COP21 Paris Agreement: NAYD’s Response Statement.

Perhaps the most anticipated event of the year came to a close this past weekend in Paris resulting in a much awaited unprecedented world climate change agreement. The Western mainstream media such as those in the United States did not cover the most critical aspects of the debate despite wide coverage during the opening day of the Summit. Most presented the warming limit for the world that all nations sought to achieve as a ‘simple choice’ between 2 degrees C or 1.5 degrees C for the international community but left out the enormous costs that a majority of the poor developing countries would face as a result of this ‘choice’.

The COP21 Final Climate Change Agreement Full Text has Article 2(1a) as its major highlight and it reads "Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 20C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5c above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change". Still, this is inadequate especially to the majority of poor developing countries.

Major contentious points in the COP21 Paris Agreement
It gives no clear protection to the rights of groups/regions vulnerable to climate change as it presented a position of shared responsibility by failing to explicitly reflect the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC). Clearly, the Paris agreement has moved away from the rigid differentiation between Annex I and non-Annex I countries found in the Kyoto Protocol, towards a more bottom-up global approach of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to be reviewed every five years.

It also didn’t spell out modalities of contribution by developed countries towards the long-promised USD 100 billion Green Climate Fund for developing countries affected by climate change starting in 2020. This gets interesting as increasingly affluent countries such as China continuing to stick to the developing country status position during the negotiations for the past 20 years even though at COP 21 President Xi Jinping promised to contribute more than USD 3 billion in climate aid to the cause.
Perhaps most importantly, whereas it is the first globally acceptable climate deal, it is not a legally binding climate deal since it guarantees nothing to the vulnerable countries.

Nevertheless, COP 21 was a great improvement on previous COP sessions as it now shows commitment by almost all countries of the world in tackling climate change. Ultimately, while COP21 in Paris took a step in the right direction, only the concrete actions governments will take over the coming weeks, months and years ahead will help shape our common future.

Eric Mwangi Njoroge blogs for the Network of African Youths for Development (NAYD) on matters concerning climate change. He is currently an Adaptation Policy Fellow during the ongoing Phase III of the African Climate Change Fellowship Program (ACCFP) jointly administered by the Institute of Resource Assessment (IRA-UDSM) of the University of Dar es Salaam and START International, Inc. (START). Eric tweets on development and climate change here @erictwese.

Message from ACTION/2015 following a weekend of action on climate change across the World

Dear all,

huge congratulations and a big thank you for all the hard work and creativity you put into pulling off a spectacular weekend of mobilisations! It has been amazing to see the hundreds of updates coming in from around the world!

Early estimates suggest that 570,000 people that have gathered, cycled, marched and danced through 2300 events in over 175 countries - spreading our message for a fairer, cleaner, safer world. People of faith, affected communities, the young and old, activists, development workers, and trade unionists, all joined together to demand urgent climate action at the Climate Summit (COP21) in Paris.
Check out some of the photos on our Flickr page here:
And here are just a few of the highlights so far to give you a flavour of all the awesome mobilisations around the world:    
In India, more that 140,000 people took to the streets today to raise awareness of the dangerous effects of climate change and demand climate action to protect the country’s most vulnerable communities.

In Malawi, thousands took to the streets and to their bikes to demand concrete action from world leaders.

 In Costa Rica, communities took to the streets and used art to call for climate justice.

 In Nepal, even elephant marched - highlighting the adverse impact of climate change on animals like elephants and rhinos. A paraglider also took to the skies to call for action at COP21.

In Indonesia, 3000 people gathered at a colourful march in Jakarta. Here are some of the action/2015 activists that took to the streets.

In Chile, thousands joined the people's climate march with artists & citizens leading the way under the slogan of “Let’s mobilise for the planet and real commitments!”

In Afghanistan, people took to the streets for a climate march and 200 people gather for a cleanup in Kabul. 

In Uganda, communities braved the rain for a Climate March in Kampala, echoing the Pope’s call for urgent climate action.

In South Africa, 1,500 people took to the streets in Cape Town and 500 in Johannesburg. 

 In Togo, thousands took to the streets for the Lomé ‘Marche pour le Climat’.

