Africa has been dealing with the impacts of climate change since the 1970s. The most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) described the African continent as the one that will be most affected.

What does Africa need to tackle climate change?

Out of the 10 countries most affected by greenhouse gas emissions, six of them are in Africa, yet the continent only receives 5 percent of dedicated climate funding, writes Abou-Sabaa [Reuters]
Out of the 10 countries most affected by greenhouse gas emissions, six of them are in Africa, yet the continent only receives 5 percent of dedicated climate funding, writes Abou-Sabaa [Reuters]

One Planet Summit showcases Africa’s role against climate change – Maria Macharia

While Africa is responsible for merely 4 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, 65 percent of the continent’s estimated population of 1,3 billion people is considered to be directly impacted by climate change.

It is against the backdrop of this irony that global leaders, entrepreneurs, international organizations, and civil society meet in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on Thursday next week to help accelerate focus and attention on climate investments in line with the Paris Agreement objectives.

The stakeholders will meet under the auspices of the One Planet Summit (OPS), which also focuses on promoting renewable energies, fostering resilience and adaptation and protecting biodiversity in the continent.

“OPS, which is in its third edition, is the French initiative to engage states and global ministers to implement climate policies,” said Mr Lõhmus. Nairobi will be the first first regional host of the OPS.

One Planet Summit (OPS) is held following the realization that resources and solutions for renewable energy already exist in Africa but there is a need to speed their financing and mainstream their development

AIWA! NO!

French President, Emmanuel Macron, and his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta, as well as World Bank Group Interim President Kristalina Georgieva and UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed, will co-chair the conference, which will be among the highlights will co-chair the conference, which will be among the highlights of the fourth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) running from March 11-15.

Ado Lohmus, a UNEA special envoy, this week confirmed Macron will be in the East African country next week.

“On the 14th, he (Macron) will open the OPS, which will also be meeting here in Kenya alongside UNEA,” Lohmus said in Nairobi this week.

More than 2000 delegates from around the world have registered to attend UNEA-4 and are to be a key part of OPS proceedings.

OPS is one in a series of some climate events this year leading up to the UN 2019 Climate Summit and to the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

In December 2018, the World Bank Group announced a major new set of climate targets for 2021-2025, doubling its current 5-year investments to around $200 billion in support for countries to take ambitious climate action.

Africa, from the shores of Lake Chad to the Congo Basin, is being hardest hit by the effects of climate change but it can also be at the forefront of solutions

The new plan significantly boosts support for adaptation and resilience, recognizing mounting climate change impacts on lives and livelihoods, especially in the world’s poorest countries. The plan also represents significantly ramped up ambition from the World Bank Group, sending an important signal to the wider global community to do the same.

Ahead of the OPS, Kenya government officials assured preparations for the OPS were progressing well, with the country having previously held international events of this nature.

Last year, Kenya co-hosted the first-ever global conference on the sustainable blue economy, alongside Canada.

OPS is held following the realization that resources and solutions for renewable energy already exist in Africa but there is a need to speed their financing and mainstream their development.

Judy Wakhungu, Kenya’s Ambassador to France, and French State Minister for Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Brune Poirson, recently held meetings to finalise plans for the OPS and UNEA-4.

Macron has previously spoken of his government’s goal to be a strategic partner to Africa in the field of climate change adaptation.

France is the largest financial contributor to the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), alongside Germany and followed by the Council of the European Union.

At the Africa-France Summit held in Mali in 2017, the French president announced that financing for renewable energy in Africa would be increased from €2 billion to €3 billion, implemented by the Agence Française de Développement (French Development Agency) over the 2016-2020 period.

“Africa, from the shores of Lake Chad to the Congo Basin, is being hardest hit by the effects of climate change but it can also be at the forefront of solutions. It can succeed where Europe has not always been able to,” Macron prominently said during a state visit to Burkina Faso in late 2017.

This week, the World Bank, a partner for the OPS, stated cities in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Nairobi, could inform global action on climate change.

Nairobi already has a strong private sector presence as the eighth most attractive city in Africa for foreign direct investment, according to the global institution.

“As such, it can share important lessons learned with other cities in the region and around the world. The One Planet Summit provides the perfect space to do just that by actively inviting new partners to collaborate and launch new initiatives,” the World Bank stated.

Advertisements

Kenya hotel terror attack: Luke Potter named as Briton killed, 22 people reported killed, figure likely to rise

Luke Potter
Image captionLuke Potter was involved in development projects across East Africa

|AIWA! NO!|BBC NEWS|A British man killed in an attack on a hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, has been named as Luke Potter by the international development charity he worked for.

In a statement, Gatsby said it was “shocked and saddened” by the death of its Africa programmes director.

Mr Potter was among at least 21 people killed. It is understood a member of the UK Special Forces was involved in a rescue operation at the complex.

Nairobi Hotel attack locations
Nairobi Hotel attack locations

The Somalia-based militant group al-Shabab said it was behind the attack.

