scope of support and financing for developing countries is a priority.
- The world is looking for a solution. Will the climate summit in Glasgow save the future of the Earth?
Paul Adepoju, Nigeria
Paul has a passion for reporting development stories that affect the lives and livelihoods of people in Nigeria and across Africa. His pieces have been published by major outlets including Devex, Quartz, Business Insider, Nature, The Lancet, New Scientist, British Medical Journal and several others.
His pieces on climate change have also appeared on top outlets including CNN. He also works with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) as a Community Manager for the Global Health Crisis Reporting Forum, co-winning the 2021 ONA Community Award.
- Africa’s Methane Gamble – Can A Climate-Warming Gas Become An Asset to Health? Nearly 24 African countries, including some of the continent’s biggest methane- producing nations, have now signed The Global Methane Pledge, launched at COP26 by United States President Joe Biden and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
- Lessons from India’s COP26 commitments. In an address at COP26, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his country’s commitment to reaching net-zero emissions by 2070.
- Advocates question the COP26 approach to food systems. A number of commitments aimed at promoting sustainable agriculture and land-use practices were announced during the Nature and Land-Use day at COP26. However, advocates criticized the conference’s overall approach to food systems.
- Africa worst hit by climate change, COP26 told. Despite emitting the lowest levels of greenhouse gases.
- Reporting on COP26? Here’s what to focus on. Some of the most important takeaways from these training sessions for how to cover this crucial summit, including key issues to keep an eye on.
- Inside the COP 26 deal to end international fossil fuel financing. A landmark deal announced at COP26 to end international public financing for fossil fuels intends to challenge the narrative that oil, coal, and gas are necessary for the development of low-income countries
- COP26: Tackling climate change from an African perspective. Africa’s representatives and climate change stakeholders need to stop looking and dealing with climate issues through the lens of the Global North.
Onke Ngcuka, South Africa
Onke, reports on the climate crisis and the environment with the Daily Maverick’s Our Burning Planet unit. She not only writes about the crisis but tries to limit her impact by trying to live as earth conscious as possible.
She is also a climate justice fellow with a Rosa Luxemburg Foundation & JournAfrica! programme.
- A beginner’s guide to all things COP26. New to COP? Then this beginner’s guide is perfect for you!
- How rising sea-levels may impact Durban and Cape Town. Sea-level rise is not a major threat in South Africa but, tied with other climate crisis consequences, it can become one. Here’s how higher sea levels could affect the country’s coastal cities.
- Will the promised climate finance enable a just transition from coal for South Africa?
- South Africa will not sign COP26 parallel pledge to move away from coal
Nathaniel Nartey, Ghana
Over 6 years of experience working with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, GBC. His role within the corporation primarily as a radio journalist afforded him the opportunity to gain experience also as an online journalist.
In April 2019, he was part of a select group of journalists in Ghana with a special interest in Climate Change and Environmental Reporting to undergo a two-day training, organized by the Environmental Protection Agency in Ghana.
- Youth group presents demands and climate clock to President of Ghana at COP26. Climate Youth Defenders from Ghana present a Climate Clock and a set of demands to the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
- COP26: Is South Africa’s $8.5BN green energy deal enough to phase out coal? South Africa appears to have returned home from COP26 with the best deal among all the African countries that attended the Climate Conference in Glasgow.
- Climate Change experts positive ahead of COP26 despite damning BBC report. Many African countries like Ghana have been on the edge since a BBC report revealed a concerted effort to alter the content of a crucial scientific report on how to tackle climate change.
- Ghanaians interested in issues at COP 26 – Dr. Emmanuel Obuobie. Ghana’s large representation at COP26 is an indication that Ghanaians are interested in climate issues.
Hadeer El-hadary, Egypt
Award-winning freelance journalist
She wrote for Egyptian and Arab websites such as Scientific American, Vice Arabia, and shorouk news. Her work focuses on the topics of environment, climate change, science, health, and women’s rights.
She won an award from the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate for an environmental story about converting date palm seeds into fuel and other products, and another award from Plan International organization and the Ministry of Social Solidarity for a story about discrimination against women in job interviews.
