Uganda’s carbon dioxide emissions set to rise

Uganda’s carbon dioxide emissions set to rise
New Vision
Bonn, Germany

Uganda’s carbon dioxide emissions set to rise

Uganda’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions like the global emissions from fossil fuels and industry are projected to rise by about 2% by the end of 2017 compared with the preceding year, with an uncertainty range between 0.8% and 3%. The news follows three years of emissions staying relatively flat.

This was revealed on Monday by a panel of researchers that included Prof. Corinne Le Quere, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at UEA, Dr Glen Peters of the CICERO Centre for International Climate Research in Olso, Norway and Owen Gaffey of Future Earth, Sweden during a press conference at the 23rd UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP23) currently taking place in Bonn.

Although Uganda’s CO2 emissions per capita fluctuated substantially in recent years, it tended to increase through 1996 - 2015 period ending at 0.13 metric tonnes in 2015 according to the World Data Atlas.

Carbon dioxide emissions are those stemming from the burning of fossil fuels and the manufacture of cement. They include carbon dioxide produced during consumption of solid, liquid, and gas fuels and gas flaring.

In October last year, Uganda launched its National Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory System that marked a critical step in the country’s efforts to meet its contribution to the global effort of emission reduction under the Paris Agreement for Climate Change.

According to Uganda’s plan for low carbon development, Uganda submitted six action points to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC ) NAMA Registry and they include the following:

The promotion of the use of efficient institutional stoves in institutions, this action point aims to reduce emissions through promoting the use of improved energy efficient cook stoves in educational institutions at all levels in the different regions of Uganda.

It is also premised on the belief that Green House Gas emissions will be reduced because efficient cook stoves require less wood fuel (up to 50% less) to generate the same amount of energy required for cooking as three ordinary stone cook stoves.

The other action point is Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) for Kampala whose purpose is to improve the efficiency of public transport, by moving commuters from private vehicles to public transportation to address both traffic and pollution problems.

This will reduce transport emissions in the Kampala metropolitan region from a business-as-usual baseline.

This action is expected to assist Uganda in planning, developing and financing a co-ordinated urban transportation system around: the design of routes; linkages between BRT routes and other modes of transport; facilities and resources to increase ridership; and operational mechanisms of efficiency, such as scheduling, on time repairs, maintenance, buses, pricing, and park and ride facilities. It also aims to build nine BRT routes and schedule buses along them so that they are linked.

This action point also links with climate change policy transport sector strategies, particularly the promotion of modes of transport that take GHG emission reductions into account, integration of risk assessment on transport infrastructure, and building climate-resilient transportation infrastructure at the national level.

The other action points are: Developing Appropriate Strategies and Techniques to Reduce Methane Emissions from Livestock Production in Uganda; Integrated Wastewater Treatment for Agro-process Water in Uganda; and Periodic Vehicle Inspection for Emissions and Roadworthiness.

Despite the above actions from Uganda and many other countries, the lead researcher Prof Corinne Le Quéré, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, said: “Global carbon dioxide emissions appear to be going up strongly once again after a three-year stable period. This is very disappointing.”

She quickly added that:  “With global CO2 emissions from all human activities estimated at 41 billion tonnes for 2017, time is running out on our ability to keep warming well below 2 ºC let alone 1.5 ºC.”

“This year we have seen how climate change can amplify the impacts of hurricanes with stronger downpours of rain, higher sea levels and warmer ocean conditions favouring more powerful storms. This is a window into the future. We need to reach a peak in global emissions in the next few years and drive emissions down rapidly afterwards to address climate change and limit its impacts.” She added.

Emissions decreasing in 22 countries

There was also some good news in the report: In the last decade (2007-2016), emissions in 22 countries (representing 20% of global emissions) decreased even as their economies grew.

Technologies like wind and solar power have expanded across the globe by about 14% annually in recent years, according to the report.

Jackson said that he’s “cautiously optimistic” that the transition from fossil fuel burning to renewable energy will continue in the United States – even as the Trump administration rolls back policies aimed at tackling the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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