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Talking Points on Climate Change and the Environment

Watch eloquent short video by Archbishop Desmond Tutu
"The destruction of the earth’s environment
is the human rights challenge of our time."

  • Global warming and environmental damage from the fossil-fuel industry already affect all of us, although responsibility lies primarily with the rich industrialized countries and the newly industrializing powers. Africa is the most vulnerable continent, but extreme weather and sea-level rise have hit New Orleans and New Jersey as well as Lagos.

  • When industries make decisions based on short-term profits, encouraged by government subsidies to established industries, they systematically discount damages from "externalities." Visible results include the devastation of oil-producing areas in the Niger Delta and of coal-producing areas, whether in South Africa or West Virginia. The longer-term consequences in rising temperatures and more extreme weather will be even more devastating.

  • Action to combat climate change depends in part on decisions made in international conferences, where the primary obstacles to action are the rich countries and the newly industrializing powers. But efforts at many other levels are also of decisive importance. Fossil-fuel divestment campaigns, as they grow and multiply, can affect investment choices. So can technological innovation. Notably, clean energy can already be more cost-effective than large-scale fossil fuel plants in supplying distributed energy access to Africa.

Workers install off-grid solar panels in Kirambo, Rwanda.

Recent bulletins on climate change and the environment


AfricaFocus Bulletin

July 26, 2016  Africa/Global: Not Yet "End of AIDS"
    At the 21st International AIDS Conference in South Africa last week, "optimism faded as delegates arrived to news that donor countries had reduced global HIV funding by more than $1 billion from 2014 to 2015. ... Nearly 20 million people are [still] in need of antiretroviral therapy. [and] nearly half of the $44 billion cost could be unfunded between 2016 and 2020." - Washington Post, July 25, 2016

July 15, 2016  Zimbabwe: #WageTheft
    "An astounding 80,000 Zimbabwe workers in formal employment--out of some 350,000 workers--did not receive wages and benefits on time in 2014, according to a new Solidarity Center report, 'Working Without Pay: Wage Theft in Zimbabwe,' released today in Harare." - Solidarity Center

July 15, 2016  Zimbabwe: #ThisFlag
    "The Zimbabwean regime did not expect Pastor Evan Mawarire to be set free on Wednesday night. But unprecedented public pressure forced the magistrate's hand, with a little help from blundering police. Look away now, Comrade Bob, because Zimbabwe will never be the same again." - Daily Maverick, July 14, 2016

July 6, 2016  Cuba/Sierra Leone: Reclaiming Slave-Trade History
    As recognition grows that the legacy of slavery and the slave trade is still embedded in the structural inequalities of today's world, scholars are finding new ways to make the lost connections visible. One dramatic and inspiring illustration, featured in this issue of AfricaFocus Bulletin, is the film "They Are We," showing the rediscovery and re-connection in person with their African relatives of an Afro-Cuban community which still celebrates their heritage with dances and songs in a language almost forgotten by current generations even in its villages of origin in Sierra Leone. The film, first released in Cuba in 2013, features the story of this rediscovery, in the voices and faces of the communities who collaborated in the making of the film.

More on: politics&human rights|peace&security|health|economy|ict

AfricaFocus Archive: by date | by place | by topic

June 30, 2016  
    Africa/Global: Air Pollution Threats & Solutions
June 22, 2016  
    Africa/Global: "Stop the Bleeding" Updates
June 13, 2016  
    Africa/Global: Don't Be a Fossil Fool
Jun   2, 2016  
    Liberia/Global: Financial Secrecy at Work
May 26, 2016  
    Africa/Global: Migrants' Rights Roundup
May 13, 2016  
    Mozambique: Debt Crisis & the Panama Papers
May   5, 2016  
    Uganda: Accountability and Child Soldiers
April 27, 2016  
    Nigeria: Shapes of Violence, 2
April 27, 2016  
    Nigeria: Shapes of Violence, 1
April 11, 2016  
    Africa/Global: Panama Papers Tip of Iceberg
Apr   5, 2016  
    USA/Global: When Elephants Fight
March 23, 2016  
    Namibia: Meeting Expectations?
March 16, 2016  
    Africa: Tolerance and Intolerance in Perspective
March 9, 2016  
    Africa/Global: Making Choices on Climate Future
February 29, 2016  
    USA/Africa: Rising Opposition to Tax Evasion
February 16, 2016  
    Africa: Ghosts at the African Union Summit

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Africa News
Jul 30, 2016
AllAfrica | Conflict, Peace and Security
Africa: Angola Committed to Conflict Resolution in the Continent
Nigeria: Troops Ambush Boko Harm Terrorits
Somalia: AU Condemns Al Shabaab Bombings in Mogadishu
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