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Fossil fuel groups ‘destroying’ climate talks: NGOs [ARTICLE]

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A day after tens of thousands marched in the Spanish capital demanding climate action, seven environmental groups raised concerns to AFP over the role of fossil fuel representatives at the COP25 summit.

Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, nations agreed to limit global warming to “well below” two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and as close to 1.5C as possible.

The UN’s top science panel says that 1.5C would require a radical drawdown in fossil fuel usage.

Delegates are gathered in Madrid negotiating how to implement the Paris pledges. The summit was moved at short notice after domestic unrest forced original host Chile to cancel.

Spanish energy giants Endesa and Iberdrola stepped in to sponsor the conference, which brings together more than 20,000 negotiators, scientists, NGOs and journalists from around the world.

AFP has been told that each company paid 2 million euros to be COP25 “Platinum” sponsors, affording them prominent branding and trade stalls at the event.

Endesa is one of Spain’s largest greenhouse gas emitters, producing just over 60 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent last year alone.

Iberdrola produced 24.6 million tonnes in 2018.

Neither group nor organisers confirmed the exact cost but their sponsorship of a conference designed to reach consensus on how to cut emissions drew allegations of “greenwashing” from observers.

“Bankrolling the global climate negotiations is a classic trick from the polluter’s playbook,” said Jean Su, energy director with the Center for Biological Diversity.

“For just a fraction of yearly profits, big polluters are able to wrap themselves in the branding of the COP and use this access to influence the negotiations,” added Sriram Madhusoodanan of the Corporate Accountability watchdog.

When COP25 opened on Monday, many Spaniards woke up to advertisements from Endesa splashed across the front pages of national newspapers.

An Endesa spokeswoman told AFP that it was “a marketing action” and denied greenwashing.

“Our objective is to always do better and we are accelerating our energy transition,” she said.

Iberdrola and the conference organisers did not respond to queries over sponsorship.

– ‘We respect UN rules’ –

Trade groups representing energy firms are entitled under UN rules to attend annual UNFCCC talks and inter-sessional meetings as observers.

They frequently host networking meetings or presentations and have the same status and access permits at negotiations as environmental charities.

While few oil and gas majors participate directly in UN talks, they are well represented in Madrid by the trade organisations they partner.

One such group is the International Emissions Trading Agency (IETA), which counts among its members energy giants such as BP and ENI.

It also represents Iberdrola and Endesa’s parent company Enel, and is holding a total of 74 side events during COP25.

According to an official participants list IETA has sent 141 people to Madrid — more than the entire European Union’s delegation, and larger than that of host Chile.

“IETA supports the UNFCCC’s goals and objectives for climate protection –- which are a core part of our mission,” CEO Dirk Forrister told AFP.

“We also respect UNFCCC’s rules and procedures, including its guidelines for observer participation.

“Our members observe UN climate negotiations, because they are serious about bringing business solutions to the climate challenge,” he added.

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IPIECA, another trade group, has a smaller delegation in Madrid containing representatives from Chevron, ENI and Petrobras.

It did not respond to a comment request.

Unlike parallel UN processes, there is currently no protection in the UNFCCC against potential conflicts of interest between nations which need emissions slashed rapidly in order to survive, and the biggest emitters whose business plans are still heavily reliant on fossil fuels.

Thousands of energy reps have attended climate talks since 1990.

Hoda Baraka, of 350.org, said trade organisations representing big energy risked undermining climate action.

“We’re seeing yet again how the interests of dirty energy corporations are being put before the needs of vulnerable people and the planet,” she told AFP.

“It’s just common sense that those who are causing the climate crisis need to be kept far away from the political process meant to solve it.”

UN climate change secretary Patricia Espinosa said that “everyone” needed to be involved in transition away from fossil fuels.

“There is no way we will this transformation without the energy industry, including oil and gas,” she said Friday.

‘No group influences decisions’

The UN last year said “no particular interest group influences the decision-making process” at climate talks, adding that it takes the issue of conflict of interest “very seriously”.

Yet during annual mid-session climate talks in Germany in June, AFP obtained proof that hours of discussions on the subject were omitted from the final conference record.

A collection of 47 developing nations submitted a proposal to draw up provisions to protect against conflict of interest, observers said.

The proposal was opposed by the United States, Australia and the EU among others, yet no reference of it appeared in final discussion summaries.

Another trade group present at COP25 is the Edison Electrical Institute (EEI), which represents dozens of power firms in the US and around the world.

The EEI used to belong to the Global Climate Coalition (GCC), a now-disbanded fossil fuel lobby group.

Internal GCC documents compiled by the Climate Investigations Centre showed this year how the group used UN talks to further its members’ agenda.

The documents detail how the GCC pushed to influencing policymakers, including in discussions with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to tone down the links between man-made emissions and global warming.

The GCC disbanded in 2002 after growing disputes among its members over how to respond to advances in climate science, yet organisations it represented are still present at UN talks.

This includes EEI, which has sent more than 200 delegates to negotiations since 1995.

‘Destroying our planet’

“We and our members understand that addressing the impacts of climate change in the areas of mitigation and adaptation requires a global response,” an EEI spokesman told AFP.

“EEI’s member companies are leading this clean energy transformation and are making real, substantive progress.”

Environmental groups including Oil Change International, Corporate Europe Observatory, the Observatorio de Multinacionales en America Latina, and Power Shift Africa all told AFP they considered oil and gas presence at COP25 as unacceptable.

“Our hard work and determination is easily overpowered by the vast resources of the biggest polluting corporations,” said Sarah Dobson, from the UK Youth Climate Coalition.