In the UK, 50,000 people went to the streets to ask for strong climate action at the COP21 in Paris.

  In Ukraine, thousands braved the weather to march in Kiev.

  And in MENA, activists gathered for climate action in Yemen

  ...and a marathon was also organized in Kuwait City.

 Please do keep updating us on your amazing mobilisations so we make sure leaders feel the GLOBAL CLIMATE MARCH heat!
1) SOCIAL MEDIA - Share images and messages from your mobilisations on social media using #action2015 and #ClimateMarch
Sample messages:
·         I joined the #ClimateMarch around the world.  @nameofleader commit for ambitious climate action at #COP21 [attach image of your mobilisation]
·         I call on @nameofleader  to play your part in the fight against climate change #ClimateMarch #action2015 [attach image of your mobilisation]
·         Complete the very brief survey After your activities have been completed don’t forget to complete the really M&E simple form here so we can track your actions and then they can be added to the grand totaliser on our website! (contact Zack if you have any questions:
·         Record and share the images and stories of your mobilisations to  as soon as possible this weekend. That way we can share online through the global action/2015 social media channels, with the media and with decision-makers in Paris! If you want us to be able to share your photos, you must fill out our Content License Agreement here: 
We look forward to hearing about your plans!
The action/2015 Climate Summit Mobilisation action/team

Chers tous

Tout d'abord - énormes félicitations de nous deux pour toute la créativité et l’énorme travail que vous avez fait pour mettre sur pieds une journée spectaculaire de mobilisation hier.
C’est  vraiment fantastique de voir le coup d'envoi des mobilisations pour la COP dans le monde entier! Jusqu’à maintenant, les premières estimations parlent de plus de 570000 personnes qui ont participé dans les Marches Mondiales pour le Climat – que ce soit en pédalant, marchant et dansant dans les plus de 2300 événements qui ont été organisés dans plus de 175 pays – pour diffuser notre message pour un monde plus propre, plus sûr, plus juste. Les liders religieux, les personnes les plus touchées par le climat, les militants - jeunes et vieux, les travailleurs, les organisations se concentrant sur le développement et les syndicalistes, tous réunis pour exiger une urgente action lors du Sommet sur le climat (COP21) à Paris.
Voici quelques faits marquant pour vous donner un aperçu de toutes les actions formidables qui se déroulent actuellement:
En Inde, plus de 140,000 personnes ont manifesté dans les rues pour souligner les effets dangereux du changement climatique et exiger une action importante pour le climat pour protéger les populations les plus vulnérables. Au Malawi, des milliers ont pris leurs vélos pour demander des actions concrètes des dirigeants. Au Costa Rica, les communautés sont allées dans les rues pour la justice climatique.  Au Népal, une manifestation d’éléphants a été organisée pour souligner les impacts du changement climatique sur les animaux comme les éléphants et les rhinocéros. Des parapentes ont également porté notre message pour l’action climatique. En Indonésie, Jakarta a vu à plus de 3,000 personnes se rassembler pour une marche remplie de couleurs. Voici quelques-uns des activistes d’action/2015 qui sont descendus dans les rues. Au Chili, des milliers de personnes ont rejoint la marche citoyenne avec des artistes et les communautés locales qui vont montrer le chemin sous le slogan de "Mobilisons-nous pour la planète et des engagements réels!" En Afghanistan, les gens sont descendus les rues pour le climat et 200 personnes se sont rassemblées pour un nettoyage à Kabul.  En Ouganda, les communautés ont confronté la pluie pour la Marche pour le Climat, faisant écho à l’appel pour une urgente action pour le climat. En Afrique du Sud, 1500 personnes ont manifesté dans les rues de Cape Town et 500 personnes à Johannesburg. Au Togo, des milliers de personnes ont manifesté dans les rues de Lomé pour la «Marche pour le Climat»  Au Royaume-Uni, 50,000 personnes sont descendues dans les rues pour exiger une action ambitieuse pour le climat à la COP 21 à Paris.  En Ukraine, des milliers de personnes se sont mobilisées à Kiev. Et au  Moyen Orient, les activistes se sont rassemblés pour demander une forte action pour le climat au Yémen. Et un marathon a été organisé au Kuwait.
Et continuez à nous envoyer des nouvelles de vos superbes mobilisations pour veiller à ce que les dirigeants sentent la pression des MARCHES MONDIALES POUR LE CLIMAT ! 
Et enfin voici 2 rappels rapides:
1) RÉSEAUX SOCIAUX - Partagez des photos et messages de vos mobilisations sur les réseaux sociaux en utilisant les hashtags #action2015 et #MarcheClimat .
Example de messages :
·         J’ai  rejoins les #MarcheClimat autour du monde. @nomdudirigeant engagez-vous pour des mesures ambitieuses à la #COP21 [joignez l’image de votre mobilisation]