- COP26: Egypt’s focus areas of sustainable lifestyles. Many believe that measures to adapt to climate change and reduce carbon emissions are a matter for governments and international institutions alone, but this year’s conference devoted its first session to talking about the role of individuals in confronting climate change.
- A sweet solution: Bees are saving threatened mangroves in Egypt. Restoring the presence of mangroves has become a necessity all over the world. From 1980 to 2005, between 20% to 35% of the world’s mangrove forests were lost, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
- Climate-Smart Agriculture: Imperatives and practices for adapting to climate change. COP26 discussed the challenges of the transition to climate-smart agriculture and the need to raise awareness of it among farmers to expand the range of solutions.
- Will sharks survive extinction this time? COP26 is interested in discussing the importance of sharks and marine life, and El-hadary writes about the impact of killing millions of sharks every year on biodiversity and climate change.
- “Fair climate finance”…and inspiring goal and the painful reality. The Climate Policy Initiative report estimates that adequate funding is estimated at $4.35 trillion annually, an increase of 588% over current funding.
- Fossil fuels: Humanity digging its own grave, UN secretary-general tells world leaders. UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the World Leaders Summit at COP26 in Glasgow that humanity’s addiction to fossil fuels is pushing it to the brink and that either we end our addiction to fossil fuels — or it will end us.
- Africa’s ambitious reforestation megaproject gets a boost at COP26. By 2030, the Great Green Wall project aims to restore 100 million hectares of degraded land, sequester 250 million tonnes of carbon and create 10 million jobs in rural areas of Sahel. And it just got a big boost in Glasgow.
- The Glasgow Climate Pacts barely keeps the 1.5 degree goal alive. The latest climate agreement is not a steep-change or species-level transformation, but rather a pact that promises to do better next year. Though the climate crisis has not definitively been averted, some significant moves were made.
- The road to COP26: 3 decades of climate talks. Countries across the globe are preparing to find solutions to collectively lower greenhouse emissions and prevent the global average temperature increase to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius. This timeline shows how we got here.
Eman Mounir, Egypt
Eman is an investigative journalist from Egypt. She has been working independently since 2019. Eman is keenly interested in scientific and environmental issues, as well as stories related to feminism issues. Eman received an award in New Media from the University of Bournemouth in the UK, and other award in scientific journalism from the German Goethe Institute.
She’s currently nominated for the True Story Prize in Switzerland, and previously nominated for Thomson Foundation’s Young Journalist Award. Eman studied Data Journalism with a 6-month diploma by ICFJ and ARIJ Network for Investigative Journalism. Currently, she is a fellow to ONE WORLD MEDIA foundation in Uk.
- Climate change in conflict: extreme weather ravaged Palestine and Yemen. Yemenis like Saleh, suffering from a lack of water and forced to flee in search of it, are among the hardest hit by this situation.
- In light of the Egyptian diesel crisis, is it possible to construct “low-emission zones”?
- “The Forests of Al Jabal Al Akhdar”: the lung of Libya in the face of climate change
- Desertification and war impacting farmers in Syria and Iraq
Daouda Kinda, Burkina Faso
Daouda KINDA is a young Burkinabè journalist born in Ouahigouya in northern Burkina Faso. He has been a journalist for six years in Burkina Faso. Previously he wrote on several topics related to politics, economy, and society, but for 3 years he has been more focused on environmental and agricultural news.
Currently, he works for Le Quotidien, a Burkinabè general information media, where he holds the position of Head of the environment desk. In addition, since 2019, he has been writing for Le Monde Rural, an online media accessible on lemonderural.com, specializing in the processing of agricultural and environmental information.
- A successful transition to solar energy in Burkina Faso. Since 2016, Burkina Faso started its energy transition by taking advantage of the country’s strong solar potential.
- Burkina Faso’s intervention fund for the environment. At COP 26, Burkina Faso hoped to obtain from partners more external funding for the benefit of the environmental intervention fund (FIE), created in 2013 to cope with climate risk and environmental challenges.
- Burkina Faso calls on industrialized countries to assume their share in climate change. Burkina Faso says it wants to align itself with the position of African countries which “do not pollute enough but pay a heavy price for climate change”.
- Parents disappointed with the Glasgow Climate Pact. Parents from two global networks – Our Kids’ Climate and Parents for Future Global – did not hide their frustration.
