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The Below50 Initiative

Last month, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched below50 initiative hubs in North America, South America and Australia, to create much bigger demand and markets for sustainable fuels. Below50 is a global collaboration that brings together the entire value-chain for sustainable fuels, that is, fuels that produce at least 50% less CO2 emissions than conventional fossil fuels.
I believe these are the policy innovations and new ways of collaborations that could put the world on track to achieve the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement. We need clear national and local action plans that encourage the masses to be climate sensitive; this is especially needed to guide attitudes in the global south where overcoming poverty is still the top priority of most countries.
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Green Development

The central goal of the Paris Agreement is to keep the average global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees. About one degree of that rise has already happened, underlining the urgency to progress much further and faster with the global clean energy transformation. Off course, this is also tired to the success of the 2030 Agenda’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, especially goal 9: to build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. To pursue this inclusively, the global south will need to actively involve its informal economy as well as add value to some of its primary products.

World Climate Event in Cape Coast

Green Africa Youth Organization  took the World Climate Simulation to Cape Coast. The event in the University of Cape Coast brought together exceptional environmental science students, scientists, and also visiting students from Norway, Sweden, and Denmark who were under Kultierstudier programme in the university.

The event commenced with a brief education on climate change (science, impacts, and solutions) by Joshua Amponsem who co-facilitated the event with Benson Adjei and Laura Periera (PhD). Benson Adjei, introduced world climate event to the audience and from facial expressions wed could see a promising negotiations ahead of us.

There were about 100 participants who were grouped into the 6 geographic blocs while designating 10 people as Press Corps and 12 people under the Climate Activist bloc.  Briefing notes and were given to all blocs and the NDC form was given to the 6 regions.

Laura, a visiting lecturer from South Africa, simulated as the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC. She gave a wonderful speech to open the first round of Negotiations. The 6 regions had about 15 mins to digest their briefings and make their commitments known to the house through the proposal form.

After submitting their NDCs (proposal), C-ROADS was launched and the submitted data was inserted. Surprisingly, delegates from Other Developing countries exhibited high demand for funds (requesting for $70b per year) while also demonstrating a good willingness to act on climate (committing fully to REDD = 1). Other Developed countries also amazed us with their strong proposal of 8% fractional rate of decline per year while commuting fully to REDD and Afforestation (=1).

Putting all the data together, we reached a global warming of 2.7degC. Although not our desirable target, the reach was much better than our previous event in Kumasi – where we reached 4degC after the first round of negotiation.

To open the most exiting part of our event (2nd round of negotiations), the Executive Secretary of UNFCCC – Laura, urged all delegates to make their best commitments to reach a 1.5degC or maximum 2.0degC. “You need to make better commitments to protect our agricultural systems and for human survival.”

To spur a greater negotiation, the UN Secretary General – Joshua Amponsem, said “Climate Change will affect everything we love as humans but more importantly, our food, water, and the air we breath. As leaders, you have a one time opportunity to make a change that will save our future. Planet Earth depends on you.”

On this note, negotiations begun and the first bloc to make a move was the Climate Activists. They had delegates advising and pressuring China, EU, and US to increase their financial contributions while limiting their CO2 emission growth. EU and the other developed nations seemed to have gotten along very easily as they both exerted pressure on Developing countries, China & India to increase their afforestation from 0.2, 0.6, and 0.7 respectively, to 1.

Following that, there was a sudden fierce argument over the EU bloc. Notes from the press corps indicate that EU was only willing to contribute significantly to the Global Fund if China gives above 20% of the targeted fund and if US contribute up to 50% to the fund. Successfully, there was peaceful negotiations between the Other Developed countries and the US.

Additionally, India and Other developing countries formed a union of friendship. They presented a joint proposal to US and China. China agreed to the proposal and gave $20b to the global fund. EU also agreed to their proposal and acknowledged their responsibility – EU contributed $30b to the fund and a 5% fractional rate of decline while starting their decline at 2060 instead of their earlier 2080. However, activists spoke against that and the EU decides to stop emission growth at 2030 while starting decline at 2035.

India seemed very ambitious and US was willing to give money rather than reducing their emissions. After about 50 minutes, all the countries submitted their terms and commitments. It was really difficult to put an end to the negotiations as many delegates were still engaging their colleagues in other terms and deals. It was really amazing to see the reaction of some of our participants from Europe who were representing India and other developing countries.

After feeding the proposals to C-ROADS, we reached a 2.4degC. Joshua Amponsem and Natasha Verco reiterated the impact of global warming and why it is necessary to reach a 2degC. With that, delegates from Other Developed nations and those from Other Developing countries swiftly opted to strengthen their commitment. They both increased their fractional decline rate to 10% per year and also decided to stop their emission growth at 2030 while they both committed fully to REDD and afforestation.

After these changes, our global warming decreased to 2.2degC. The room was full of suspension as everyone looked up to US to make a change. However, delegates from India and Other Developing Countries united to put up a proposal to China. They proposed that China increase their fractional rate of decline to 12% and US to move their REDD and afforestation effort to 1. US agrees to that but China only agreed to 10% instead of 12%.

Like magic, we reached 2degC with these changes. The house gave marvelous applauds to delegates who pushed for the changes that made it possible for us to achieve our target.

