Oxfam International Blogs - extreme weather http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/tags/extreme-weather en Cyclone Idai and floods hit Southern Africa: the reality of climate change http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/19-03-26-cyclone-idai-and-floods-hit-southern-africa-reality-climate-change <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>The devastating Cyclone Idai that hit south-eastern Africa may be <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/19/cyclone-idai-worst-weather-disaster-to-hit-southern-hemisphere-mozambique-malawi" rel="nofollow">the worst ever disaster to strike the southern hemisphere</a>, according to the UN. Ever-worsening storms and climate change are destroying people's lives - and the poorest are hit hardest. How can we equip them to cope with a world where climate change means extreme weather events such as Idai happen more often?</strong></p><p>It is 2am and you are fast asleep. Suddenly you hear people shouting and your neighbors are calling for you to wake up and leave the house immediately.</p><p>You grab your four-month old baby, wrap her tight around you, then grab your two daughters not worrying if they are awake or not.</p><p>Unimaginable thunder and the roaring of water keep bombarding your ears.</p><p>The moment you step out of the house, you can hardly see for the thick clouds and heavy rain. You hear an unseen voice shouting at you: “Run, it is flooding!”</p><p>Everyone is in a panic with no sense of no direction and you do not know where to run to. You cannot go back into the house, so the only option you have is climb the nearest tree.</p><p>As you read this blog, you think it could never happen to you.</p><p>But this is exactly happened to 36-year-old Malita Mishoni from Ntowa Village in Mozambique.</p><p><img alt="Malita with Oxfam hygiene kit at Bangula Camp, Malawi. Photo: Daud Kayisi/Oxfam" title="Malita with Oxfam hygiene kit at Bangula Camp, Malawi. Photo: Daud Kayisi/Oxfam" height="826" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/116187lpr-malita-1240.jpg" /></p><p><em>Malita with Oxfam hygiene kit at Bangula Camp, Malawi. Photo: Daud Kayisi/Oxfam</em></p><p>“For a second, I thought the world was ending - but I looked at my three children and said to myself, I need to do something. I climbed the tree near my house and clung to it while holding onto my three children until dawn,” she explains with tears welling in her eyes.</p><p>“I saw the waters rising and getting closer to where we were and I thought we would die.”</p><p><strong>"We ate nothing"</strong></p><p>After five years of working in the field with Oxfam, this is the story that finally brought me to the point of tears. But I strengthened myself because I wanted to give Malita support to finish telling her story.</p><p>I asked Malita what food she and her children had while they were in the tree.</p><p>“We ate nothing and we never felt hungry,” she says. “</p><p>I stayed in the tree with my two daughters and the baby for two days until the water began subsiding and people with canoes came to bargain for our rescue.”</p><p>The canoe-men asked her to pay MK4000 ($5.25USD) to be taken to Malawi side which was safer but she did not have any cash. She pleaded with them and promised to work in their garden once she was in in Malawi.</p><p>They took her and this is how she made it with her children to Bangula Camp in Nsanje district in the southern tip of Malawi.</p><p>The camp is now home to 5,000 displaced children, women and men from both Malawi and Mozambique who fled their homes with the arrival of Cyclone Idai.</p><p>She says, once the waters have subsided, she would like to go back and begin a new life again.</p><p><strong>Oxfam is there</strong></p><p>Today, Malita is among the 1,000 households at the camp that are receiving hygiene kits from Oxfam.</p><p>“We really needed soap here. We lost everything in the flood, but today marks a new beginning for us, thanks to the Oxfam support. I have a baby and two other daughters and these buckets and soap will make it a bit easier to take care of my children.”</p><p>John Makina, Oxfam in Malawi Country Director says “People have been left with nothing. They need help now and in the months and years ahead to rebuild their communities in a way, which equips them for a world where climate change means extreme weather events such as Idai happen more often.</p><p>“Idai is yet another deadly warning of the impact of unchecked climate change unless governments, particularly major emitters, fail to cut emissions fast.”</p><p>Surely the 5000 children, women, men and very old people I walked among at the camp must not be subjected to this ever again. When they have played no role in degrading our environment, why should they continue paying the steepest price?</p><p><a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/cyclone-idai-malawi-mozambique-and-zimbabwe"><strong>Donate now to Oxfam's flood response</strong></a></p><p><em>This entry posted on 26 March 2019, by Daud Kayisi, Oxfam Media &amp; Communications Coordinator.