Connect with us

General

White smoke sighted at COP24 Climate change talks

Published

on

Loading...

[ad_1]

KBC_Facebook-728x90

The UN Climate change talks in Katowice Poland came to a close late on Saturday night after a three-day standoff pitting delegates from the industrialised and developed nations.

The three-day stalemate confirmed by Kenya’s Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary, Keriako Tobiko focused on contentious issues relating to finance, loss and damage, and creation of a new carbon trading market.

The highly contentious issue of a new carbon trading market, Tobiko said, had been deferred for further consideration at the next COP 25 conference, to be held in Chile next year.

Following the conference plenary closure late Saturday night, the delegates adopted the ‘Katowice package’ which is a new set of climate change guidelines and rulebook to accelerate national action plans.

Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 22163

The two-week-long 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) commonly known as COP 24 had been scheduled to conclude on Friday, but negotiators including CS Tobiko had been unable to reach a compromise agreement despite endless rounds of negotiations and back-room diplomacy.

Speaking from Katowice, Poland, Tobiko confirmed that the negotiators had finally managed to reach what he described as a “robust” set of implementing guidelines for the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement. The guidelines agreed at COP 24 include key agreements on programmes financing for projects aimed at keeping global warming below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels.

“Following a round of three sleepless nights, I am glad to confirm that the COP 24 talks have come to a close with a number of compromise arrangements for the earlier contentious issues,” Tobiko said, adding that, “The Africa Group of Negotiators, has literally been burning the midnight oil seeking to advance our unique interests and we have made significant headway with the adoption of the ‘Katowice package’ late on Saturday night.”

At the conference, the Kenya Government had cited access to predictable and adequate funding options, as a key challenge frustrating the implementation of climate change action plans in developing countries.

“Access to new, additional, predictable and adequate climate finance is critical for developing country Parties to implement their priority adaptation and mitigation actions and meet their obligations under the Convention and the Paris Agreement. The time for action is now. Let us all rise to the occasion. Let us save Our Planet.” Tobiko said.

On the financing element, which was a sticking issue from developed countries in support of climate action in developing countries, the ‘Katowice package’ sets a way to decide on new, more ambitious targets from 2025 onwards, from the current commitment to mobilize US$100 billion per year as of 2020.

Loading...

Germany and Norway also announced expanded financial commitments for climate action, both, pledging to double their contributions to the Green Climate Fund, established to enable developing countries to act. The World Bank also announced it would increase its commitment to climate action after 2021 to $200 billion; the climate Adaptation Fund received a total of $129 million.

The ‘Katowice package’ also features a detailed transparency framework, meant to promote trust among nations regarding the fact that they are all doing their part in addressing climate change. It sets out how countries will provide information about their national action plans, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as mitigation and adaptation measures.

An agreement was also reached on how to uniformly count greenhouse gas emissions and if poorer countries feel they cannot meet the standards set, they can explain why and present a plan to build up their capacity in that regard.

While presenting the Kenyan experience in climate change management, Tobiko disclosed that the local (Kenyan) economy is shedding more than 2% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually due to climate change.

Such economic losses, he said have driven the Kenya Government to put in place measures to ensure low carbon climate resilient development at all levels.

Addressing the High Level segment of the conference, last week, Tobiko stressed the need for adequate and predictable financing instruments to accelerate climate change action plans.

“Access to new, additional, predictable and adequate climate finance is critical for developing country Parties to implement their priority adaptation and mitigation actions and meet their obligations under the Convention and the Paris Agreement. The time for action is now. Let us all rise to the occasion. Let us save Our Planet.” Tobiko said.

In recognition of the serious threats posed by climate change, the government, Tobiko said through various agencies including the National Treasury has been leading the process of developing financial instruments for climate proofing vulnerable sectors of the economy.

“This we plan to do through issuance of Sovereign Green Bonds, establishment of the National Treasury as the National Designated Authority (NDA) for Green Climate Fund (GCF), establishment of the Climate Change Fund (CCF) and the Disaster Risk Financing Strategy all aimed at cushioning the economy from fiscal risks arising from the effects of climate related shocks and natural disasters,” Tobiko said.

Alongside funding, Tobiko pointed it out that individual states cannot manage to comprehensively address climate change. International cooperation; international cooperative initiatives; shared responsibilities and solidarity, he said will remain vital components, if we are to combat climate change.



[ad_2]

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard

Published

on

Loading...

Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.

Loading...

However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard

Published

on

Loading...

President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Drastic life changes affecting mental health

Published

on

Loading...

Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153

With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.

Loading...

Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

Loading...
Continue Reading

Trending