By Caroline Dunning and Joshua Talib
‘Only by co-coordinating can we ensure our collective impact is greater than the sum of its parts.’
Representative from Africa Development Bank.
Day three included our first interview with between a COP22 delegate and our fellow PhD students at home (see the UK part of the blog for an update). We also attended several side events, as well a meeting party representatives from Togo and Brunei. The party representative from Brunei studied Renewable Energy at Reading, and could even remember the location of the Department of Meteorology! Brunei are in an interesting position in terms of climate negotiations; he was keen to push for a 1.5°C temperature increase, but are also are one of the largest emitters per capita due to their dependence on natural gas and other non-renewables. They hope to develop clean coal technologies, but their high GDP means they are not able to access climate finance funds, even though they are classified as a less developed country.
The organisation we are partnered with here, OSS, took part in a side event on the adaptation fund. Insufficient funds are one of the main constraints on adaptation and mitigation to climate change, and therefore provision of such funds can further development, as well as climate resilience and mitigation. The importance of local governments and local action for adaptation was stressed. OSS are accredited by the Adaptation Fund; this enables them to sustain and support countries in accessing funds. The challenge of accessing climate finance is common to many countries, but new funds allow a wide range of state actors to engage with such funds, and the need for collaboration was again stressed.
The last side event of the day that I attended was on Hydro-Climate Services for All. A Hydro-Climate service is hydrology and climate information communicated in a manner that is useful for communities and users, and allows better management of water, health, food, energy and many other sectors. The Hydro-Climate Service can take the form of climate information, a modelling tool or a seasonal forecast. This side event was run in a different way to the other side events. It started with a keynote speech by Andres Tarand, former Prime Minister of Estonia. He spoke passionately on the importance of water; water security is decreasing impacting economic growth, igniting conflict, and inducing migration. On the other hand, successful water governance can lead to a climate-resilient future, and has the power to bring peace, security and co-operation when properly managed. Hydro-climate services present the opportunity for successful water management, but Mr Tarand expressed the importance of responding to the relevant needs of the user, providing integrated information that is relevant and accessible. However, such services are currently constricted by limited funding and restricted data availability.
The event then moved onto questions to different members of the panel which created an interactive and engaging discussion, definitely appreciated at 7pm! Mr. Irfan Tariq, from Pakistan expressed the need to network with users and identify their needs and make use of electronic media when bridging the gap between service providers and users. Ms. Hanadi Awadallah, from Sudan, described the problems of water security and scarcity in Sudan, with a large proportion of the population living along the Nile. She described the need for co-ordination between different organisations to manage the balance between increasing water consumption and declining water resources, enabling development and social cohesion. Both Ms. Awadallah and Mr Subah, (representative from Jordan) expressed the need to include measurements of soil moisture in climate services.