Dr Paula Harrison (ECCA 2017) says “engineering is critical” to future climate change adaptation – Interview

Here Dr Alison Cooke (C.eng.) asks Paula (Conference organiser, Principal Natural Capital Scientist at Lancaster University) some questions regarding climate change and how engineers will tie in in implementing solutions in the future for addressing climate change adaptation.

In this interview Dr Paula Harrison stresses that “engineering is going to be critical” to implementing technological solution to the climate change issue.

Deputy Lord Provost opens conference on Climate Change Adaptation in Glasgow – ECCA 2017

Deputy Lord Provost of Glasgow city council opens ECCA (European Climate Change Adaptation) conference 2017. During his opening remarks he talks about the importance of the role that engineers play, mentioning James Watt as a prominent engineer of Glasgow fame.

He shared the stage with Dr Paula Harrison (pictured left). Interview with her to follow.

Uganda’s Private Sector Commits To Climate Change Mitigation

Uganda’s National Development Plan (NDP) emphasizes among the strategic objectives under climate change, the need to promote a low carbon development pathway for the country and climate-proof the country’s national development.

A recent workshop convened by the Climate Change Department of the Ministry of Water and Environment in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Makerere University Private Sector Forum, explored ways in which increased and more effective public-private cooperation could help accelerate progress towards this.

The UNDP Country Director, who was represented by the Assistant Country Director, Ms. Patience Lily Alidri, reiterated the importance of the private sector in climate change mitigation saying, “your partnership is essential in reducing emissions and adopting green growth development”.

The event brought together over 100 private sector representatives, technical experts, policy makers and agencies supporting greenhouse gas mitigation actions to explore opportunities for private sector engagement and financing in climate change mitigation activities and culminated in representatives of Uganda’s private sector signing a declaration to commit to reduce carbon emissions.

Climate change, a development challenge in Uganda

Climate change mitigation is important in Uganda’s context as effects such as floods, prolonged droughts and landslides are already affecting the livelihoods of millions of people. This is compounded by the growing industrialization and business enterprises that are polluting the environment.

Under the Kyoto Protocol to which Uganda is a signatory, countries agreed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through the Kyoto mechanisms such as emissions trading, the Clean Development Mechanism and joint implementation.

The private sector, important allies in climate change mitigation

Although Uganda’s private sector is one of the biggest emitters of carbon, it has been recognized that more could be done to provide the necessary support that would rally them to engage in, or finance, climate change mitigation actions.

The workshop therefore discussed many methods of engagement including; undertaking investment and technological innovations that strengthen low carbon growth, financing climate change mitigation measures, adopting lower carbon production processes and encouraging more climate conscious purchasing decisions by consumers.

In a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of State for the Environment, Ms Flavia Munaba Nabugera, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda, Rt. Honorable, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda said the climate change financing needs of Government are enormous and the public sector alone cannot sufficiently carry the burden of low-carbon development. “This means that the largest share of additional investment would have to come from the private sector, which is already responsible for the largest share of climate financing globally through the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI)”, he said.

In his keynote address delivered by the Executive Director for the Uganda Industrial Research Institute, Mr. Charles Mwesigwa, the Governor of the Bank of Uganda, Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile challenged financial institutions to embrace climate change mitigation and called for the establishment of a Climate Investment Fund, which would complement existing bilateral and multilateral efforts. “These funds will scale up public and private finance for the deployment of clean technologies, the prevention of deforestation and development of climate resilient economies in developing countries”, he said.

Speaking on behalf of the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Water and Environment, Mr. Chebet Maikut, the Commissioner for Water and Environment and the national focal point for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) warned that businesses would be impacted by climate change, whether via their core operations, their supply chains, changes in customer demand, or larger macroeconomic shocks. “Therefore, it is time for the private sector to think carefully about what climate change may mean for their companies and to embrace climate change mitigation”, he said.

Spotting the opportunities on the horizon

Representatives of the private sector appreciated the workshop for not only creating awareness but also a platform for sharing information on funding opportunities and Clean Development Mechanisms in climate change mitigation.

“The private sector should not only look at climate change mitigation as a cost of production. There are business opportunities such as marine transport, recycling, renewable energy, gas production and water treatment,” said Ismail Muwanga, the Executive Director of Luuka Plastics, a local plastics manufacturing company.

Signing a declaration is a positive step by the private sector towards helping to reduce carbon emissions and achieve sustainable development. However, challenges such as competitiveness of low-carbon investment, uncertainty over actions by competitors and customer preferences, as well as the absence of a clear policy or regulatory framework may still affect their operations.

One way forward was suggested by Dr John-Hawkins Asiedu, Minister Counselor and Commercial at the Ghana Embassy in Turkey who shared Ghana’s experience in engaging the private sector in climate change mitigation. He advised that the first step is to cultivate an active and vibrant public–private partnership (PPP) that will participate in policy formulation to guide the process.

The workshop was organized under the auspices of the UNDP supported Low Emissions Capacity Building (LECB) project, being implemented by the Ministry of Water and Environment – Climate Change Department in collaboration with Makerere University Private Sector Forum.

Download copy of the news article

Uganda given €14m for Climate Change project

Uganda gets €11m from the European Union and €3m from Belgium for Climate Change project – Monday, 5th September 2016

The European Union (EU) has given 11 million Euros and Belgium three million Euros to Uganda while Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) is the executing/implementing partner.

The Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) project is intended to contribute to sustainable improvement of livelihoods and food security of the rural population in Uganda. Its primary focus is to strengthen the resilience of rural populations and agricultural production systems covering 18 districts along the cattle corridor.

