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Climate Change Reporting in
Media Training Workshop
October 8th-10th 2010
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
What is politics?
Write on three cards
what politics means to
you. Each card should
have single word
Politics and Climate Change Minus
Pointing Fingers
Patrick Luganda
Media Trainer
and Consultant
Climate Change and Politics
Climate and politics make poor bed fellows as
history tells us
Climate is the most unpredictable and
troublesome challenge for politicians
Over 70% of natural disasters are climate relatedWMO
Drought leads to increase in hunger
Hunger leads to anger and discontent
Widespread food insecurity leads to national
Climate Change and Politics
And consequently political social
Death, injury to person and health
Destruction of infrastructure, property
Reversal of economic gains. Potential
to disrupt socio-economic dev.
Climate Change and Politics
The implications can be mind
boggling and have the unpleasant
potential of causing the collapse of
the political order.
Politicians know this only too well and
history is littered with examples of
politics and climate
What is Climate/ Climate Change
Weather: the observed Temperature,
precipitation and other atmospheric
conditions over small area in time in a
given geographical locality
What is Climate: Observed weather (
T & P) cover a long period of time
What of Climate Variability-variations
in observed climate conditions later
leading to confirmation of climate
Then Climate Change?
But Climate change is the variation
in the Earth’s global climate or in
regional climates over a long time.
It can involve changes in the average
state of the atmosphere over long
periods ranging from decades to
millions of years
Climate Change In Africa
Climate change already affecting crucial
Environment, agriculture, tourism, power
generation, food security, poverty, health,
urban rural migration and destroying the
cohesive family unit and social disorders
National policies and development goals
such as National Plans of action and
internationally linked agreements such as
Why Address Climate Change
Economic development
Adaptation at the national, community
and household levels
Public awareness
Mitigation actions by the national
Mobilization of public support
Regional Situation
Regional Cooperation in East, West, Southern and
Central Africa need to urgently address issue.
Move away from lip service
African Union plays a leading role-CLIMDEV
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
World Meteorological Organization
World Health Organization
Millennium Development Goals
Cartagena Protocol/Biodiversity
National budgets and planning
Climate Change Causes
These changes can be caused by
dynamic process on Earth, external
forces including variations in sunlight
intensity, and more recently by human
These are well documented by the
science community particularly the
IPCCC Reports
Linking Climate Change and
Experts argue weakened and failing states
will witness a rise in extremism, internal
conflicts, radical ideologies, and dictators
clinging on to power
These scenarios lead to a dramatic
increase in humanitarian-assistance and
crisis response missions by the
international community.
However, the most dangerous and
potentially destabilizing impact of climate
change is mass migration.
Political Response to Climate
As the world’s population continues to grow (an
increase of over a billion people in just the past 12
years), migratory pressures become a major
concern and a reality
Libya is cooperating with the EU in a multi billion
project to prevent the further migration of
unwanted refugees to Europe
When extreme climate conditions occur, there is a
reactionary response by an increase in migrations
to the large urban centers and cities (Masaai,
Karimojong migrations 1984 to date)
Conflicts such as in Darfur, pastoral communities
have a strong climate correlation as do others
around the globe
Social Political scenarios
Nations unable to respond and adapt to the
migratory impacts of climate change are
literally forcing citizens to seek greener
Migrations within nations and regions, and
across borders and continents, are hugely
destabilizing events – for the nations being
evacuated and those being populated. (
Refer to Sahel Region and Mediterranean
Negative Impacts
Cultural conflict
Overtaxed social welfare systems
These are consequences of human
migrations from have-not nations, and
are serious challenges to the haves.
Political Response to CC
Populations these environments will face lifethreatening conditions with reduced water
supplies, decreasing agricultural productivity, ill
health, and forced mass migrations. Experts call it
the scenario the “threat multiplier”
As impacts are felt, regional states will realize they
lack capacity to adapt to the effects of climate
The threats will multiply further as resentment
builds to the developed world, seen as
responsible for the climate crisis.
Current State of Affairs
Many nations in Asia, Africa, and the
Middle East already stagger under the
weight of extreme poverty, hunger,
social unrest, and political instability
Climate change will make matters worse
by further eroding the legitimacy of
many governments and heightening
international security concerns.
Take it or Leave It
Asia: Fresh water for millions from
glaciers may not exist by mid-century.
Middle East : Rising seas threaten to
contaminate aquifers, reducing precious
fresh water resources
Africa: Diminishing resources due to
persistent drought, flooding and land
use changes and pressure leading to
conflicts. Land for crops and animals is
turning to desert.
The Way Forward
This presentation has been intended to
attune your mind out of the Climate
Change box to see reporting on Climate
Change from a wider perspective and
prepare you for the next part
Cancun, Mexico is only two months
away, the media especially in Africa
needs to discuss the international
debate from informed positions on the
Politics and Climate Change
Report of the USA Military Advisory Board. “freedom’s
Challenge” the Atlantic Council's book celebrating the 20th
anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall
Military Advisory Board Publication (2007)- “ Climate, Energy
and the Dominant Challenges of the 21st Century.
Linkages Between war and Temperature Change by David
Zhang of the University of Hong Kong ( analyzed world
history back to A.D. 1400 to find linkages between war and
temperature changes)
"Is Darfur the First Climate Change War?” Economist and
Scientific American columnist Jeffrey Sachs at an event at
Columbia University in 2007. "Don't doubt for a moment that
places like Darfur are ecological disasters first and political
disasters second.
Miscellaneous literature data analysis.