·         J’appelle à @nomdudirigeant à assumer ses responsabilités en termes de climat #MarcheClimat #action2015 [joignez l’image de votre mobilisation]
1.     Remplissez ce très bref questionnaire : Suite à vos activités, n’oubliez pas de remplir ce simple formulaire de suivi et évaluation afin que nous puissions suivre vos actions, et pour qu’elles puissent être ajoutés au totalisateursur notre site! (Contactez Zack si vous avez des questions:

2.     Enregistrez et partagez les images et les histoires de vos mobilisations à le plus tôt possible ce weekend. De cette façon, nous pourrons les partager en ligne sur les réseaux sociaux, avec les médias et les preneurs de décision à Paris! Pour que nous puissions partager vos photos, n’oubliez pas de remplir notre Contrat de Licence de Contenu ici : 

Un grand merci et chaleureuses salutations,
Equipe d’action pour la mobilisation autour du Sommet du Climat

How can young people help achieve youth-led sustainable development and create viable livelihoods and opportunities for youth to contribute to inclusive economic development and well-being in Africa?

How can young people help achieve youth-led sustainable development and create viable livelihoods and opportunities for youth to contribute to inclusive economic development and well-being in Africa? To help find answers to this question the Network of African Youths for Development (NAYD) and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth (SDSN Youth) will investigate the high-priority areas of effective youth engagement, youth policy, institutional collaboration and finance considerations through an on line questionnaire. The needs assessment will focus on young men and women who fall into the 15 to 24 and 25 to 35 age range. The survey should only take 10 to 15 minutes of your time and can be found here

Thank you!

What Nigeria Needs and what must happen at COP 21 in Paris

There has been a slow progress in climate discussions over the years with global leaders now realizing it's no fluke after all but, they never needed to wait this long to know that what the activists and scientists were calling their attention to was indeed real. While in high school, I could only associate the word "refugees" with war but today, the word is more dominant with climate change and quite disappointingly, the next generation may only know refugees to be victims of climate change.

As a kid, I watched water sink into the earth when it rained but today, the water runs atop the earth as flood even after it has stopped raining. It is also not surprising that the flood of Syrian refugees into Europe has spurred European leaders to call for an "ambitious, robust and binding global climate deal". This was the mood set by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker who frankly observed that "climate refugees will become a new challenge - if we do not act swiftly." He made these comments during Junker's first annual State of the Union speech to the European Commission in which he pointed out that climate change is "one of the root causes" of the ongoing refugee crisis out of Syria. The drought in Syria a few years ago reportedly displaced about 2 million people which contributed to the current crisis and that number is part those now knocking on the doors of the EU as refugees.

A senior British political leader, Lord Ashdown, succinctly captured the situation thus "the Syrian crisis is simply a dress rehearsal for an immense climate-fuelled disaster, which I think will begin to be felt within the next decade, perhaps within five or six years from now." Indeed, Nigeria had an ugly experience of what climate change could do in 2012 when an unprecedented flood disaster happened affecting about 30 of her 36 states. In 2013, the director general of the National Emergency Management Agency(NEMA), Alhaji Sani Sidi, said of the 2012 flood, "We recall what happened last year, the unprecedented flood which led to the displacement of 2.1 million people across the country and it affected over seven million people. It led to the death of over 363 persons". The hardship the displaced citizens passed through is better imagined than experienced. Of course the flood owed much to the release of excess water from the Ladgo dam in Cameroon without the prior knowledge of the Nigerian authorities but the accumulation of excess water in the dam was just a clear indication of how swift climate change impact could be. Now, as of August 2015, three of Nigeria's 19 northern states have seen 86, 710 hectares of land valued at N1.58 billion destroyed and a total of 20, 477 homes also affected while about 50, 000 people have been rendered homeless as well as 11 deaths recorded all because of flooding owing to just heavy rains and this figures are expected to increase massively across the country in a few weeks. We simply cannot continue like this! We can't keep walking the path of defeat and shame of our inactions as it's time to simply get off the beaten track.

