COP25: “Do not call it Climate Change, call it Climate Emergency” – says Kisamba Mugerwa

Representing Uganda in Madrid - Spain: Kisamba Mugerwa Wilberforce. Courtesy photo.

Madrid, Spain The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 25 is ongoing in Madrid, Spain. It started from 2nd December, 2019 and will end on 13th December 2019.

With over 200 countries and thousands of delegates attending the global summit, during the first week, activists were left frustrated by the lack of urgency inside negotiating rooms.

Earlier in the week, a report on the world’s “carbon budget” revealed how far-flung the world is from meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Experts say greenhouse gas emissions rose by 0.6% last year – less than in recent years, but not enough to turn the corner.

Speaking in Madrid, Johan Rockström, the joint director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research [PICIR] said: “We must turn the curve from increasing carbon to falling emissions in the next year.”

Akin to Johan’s suggestion, Uganda’s Kisamba Mugerwa who’s one of the country’s delegates attending the summit, wants the name changed from Climate Change to Climate Emergency.

Mr Kisamba is an agricultural economist and the current Chairman of the Uganda Microfinance Support Center, a government-owned company established in 2001.

“What is emerging from Madrid is that now funds for Climate Change are committed but we need to enhance the implementation through submitting bankable projects. This calls for capacity building in our respective national institutions first to harmonise the pertinent policies, secondly to undertake in-depth analysis of the climate change issues and generate bankable projects. Funds so far received are just for facilitating this process. Things are increasingly becoming digital that even what is available internationally we need a well facilitated institution to handle them,” he said.

“Do not call it Climate Change, call it Climate Emergency,” Mr Mugerwa added.

Ahead of the Madrid Summit, numerous world leaders and climate change activists had clear feelings about the “Climate Emergency”.

“We no longer live in an era with the luxury to consider one isolated region separate from the whole. What happens in the Arctic affects us all. We must safeguard the Arctic Ocean and its rich biodiversity, before it is too late. Protecting the fragile Arctic ecosystem keeps our entire planet cool, and our weather patterns and global crop growth in balance. This must be an urgent priority for everyone on Earth,” Vandana Ryder Parvati, award-winning musician, yogini, activist and author; founder of says.

“Nothing short of the future of mankind is at stake if we do not immediately pivot to a green economy. With severe climate change impacts on our doorstep, the last thing we should be doing is opening up what little pristine Nature we have left to old economy activity. MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, is the only sane choice for the critically vulnerable Arctic ecosystem, for the sake of our seas, our atmosphere and all life,” Yvo de Boer, Former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, also added his voice.

In her press statement to TND News last week, activist Vandana said was hopeful world leaders would sign MAPS Treaty

“The MAPS Treaty transforms the entire Arctic Ocean into the Earth’s largest preservation area, stopping all activities harmful to the Arctic sea ice, our global air conditioner. The ice cap reflects the sun’s heat away from the planet and ensures everyone has the food and water needed to survive,” she said.

“But it’s melting fast. Global mega powers seek to profit off its thaw, putting life everywhere at risk with the devastating effects of ravaging storms and rising food and water insecurity. This is an under-reported emergency worldwide,” Vandana further says.

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