What does climate change mean to you? What are the implications of the climatic changes the earth is undergoing on our livelihood? What have we done to stall these changes and make sure the future generations find a planet as habitable as we did? What is climate change?

The International Institute for Environmental Development  on 9th December held a climate talk with the overall objective of bringing issues of climate change to the center stage and to help us answer these questions. The panel comprised of specialists on climate from different sectors. The recently concluded Paris agreement was discussed in relation to Uganda’s pledge, the challenges and opportunities for climate action going forward.

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The panel. From Left to right, Rita Rukundo (UNFCCC), Tracy Kajumba (IrishAid), Xavier Mugumya (NFA), Dr. Revocatus Twinomuhangi (MUK)

Global temperatures have increased by 1°C since the pre-industrial era and this has seen us to 55% reduction in glaciers all over the world. This evidence of global warming should cause alarm especially for Uganda, being an agricultural country. These climatic changes make the pearl  very vulnerable, necessitating immediate action against any further costs of global warming. In effect, Uganda pledged to reduce Green House Emissions by 22% in the Paris Agreement.

According to Dr. Revocatus Twinomuhangi, a senior lecturer from the department of geography, Geo Informatics and climatic studies from MUK, the dangers of global warming are so severe that in the next 40 years, the demand for water will have increased by ten times but the world will not be able to meet that demand. This puts us at a precarious position and creates urgency in mitigation of these effects.

Most of these climatic changes have largely been a result of human activity. With activities like deforestation, charcoal making and usage, use of fossil fuels among others.

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Charcoal making increases deforestation. Photo by @Nhillfilms

With climate change being a complex concept that has gone unnoticed by most, including the media and policy makers, emphasis has now been shifted to individuals. We all ought to play our part in lessening the effects of global warming and saving the planet.

”In Uganda, the access to climate action funds access is not as easy as we would like”, says Tracy Kajumba, regional climate change advisor, IrishAid. She called upon the need for implementation channels to be put in place for climate action, citing bureaucracy and inaccessibility to these funds as a major barrier to climate action.

Moving forward, it is vital that everyone embrace efforts for climate action and plays their part in saving the planet. ”the greatest asset for climate change is awareness” Dr. Revocatus says of the efforts to sensitize people on climate action. Talk on climate change needs to be spoken in a language that is easy to understand by everyone for increased participation.

Tracy Kajumba emphasizes the need for climate action fast especially for the people who are more vulnerable. “When disaster strikes, the vulnerable groups are more affected

With Uganda’s population being largely composed of people between the ages of 15-30 years, the language ought to be made less technical and more comprehensible so as to elicit a reaction.

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Climate action is the thirteenth sustainable development goal that was adopted by countries in 2015 as part of the United Nation’s agenda to end poverty, protect the environment and ensure prosperity for all.

 

 

 

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