As we prepare for the talks and binding agreement in Paris this December the Nigerian government must look into immediate/short term solutions for this scourge as we can't simply watch citizens being displaced and killed year after year by floods and other climate change consequences and only offer a well-intended but meaningless pity. Nigeria has to embark on massive afforestation as its deforestation rate is clearly the highest in the world. The new President, Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, has ordered the encouragement of the use of Liquefied Natural Gas(LNG) by most Nigerians for domestic purposes to reduce the rate at which trees are cut in search of firewood. Mr. Buhari has also ordered the federal ministry of Environment to look into the 1920 Lake Chad report which proposed ways of saving the lake- which has shrank from 33,000square kilometers to 300square kilometers in the last two decades- from drying up. This Lake provides water to about 68 million people from communities in Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger living around the area and economic activities has since been grounded. There's also the idea of introducing Clean Cookstoves to help reduce emissions, which is still starched in controversy, and these, in addition to the Great Green Wall project which the ex-President started to stop desert encroachment in most states especially in northern Nigeria are all laudable projects that will have an immense positive impact on the environment butbeyond that, we have to enact new laws and enforce existing ones that will help us protect our environment. We have to make laws that will make it the mandatory duty of all government ministries, departments and agencies as well as private firms to be concerned about the state of their respective environment. It has to be in form of a mandatory Corporate Social Responsibility.

Again, the government has to jump to the chance of investing in renewable energy as we have the limitless potentials for that. It is also important that the federal, state and local governments in Nigeria take a closer look at their drainage channels to not just get them free of materials that block free passage of flood but also construct adequate improved ones. But then, Nigeria and other countries in Africa can only do little to stop the looming crisis of climate refugees as Africa contributes just about 3% of global emissions but ironically, the continent is at the receiving end of the actions of big emitters like the US, European Union and China whose combined emissions stand at 51% meaning that what the
US, EU and China say or agree to at the COP 21 in Paris is where Africa must pay attention as it will directly affect the continent. So, it will be wise if we carefully study the situation in the aforementioned places and draw up a proposal of the way which those countries should go that will favour Africa as the climate crisis really is a global challenge and must be solved collectively.

It was good to know that Junker wanted it to "be very clear to our international partners" that the EU "will not sign just any deal" at the UN climate talks in December. This he concluded would include a strong global emissions reduction target of at least 60% by 2050. It shows that the world and more pointedly, the big emitters, have been woken up to their responsibilities by the Syrian refugee crisis. However, analysts believe that unless the UN climate talks agree to make sharper short term goals, we may risk soaring over the 2 degree mark and that's what Africa has to do at the COP 21, to push the big emitting nations to agree to great short term goals and also ensure their implementation. The negotiations in Paris will be more crucial than any in the history of the COP and African leaders must be alert, aware and resolute in their stand for a short term solution to climate change as that will make the nations more committed in achieving the targets. But just as it is for Africa, the EU should indeed, do all within its powers to come to the COP with an implementable and effective short term plan that will have an immediate impact on climate. It is important to state here that if EU refuses to act strongly, they should be ready to welcome overwhelming number of climate refugees from Africa in a few years. Not even the walls of Hungary or the police barricades of Croatia will stop the army of climate refugees that will swim to the gates of EU and US. As Lord Ashdown recognized, "Once the crisis is upon you, it's too late to start working out your priorities". At the Conference of Parties in Paris, we have a chance to make history and secure the future for the next generation or forever remain villains for ending the possibility of the continued existence of humans in this planet.

CHIAGOZIE UDEH is the Eco-Generation Ambassador to Nigeria,
Climate Justice Ambassador, Climate Tracker and a young Radio Host.