Participants gave their feedback (see below) during the debrief.

Emmanuel Marfo: “It is really enlightening to experience this event and I’ll be looking forward to participate in such events.”

Anonymous: “This is a nice conference and my first time to such an exposure. I already feel like Prez. Obama. Its great to have such a taste of decision making. I appreciate it and I think more if this should be happening on campuses.”

Sylvester Osei:  “Developing countries had a tone of vulnerability and needed help. I think this is good because we are not the future leaders; we are the present leaders and very soon we might be taking similar roles at the international levels. So thank you organizers for bringing this training and I hope we will be ambassadors for Climate Change.”

Mm Hasana: “The event is so practical and we have been exposed to climate negotiations & we’ve also had the chance to appreciate what delegates know what happens at the international level. As youth, we have been given an opportunity to be part of decision making and also to take up leadership role in environmental issues.” She added, “Climate Change is realistic lets try and do in our own capacity the very little we can do to make this 2degC realistic. It starts from us and we should take up the challenge.”

Lovisa: “It was a perfect experience. We enjoyed discussing with each other – it was fun to be in debates with other countries and see what they are up to.”

SPECIAL INVITATION TO POWER SHIFT 2016

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Hello everyone,

Our planet is dying and #ClimateChange is affecting the air we breath, the water we drink and the food we eat, right here in Ghana. Rainfall patterns keep changing and our farmers are at risk of loosing their yield to drought. Our pathetic environmental stewardship has led to the destruction of major and important natural resources that are crucial to our existence – water and arable lands.

Is this the country and world we are building for our children, and our children’s children? I guess NOT.

Without quality air, water and food, we cannot achieve any of the global goals. Poverty, Hunger, Diseases, Injustice and Conflict will reign, if we sit quietly and watch.

I specially invite you to Power Shift 2016. Kindly follow the link below to attend the event and note it on your calendar automatically. https://web.facebook.com/events/932545493510114/

Join us on May 14th @ the college of engineering auditorium – Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

Lets meet @ Power Shift 2016. See you.

#PowerShiftGh

Drawing Contest on Environmental Sanitation

Environmental sanitation drawing competition was launched to evaluate the four workshop organized  with support from Environment 360, and Tunza Eco-Generation.

The competition was launched on Tuesday 17th may 2016 by IDEAS – UCC team. The participating schools were Imam Khomeini Primary School and Samrose Complex Academy, both in Amamoma community within the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in the Central Region of Ghana.
The submission date was set for 23rd may, 2016 and a total of 468 pupils were expected to take part in the competition (253 from Imam Khomeini Primary School and 215 from Samrose Complex Acacdemy). Out of this 468 pupils, 213 (128 from Imam Khomeini, and 85 from Samrose Complex Academy) drawings were submitted.

Out of the submitted, 33 were shortlisted and then the final 3 were selected from the 33.
The criteria used for shortlisting included the following the drawing should send a clear message, the drawing should be creative, colored and neat.

The winners (Margaret Osman – 1st place, Abigail Andoh – 2nd place, Kwame Adonor – 3rd place) were awarded in the following way:
FIRST PRIZE = a certificate and a gift certificate for a school uniform.
SECOND PRIZE = a certificate, a Milo branded football and cap, a recycled basket, a coloring book, and a rule.
THIRD PRIZE = a certificate, a sound instrument, a coloring book, and a rule.
The awards were presented to the winners on Friday the 3rd of June, 2016.
The certificates and prizes were provided by Environment 360. Tunza Eco-generation provided pens, sticky note, and leaflets which were used during the workshop.

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Margaret Osman – 1st Place.

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Kwame Adonor – 3rd Place.

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Front: Winners: Kwame, Abigail, and Margaret. Back: Isaac and Emmanuel – GAYO coordinators.

FLOAT YOUR BOAT FUNDRAISING 2015

Green Africa Youth Organization participated in Environment 360’s collaboration with Adventure Junkies for their first ever annual float your boat fundraiser. The event was graciously hosted at the Lakeside Marina Park on Saturday. The initiative was to educate people on sustainable methods of waste management and how to make money from plastic waste. The event saw our very own GAYO, Adventure Junkies, UT Bank and Trotro Diaries battle it out on the lake to be winners. Prior to the day of the event, each of the competing teams was assigned to make boats using empty water bottles in a bid to create awareness of the plastic waste menace in the country.  In addition to the awareness creation, it is also hoped that the float your boat campaign will expose people to creative and sustainable uses of plastic waste.

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1. GAYO team getting ready to float

Crafts such as waste bins and miniature statues were made also using empty plastic bottles. In addition to the lake competition, there were other team building activities like volleyball and football.

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2. #TeamGAYO floating our plastic boat.

Funds raised from this event will go to support the community programming projects of Environment 360 which include expanding the national sanitation day with public schools, as well as creating five targeted education programs that teach children waste segregation habits, gardening skills and leadership skills that empower them to be waste ambassadors in their communities.

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3. Paddling wasnt easy but we finished second.

Little by little, Environment 360, just like GAYO also hopes to inspire people to find creative ways to reduce or reuse their own waste, especially recyclable waste and also see plastic waste as more than just #borla.