According to the Uganda National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA), it is estimated that 90% of Uganda’s natural disasters are weather and climate change. The Minister for water observed that the magnitude, frequency and severity of these hazards, especially drought, have increased in the past decades.

“I am glad that the GCCA project is multi-sectoral, focusing on water for production, environment and agriculture and indeed having specific components implemented in the different line ministries,” he said on Friday. He cited the repeated floods in Kasese and landslides in Bududa districts as clear warnings of the negative impacts of climate change.

At the launch, the EU head of delegation to Uganda Kristian Schmidt noted that the EU and its member states have made adaption a key priority for their development cooperation. “We stand ready to support our partners in their efforts. The GCCA project is a proof of that,” he said.

On his part, the Belgium ambassador to Uganda Alain Hanssen pointed out that climate change is a threat to food security and social economic development. “Belgium has stepped in to stand with Uganda in tackling the challenge of climate change,” said the envoy.

He underlined that Uganda has witnessed a number of indicators of climate change, including increasing surface temperatures, changes of rain patterns, prolonged drought, reducing amount of water in the rivers and swamps plus declining soil fertility and low yields.

The ambassador said the GCCA project targets six districts in the cattle corridor – Luwero, Ssembabule, Mubende, Kiboga, Nakaseke and Nakasongola.

The Friday launch ceremony was attended by FAO and embassy of Irish officials, Ugandan state minister for environment, ministry of water and environment officials and others.

Uganda: Officials Call for Better Energy Saving Tools

Officials In Uganda Call for Better Energy Saving Tools to Preserve Trees – Friday, 17thJune 2016

Kampala — As the world commemorates the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought today, environment and energy experts have said the nature of stoves used in homes and factories will determine whether the country will turn into a desert or not.

Speaking at a conference in Kampala recently, outgoing commissioner in charge of renewable energy in the Ministry of Energy Godfrey Ndawula, said the country is susceptible to desertification due to massive deforestation in search for biomass energy.

More than 90 per cent of Uganda’s energy needs are met by biomass resource (trees) but only 10 per cent of homes and institutions use improved charcoal stoves which Mr Ndawula says saves up to 50 per cent of energy compared to conventional charcoal and three-stone stoves.

“We need a multi-sectoral approach to handle this issue and as a ministry, we want all institutions to use improved stoves in meeting cooking or boiling needs,” he said at a conference organised by Uganda National Alliance on Clean Cooking (UNACC).

Uganda loses 90,000 hectares of forest cover annually according to the National Environment Management Authority State of the Environment Uganda 2008 report.

Mr Julius Magala, an official from UNACC, said embracing improved charcoal stoves and turning wastes in briquettes would not only conserve the environment but also create jobs, especially for the youth.

“Most of the small factories turning waste into briquettes create between 10 to 50 jobs each in different value chains. So, if we have more factories, it will mean more jobs but also money to factory owners,” Mr Magala said.

The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, which was enforced in 1994, aims at promoting public awareness of the issue, and the implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification in countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa.

Uganda’s New Solar Plant

10 MW Solar Power Plant to Boost Uganda’s National Grid

The Energy ministry in partnership with Access Uganda Solar Limited has launched a 10MW solar power plant in Soroti District, aimed at increasing power access in the eastern district.

The power produced from the $19m solar power plant is expected to be added to the national grid in July and will power 40,000 homes and businesses in an area where electricity access is still very low.


The power plant earlier on during its setup in Soroti district.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, the State minister for Mineral Development Peter Lokeris said Uganda still faces energy challenges and yet industrialization that the government seeks to expand requires more energy and investment.

“Government priorities such as Agro-processing can only get lifted off the ground with sufficient and reliable energy. I have confidence in the project because our country enjoys an all year round sunny climate which is the resource for solar power,” Mr Lokeris said in a statement.

The project will also avail clean water to the surrounding communities by constructing two boreholes, six houses for teachers and provide solar power panels to public primary schools. Two thousand tree seedlings of orange, mango and pine will also be given to the neighboring communities as part of the afforestation programme to conserve the environment.

Mr. Reda El Chaar, the executive chairman, Access Power, said African governments need to be supported to avail power to their populations. He added that because of the need for power, the continent has attracted a $25b investment in renewables in the past six years.

The Soroti project is the first solar power plant to be successfully developed under the GET FiT scheme, in partnership with the government of Uganda through the Electricity Regulatory Agency.The project is funded by the European Union Infrastructure Trust Fund, and supported by the governments of Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom.

FC-ES is in Venice, Italy

FC-ES is in Venice (17th-19th February) at the first European workshop to discuss strategies to address climate change. Please follow our daily updates on our website and on Twitter

FC-ES Invited to Venice, Italy in February

FC-ES has been invited to the first European case study workshop on behalf of the IMPRESSIONS project funded by the European Union. The workshop will offer a unique opportunity to get the latest insights from research and explore implication of a high-end climate change (above 20C temperature rise). FC-ES will join a group of stakeholders from diverse sectors and organisations across Europe that will provide input to support decision-making on energy, climate, and adaptation policy. The event will take place in Venice, Italy on February 17th-19th.

Follow the updates of the event on our website and on Twitter

Uganda’s Energy Plan

The Development of NAMAs Towards Low Emissions – Uganda’s National Energy Plan Strategy, is an article that was created by Gerald Sekiti from Uganda East Africa, showing quite a number of NAMAs planned and aimed for development, with a positive result of low emissions.

You can read and download the full article here

Feel free to post your opinion and comments