</em></p><p><em>Top photo: A family dig for their son who got buried in the mud when Cyclone Idai struck in Chimanimani about 600 kilometers south east of Harare, Zimbabwe, Tuesday, March, 19, 2019. Credit: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP/REX</em></p><p></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Cyclone Idai and floods hit Southern Africa: the reality of climate change</h2></div> Tue, 26 Mar 2019 17:12:42 +0000 Guest Blogger 81914 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/19-03-26-cyclone-idai-and-floods-hit-southern-africa-reality-climate-change#comments What to watch for at the UN’s climate change conference, COP23 in Bonn http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-10-30-what-watch-un-climate-change-conference-cop23-bonn <div class="field field-name-body"><p>When the <a href="http://unfccc.int/paris_agreement/items/9485.php" rel="nofollow">Paris Agreement on climate change</a> was adopted by 195 countries back in 2015, most assumed that the next several COP meetings would be sleepy, technical affairs. After all, the agreement was done! Only the fine-print—the so-called “Paris Rulebook” -- was left undecided.</p><p>The “rulebook,” which is due to be completed 2018, will include detailed guidelines on how the different parts of Agreement will be implemented. Because the Paris system relies on countries enacting their own emissions cuts, accountability and transparency are essential.</p><p>While these proceedings might normally go unnoticed, both President Donald Trump’s announced intent to <a href="https://www.oxfamamerica.org/press/oxfam-vehemently-condemns-president-trumps-announcement-to-withdraw-from-paris-climate-agreement/" rel="nofollow">withdraw from the Paris Agreement</a> and <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/29/world/asia/floods-south-asia-india-bangladesh-nepal-houston.html?_r=0" rel="nofollow">back</a>-<a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/east-africa-drought-starving-famine-catastrophe-climate-change-oxfam-kenya-ethiopia-sudan-somalia-a7704026.html" rel="nofollow">to</a>-<a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-20/one-month-after-maria-a-crisis-still-rages-in-rural-puerto-rico" rel="nofollow">back</a> extreme weather disasters this year have put next week’s <a href="http://newsroom.unfccc.int/cop-23-bonn/" rel="nofollow">UN climate summit in Bonn</a> in the spotlight.</p><p><span>Here are four critical things to watch as the negotiations unfold:</span></p><p><strong>1) Shifting country dynamics</strong></p><p>Since Trump’s <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/06/01/statement-president-trump-paris-climate-accord" rel="nofollow">withdrawal speech</a> in June, many have wondered how his administration would engage in a process to establish rules for an agreement they never mean to implement. Their intentions are spurious at best, malevolent at worst. Because the U.S. is still technically part of the Agreement until formal withdrawal take effect in 2020, Trump’s envoys can actively participate in negotiations. <br><br>How active the US will be at the Bonn meeting is still an open question: the US State Department has announced that <a href="https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/55306.htm" rel="nofollow">Tom Shannon</a>, the Undersecretary for Political Affairs, will lead the delegation in Bonn. Shannon, a career diplomat who’s served presidents of both political parties, will likely streamline and professionalize US engagement on technical issues at the COP, in line with what previous US teams have done. Staff from the White House are also <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/18/climate/trump-paris-accord.html" rel="nofollow">expected to attend</a>, and to promote further support for advanced fossil fuel technologies. <br><br>In the past, the US had provided substantial leadership within their negotiating bloc, the Umbrella Group, which is comprised of developed countries outside of the European Union. With the US taking a less-visible role at the COP, it’s not yet clear how the <a href="http://unfccc.int/essential_background/convention/items/6343.php" rel="nofollow">Umbrella Group</a> will function, and which members will attempt to set its direction more broadly.<br><br><strong>2) Call for action to support small island states</strong></p><p>Several small island nations and territories have been <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-sight/wp/2017/10/02/on-the-ground-in-the-devastated-island-of-barbuda/?utm_term=.304bf0105211" rel="nofollow">ravaged by powerful hurricanes</a> and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/06/climate-change-in-the-caribbean-learning-lessons-from-irma-and-maria" rel="nofollow">other severe weather events</a> this year. With <a href="https://in.reuters.com/article/climatechange-fiji/fiji-urges-absolute-dedication-to-toughest-climate-target-idINKBN1CM2LF" rel="nofollow">Fiji chairing</a> this COP meeting, there is no doubt that the issue of “loss and damage” will be a focus this year. “Loss and damage” describes the permanent and unavoidable impacts caused by climate change.</p><p>As these countries ask for more support to respond and build resilience to future disasters, one subject of much discussion will be what “financial mechanism” (funding system) can address damages to homes, cultures, and communities.