“These companies are destroying our planet and our right to fair climate negotiations free from their influence.”

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Singer speaks after attacking lover at WCB signee Zuchu’s star-studded concert

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By Standard Entertainment



56 minutes ago

Controversial singer Gigy Money turned WCB signee Zuchu’s concert into a fight club, hurling shoes at her lover.

On 18 July, there was fanfare at the Mlimani City Hall in Dar es Salaam as WCB signee Zuchu held a thanksgiving concert months after her debut EP, I Am Zuchu. The event dubbed ‘Ahsante Nashukuru’ mainly featured performances by artistes from the WCB stable and attracted the whos-who in the Tanzanian entertainment and political scenes. 

READ ALSO: I’m not behind Diamond, Tanasha split- WCB’s Zuchu sets record straight

However, singer Gigy Money who also performed made the headlines for the wrong reasons after getting into a scuffle with her lover during the much-publicised concert.

READ ALSO: I was bewitched by a friend – Gigy Money

Peaceful arrival, later chaos

Moments earlier, Gigy and her Nigerian man were seen arriving arm in arm at the event whose highlight featured Zuchu receiving a brand new car from WCB head honcho Diamond Platnumz. Donning matching outfits, the couple was spotted on the red carpet as the paparazzi scrambled to capture the moment.  However, all hell breaks loose later and viral videos depict the visibly angered Nigerian arguing with a bouncer at the entrance. After a tense confrontation, Gigy’s man is seen being led by the screaming bouncer towards the exit. Shortly after, a similarly irritated Gigy emerges and follows the pair.

“Gigy! Wewe Gigy wewe!” a woman in the background is heard dissuading the singer from pursuing them but the singer pays no heed and heads for the pair.

“You want to beat me?” the boyfriend is heard asking an approaching Gigy as the bouncer acts as a barrier between them. The bouncer manages to steer the incensed man towards the exit as Gigy follows behind, hurling obscenities.

READ ALSO: I will get a baby with your eldest son – Gigy Money warns Zari

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At some point, a barefoot Gigy turns into a sprint before throwing one of her shoes which hits the man who then responds with an insult. Another bouncer finally intervenes and the two are separated. Gigy then asks for her vehicle so she can head home before warning the press against sharing videos of the incident.

Addresses incident

Though the cause of their tiff is still unknown Gigy later made reference to the shocking incident in a social media post, hinting that alcohol had a part to play in the fracas.  In another post, Gigy shared a photo alongside her estranged lover writing: “My mad man looked handsome before his demons arose and mine arose too.”

‘Running over Ali Kiba’

Gigy is not new controversy and recently said she’d run over her ex, singer Ali Kiba for breaking her heart.

“I will knock all of them down, I mean I will kill them. In fact, I will flatten them like chapatis. The first person I will knock down and kill is Ali Kiba.  Actually, I don’t need a weak car, I need a Fuso so that when I knock him down I will be sure he doesn’t survive,” Gigy told Ayo TV.

READ ALSO: Gigy Money under fire for dirty-dancing with married singer

Dating Kiba brothers

Gigy had in the past admitted to dating both Ali Kiba and his younger brother, Abdu Kiba. She solely laid the blame on Chekecha singer for pursuing her despite knowing that she’d been with his younger brother. Abdu expressed being heartbroken after learning the two had a fling, prompting him to marry.

“I was very hurt on hearing that Ali was dating Gigy Money because I dated her first before she became famous. But it’s alleged that Ali didn’t know. It hurt me for a while till when I married,” said Abdu.

 

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Defunct Nairobi County Council  Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government

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Defunct Nairobi County Council  Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government

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Why Jahmby Kokai is happy her TV anchor dream never came true

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By Diana Anyango



37 minutes ago

Jahmby Koikai is glad her dream of being a TV anchor never came true.

Popular media personality Jahmby Koikai narrated how her first attempt at auditioning as a TV host backfired and she was sent home on the first day of the audition. Reliving her prime days, Jahmby narrated how she was determined to follow her dream of becoming a news anchor after completing her degree.

“There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro FM. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it.

“Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu?” she posed.

READ ALSO: Jahmby Koikai back in Kenya after a year of treatment abroad

According to the endometriosis survivor, she went ahead to audition for the position despite the warning and was the first contestant to be sent packing.

“So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said some of us have to go home.

“My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news,” she narrated.

READ ALSO: Why I’m walking around with a mask- Jahmby Koikai

Second audition

Later, Jahmby auditioned for another TV opportunity only to miss out as well.

“Then came another opportunity over 10 years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. I didn’t get the job.”

However, due to endometriosis, Jahmby was forced to put her dreams on hold and concentrate on getting better. According to her, it is as though God had better plans for her and is grateful to not have gotten the jobs.

“I battled severe endometriosis in silence for over 19 years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilized all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant.”

 

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There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro Fm. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it. Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu? Nikasema zi. So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said, some of us have to go home. My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news. Then came another opportunity over 10years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. As you see in this pic, I got my hair done at Ralph’s Hair Salon, new suit etc. I didn’t get the job. After KBC, I never got to anchor the news again. I’m grateful I did not get the job even though I felt dejected at the time. I battled severe Endometriosis in silence for over 19years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilised all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant. There are many people like me who are bound by chronic illness and cannot do the things they love. I share your pain. But there’s hope. I’m grateful to God for His reminder that He will restore to you all the years that the locusts have eaten. Also Jer 29:11

A post shared by Jahmby Conqueror (@jahmbykoikai) on

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