Perspectives on Climate Change What the Media Need to Know.ppt

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					Perspectives on Climate Change: What the Media Need to

                   By: Grace Akumu (Ms)
                      Executive Director
                   Climate Network Africa
                       Nairobi – Kenya
        Email: /
 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
        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)
       Some Recent Observations of CC

• Increase in global temperatures. For example,
  1995-2006 has been the warmest in recorded
• 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
            Recent Obsrvtns Contd..

• Increased precipitation – within and without
• Increased heat waves responsible casualties
  such as the 2003 heat wave in France
• Increased hurricanes
             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
                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
                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.

• How can the world mitigate greenhouse gas
• Undertaking energy efficiency
• Fuel switching
• Nuclear power
• Reneawbles (hydropower, solar, wind,
               Mitigation Contd..

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

• Promoting fuel efficient vehicles
• Shifting from road transport to rail & public
• Land-use planning
• Cycling
• Walking
• Promoting more efficient electrical equipment
• Recycling
           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
           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
• Mobilising info which is already there
• Share good practices for cost effectiveness
          Adaptation Contd..
• Meanwhile, IPCC has emphasised that Africa
  will suffer the most from the impacts of
  climate change.
         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)
                  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
                 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
• Be aware of external politics of CC, e.g., the
  skewed nature of the Clean Development
  Mechanism (CDM), Adaptation Funds and
  their deliberate fragmentation
                 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.
             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..
Media contd.


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