- COP26: What do Africa countries think about the Glasgow Climate Pact? After 2 weeks, the negotiators succeeded in adopting the “Glasgow Climate Pact” aimed at accelerating the fight against global warming.
- COP26: Burkina Faso will strengthen its climate adaptation with LoCAL. The operation launched by Burkina Faso’s Environment Intervention Fund (FIE) at COP 26 is already producing results.
- COP 26: Niger calls for the creation of a reforestation assistance fund. The president of Niger called on the international community to mobilize a special fund for reforestation.
- Climate justice: Hundreds of Burkinabè take to the streets. Nearly 500 young people took to the streets on Saturday, October 23, 2021, in Ouagadougou, to challenge those in power on the need for urgent action to save the planet from the harmful effects of climate change.
Caroline Ayugi, Uganda
Caroline is a Ugandan journalist with more than ten years of experience. She has worked for IWPR, The New Vision, URN, Favor FM, Mighty Fire FM, Daily Monitor, and The Cooperator News. Her story, Education system, limited digital tools slow learners with visual impairment in Uganda, is in line for an award this October by Media Monitoring Africa (an Isu Elihle project) that rewards great story ideas on children
- Uganda’s silence at COP26 over growing deforestation. On the third day of COP26, 105 countries signed an agreement to end and reverse deforestation by 2030, a pledge that was backed up by almost $19.2 billion of public and private funds. Uganda, however, did not sign this commitment, despite its increasing deforestation rate.
- COP26: UK’S Prime Minister tells the world to plant 1 trillion trees by 2030. UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, on Monday, called on the world to plant a trillion trees by 2030, as it is the only non-technical way to “fix the carbon in the air.”
- COP26: UNEP calls for more climate finance and adaptation plans. Finance for climate change adaptation as well as implementation plans is still very low, despite increasing policies and planning for climate change mitigation according to a new UNEP report.
- COP26: Climate campaigners condemn the number of fossil fuel lobbyists at talks. Climate change campaigners have criticized the high number of fossil fuel lobbyists at the COP26 talks.
Jairus Awo, Nigeria
Jairus is a journalist covering conflicts and crisis mainly in Nigeria. Jairus believes that climate journalism is a pressing need and reporting about how the climate terrain has really changed and how that change is affecting the livelihood of citizens and the world at large is critical to demanding accountability from our officials and policymakers towards achieving a greener world.
- Why Nigeria’s NDCs do not align with Paris agreement goals. Nigeria was part of the first set of countries to submit its 2021 NDCs final report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on July 30 before the July 31 deadline for submission. However, questions are rife about the country’s willingness to fully align with the agreement.
- COP26 aftermath: Will Nigeria deliver on its climate goals? Lagos, which is Nigeria’s commercial hub, experiences the impacts of coastal flooding and is vulnerable to a rise in sea levels, increased rainfall and storms.
Joshua Borokinni, Nigeria
Borokinni Joshua is a Nigerian climate journalist, development campaigner, and clinical psychologist who believes in sustainable development that is founded on inclusivity, equality and justice for all, including the planet. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Clinical Psychology at the University of Plymouth, UK and doubles as the head of research with LearnBlue, a Gen Z-led and focused non-profit, where he coordinates evidence-based policy and programs design. Over the past four years, Joshua has consistently leveraged media to drive action-oriented campaigns, this includes but not limited to – #SafeClimate4Africa, #ForACleanerLagos, and #NaijaGoesVegan.
- Climate Change Bill, Increased Ambition, Youth4Climate, and Nigeria at COP26- A Beamer of Hope? At a time when anxiety, uncertainty, and desperation fill the air, Nigeria is busy writing her name in history books of climate action.
Israel Campos, Angola
Israel is an Angolan journalist and journalism student at City University of London. He started his career as a journalist in 2016 at Rádio Nacional de Angola, where he produced reports on society, health, and human rights. In 2020 he started investigating corruption and human rights stories in Angola and is currently a correspondent for the Portuguese service of Voice of America (VOA).
- João Lourenço (President of Angola) at the COP26 summit. Less than a week to COP26, the president of Angola defended the need for more concrete action towards climate change.
We hope that these stories from our fellows give you a clear understanding of what the expectations from COP26 were and how far they were met by the global summit.