Gunmen stormed the complex in the capital on Tuesday. Gunfire and explosions continued into Wednesday before President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the siege had ended.

The Foreign Office said another Briton was also wounded in the attack.

In a statement, Gatsby Africa said Mr Potter had “devoted the past 10 years of his career to helping some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world” and had worked with the charity for more than three years, carrying out assignments across East Africa.

“Luke was respected by all he worked with, bringing huge drive, determination, a relentless work ethic, and a thirst for new ideas to every project,” the statement said.

“He brought a calm head and his unique sense of humour to every situation.”

It said Mr Potter was “instrumental” in establishing the organisation’s forestry programme in Kenya and provided “crucial leadership, guidance and support” to other programmes in Tanzania and Rwanda.

The charity said its “thoughts and deepest condolences” were with Mr Potter’s family, partner, daughter and friends and they were offering support to them and their own staff.

Media captionThe scene at the Nairobi Dusit hotel as the rescue operation took place

The UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, confirmed the death of a British man on Twitter.

“I’m very sad to confirm that we believe at least one British national has been killed in the attack,” he said.

“We are providing our support to his family and friends at this very difficult time.”

The Foreign Office added it was “in contact with the Kenyan authorities” and was “ready to help any other British people affected”.

It is understood a member of the British SAS – who was in Kenya as part of a training team – was involved in rescuing hostages.

The armed special forces soldier entered the hotel complex to help rescue the trapped civilians and, according to a source, fired his weapon.

He is believed to have been working alongside members of the US Special Forces, who were already in Nairobi when the attack took place.

A man believed to be a member of the British SAS helps a woman caught up in the attack to safety
Image captionA man believed to be a member of the British SAS helps people caught up in the attack to safety

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Twitter: “Really tragic news from Kenya – my thoughts are with the families and friends who have lost loved ones in this attack including one British citizen.

“UK stands with Kenya at this difficult time. Our team in Nairobi are supporting all Brits affected.”

On Wednesday morning, President Kenyatta announced the assault was over, adding that the “terrorists” had been “eliminated” and more than 700 civilians had been evacuated to safety.

He said: “We will seek out every person that was involved in the funding, planning and execution of this heinous act.

“We are a country governed by laws, rules and regulations – a country that embraces peaceful coexistence… I must also state that we are also a nation that never forgets those who hurt our children.”

The president said 14 “innocent” people had been killed in the attack.

Kenya’s police chief later said the death toll had risen to 21. The Kenya Red Cross said about 45 people were still unaccounted for.

The US State Department said an American man was among those killed.

Map

The luxury complex, which houses the DusitD2 hotel as well as offices, is in the Westlands district of the city.

The attack began at about 15:00 local time (12:00 GMT) on Tuesday, when four gunmen threw bombs at vehicles in the car park, before entering the lobby, where one blew himself up, police say.

Security camera footage showed at least four heavily armed men walking in and opening fire. There are reports they had been seen visiting the compound in recent days.

When the gunmen first entered the complex there was confusion, as people first tried to escape to freedom and then retreated into the building as they came under fire.

Many civilians remained holed up in the complex for several hours, as they hid from the attackers in bathrooms, and even under tables and chairs.

Groups of civilians were escorted to safety by security forces throughout the night.

In the early hours of Wednesday, more than 100 people were rescued. About 30 people are being treated at Nairobi hospitals, media reports say.

American killed in Kenya hotel attack ‘was trying to make positive change,’ his mother says

Jason Spindler died in this week's attack at a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya, according to the business advisory firm he founded.

Jason Spindler died in this week’s attack at a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya, according to the business advisory firm he founded.

|AIWA! NO!|(CNN)An American business investment adviser and former Peace Corps member was among those killed in a terror attack on a Kenyan hotel compound, the company he founded said Wednesday.

READ RELATED: At least 14 killed as Kenya hotel siege is declared over

Jason Spindler, founder and managing director of I-DEV International, died in the attack on the DusitD2 compound, an upmarket cluster of shops and hotel facilities in the capital of Nairobi, his company said.

Why?Armed men burst into the complex with gunfire and explosions Tuesday afternoon, killing at least 14 people in an attack that lasted hours and ended Wednesday morning, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said.

Spindler’s mother, Sarah Spindler, told NBC News on Tuesday night that her son “was trying to make positive change in the third world in emerging markets.””We all miss him so much. And it’s so sad that such a bright young person is taken away by terrorism,” Sarah Spindler told NBC News.I-DEV says it is a strategy and investment advisory firm that attempts to grow businesses in emerging markets.

Spindler, a University of Texas business graduate who received a doctoral law degree at New York University, once served in the US Peace Corps in northern Peru, where he “led the growth of a $7 million locally owned agribusiness,” a biography on I-DEV’s website says.

He also was an investment banker with Salomon Smith Barney/Citigroup, and had advised more than 100 small- or medium-sized businesses in emerging markets, his biography reads.The US State Department said an American died in the Kenya attack, but did not provide details.

CNN’s Farai Sevenzo and Faith Karimi contributed to this report.