</p><p><strong>3) Businesses, local governments, and others demand climate action</strong></p><p>The Paris Agreement explicitly recognized the role of sub-national actors in helping address the climate crisis -- states, cities, provinces, businesses, and so forth. The 2016 COP22 meeting in Marrakech <a href="https://cop23.com.fj/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Marrakech-Partnership-for-Global-Climate-Action.pdf" rel="nofollow">formalized their role</a> and started to coordinate and promote their actions.</p><p>In the wake of Trump’s June 2016 decision to back away from the Paris Agreement, hundreds of pro-Paris businesses, universities, and local and state governments signed the “<a href="https://www.wearestillin.com/us-action-climate-change-irreversible" rel="nofollow">We Are Still In</a>” declaration. This network will host a series of events at the COP this year, where leaders like California governor Jerry Brown and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg will showcase all the work still being done in the U.S. to fight climate change.<br><br><strong>4) Setting the stage for deeper emission cuts</strong></p><p><strong></strong>The Paris Agreement calls for a “<a href="http://unfccc.int/items/10265.php" rel="nofollow">Facilitative Dialogue</a>” process in 2018 to measure both countries’ progress towards meeting their 2020 emissions goals and holding warming as far below 2 degrees Celsius as possible. This will be big test: are countries prepared and able to do more to reduce emissions (or “ratchet up ambition” in climate lingo) going forward?<br><br>This COP is so important because it tees up next year’s Facilitative Dialogue; how things go in Bonn will heavily determine if the FD is a real and credible moment, or a hollow and mostly-symbolic affair.<br><br><em>This entry posted by Heather Coleman, Climate and Energy Director, Oxfam America, on 30 October 2017.</em></p><p><em>Photo: More than 1,200 people died, and 45 million people were affected by the monsoon rains and heavy flooding in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal. Credit: Oxfam India<br><br></em><strong>Read more: <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/grow/5-natural-disasters-beg-climate-action" rel="nofollow">5 natural disasters that beg for climate action</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>What to watch for at the UN’s climate change conference, COP23 in Bonn</h2></div> Mon, 30 Oct 2017 06:57:28 +0000 Guest Blogger 81267 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-10-30-what-watch-un-climate-change-conference-cop23-bonn#comments Climate change and hunger: El Niño could push us into unchartered waters http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-10-01-climate-change-hunger-el-nino-could-push-us-unchartered-waters <div class="field field-name-body"><p>Millions of poor people face hunger and poverty this year and next because of droughts and erratic rains as global temperatures reach record levels and because of the onset of a powerful El Niño, the climatic phenomenon that develops in the tropical Pacific which can bring extreme weather to several regions.</p> <p>I’ve written about El Niño in <a href="http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/blog/2014/01/increase-in-super-el-ninos-will-impact-the-poorest-most" rel="nofollow">previous blogs</a> and about the danger that<a href="http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/blog/2015/08/weather-alert-an-introduction-to-climate-change" rel="nofollow"> rising sea surface temperatures</a> are increasing the odds of powerful El Niños happening. And this one certainly seems like it will be a humdinger; possibly the <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/this-year-s-el-nino-will-be-the-strongest-in-18-years-wmo-says-1.3212589" rel="nofollow">most powerful</a> since the strong <a href="https://www.wmo.int/media/content/el-ni%C3%B1o-expected-be-strongest-1997-98" rel="nofollow">El Niño of 1997/98</a>.</p> <p>El Niños don’t necessarily cause serious climatic disruption – there are many other influences on climate patterns – but they do increase the odds, especially in Southern Africa, Central America and parts of Asia and the Pacific.</p> <p><strong>What makes this year’s El Niño especially dangerous</strong> is that it is happening on top of rising global temperatures. Last year record high temperatures – it was the warmest year on record - seemed to create an El Niño effect, although an actual El Niño did not develop. Growing seasons in Southern Africa and Central America behaved as if one was occurring; rains were late and erratic and there were serious crop failures in several countries.</p> <p><img alt="Climate change and El Niño map." title="Climate change and El Niño map." height="400" width="800" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/6912_el_nino_map_for_media_twitter_600x400px_proof.jpg" /></p> <p>So if the current El Niño does have the anticipated impacts, the rains will be bad again in these regions which will mean a second successive year of crop failure. That would bring even greater food insecurity for millions of people. The countries currently suffering most, and likely to be worst hit again, include Zimbabwe – where 1.5 million people are currently hungry - and Malawi. There some 2 million people were been hit by extensive floods and by drought in 2014/15, and now by rising prices for the staple crop of maize. The lean season will start as early as January for most and continue well into April.</p> <p><strong>Ethiopia too is already facing</strong> what the Oxfam Country Director has described as “the start of a major emergency, which is expected to be serious and long” due to poor rains. But what is happening in Ethiopia may also show the way forward in making sure that drought does not result in deaths from hunger or impoverishment of communities so that they become vulnerable to future climate shocks.</p> <p><strong>Prevention measures</strong> being taken by the Government and international agencies like Oxfam include cash-for-work, water for people and animals, fodder and livestock vaccination. As a result the situation is not as bad as it might have been by now.</p> <p>National governments and international donors, including the UK, need to step up support for such-like prevention and preparation programmes so that these can be scaled up. At the moment it seems that the implications of the chronic droughts and El Niño have not been fully appreciated.  In Ethiopia, Southern Africa and Central America Oxfam staff report that donors seem reluctant to fund prevention work, saying they are over-stretched and have other and higher-profile emergencies to deal with. However, relatively small amounts of money spent now are likely to be much <a href="http://www.fsnau.org/in-focus/study-report-mortality-among-populations-southern-and-central-somalia-affected-severe-food-" rel="nofollow">more cost-effective than waiting</a> until the only option is to provide emergency relief.</p> <p><strong>The El Niño is likely</strong> to mean that <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/08/17/july-was-likely-earths-warmest-month-in-whats-destined-to-be-earths-warmest-year/" rel="nofollow">2015 will be even hotter</a> than 2014, and that 2016 will be unusually hot too. In light of the way in which climate change is already increasing temperature and rainfall extremes, preparedness, prevention and social protection will become ever more crucial to enable communities across the world to adapt.  </p> <p>But ultimately any level of preparation and adaptation will be thwarted unless at the next <a href="http://www.cop21.gouv.fr/en" rel="nofollow">climate change talks in Paris</a>, world leaders create a universal and legally binding agreement to mitigate carbon emissions and limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius. Currently the world is on track for at least 3 degrees of warming which would be globally catastrophic.  </p> <p><em>This entry posted by John Magrath (<a href="https://twitter.com/JFMagrath" rel="nofollow">@JFMagrath</a>), Oxfam Program Researcher, on 1 October 2015.</em></p> <p><em>Photo at top: Aissata Abdoul Diop, a member of the Diawoud community women's cooperative, showing how the maize ears dried in her drought stricken garden, during the West Africa food crisis of 2012. Credit: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam</em></p> <p><img alt="Climate change is causing hunger." title="Climate change is causing hunger." height="512" width="1024" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/el-nino-ipaishe1-twitter-1024x512-final.jpg" /></p> <h3>What you can do now</h3> <p><a href="http://oxf.am/ZAzr" rel="nofollow"><strong>Take action on climate change</strong></a></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><strong>Read the Oxfam report: <a href="http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/entering-uncharted-waters-el-nio-and-the-threat-to-food-security-578822" rel="nofollow">Entering Uncharted Waters: El Niño and the threat to food security</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Blog: <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/15-09-22-road-zero-hunger-runs-through-paris">The road to zero hunger runs through Paris</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Climate change and hunger: El Niño could push us into unchartered waters</h2></div> Wed, 30 Sep 2015 23:01:38 +0000 John Magrath 27794 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-10-01-climate-change-hunger-el-nino-could-push-us-unchartered-waters#comments Vanuatu’s impassioned plea at Sendai – why the world needs to take bold action on disaster risk reduction http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-03-14-vanuatu-impassioned-plea-sendai-world-needs-bold-action-disaster-risk-reduction <div class="field field-name-body"><p>This morning, the <a href="http://www.wcdrr.org/" rel="nofollow"><strong>World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction</strong></a> (DRR), the world’s biggest event in over a decade aimed at tackling the devastating impacts of hazard events on lives, livelihoods and economies, opened in Sendai, Japan.</p> <p>It was a star-studded event, attended by the Emperor of Japan and with statements from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. But even among such distinguished dignitaries, perhaps no speech was more anticipated than that of His Excellency Mr. <strong><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baldwin_Lonsdale" rel="nofollow">Baldwin Lonsdale</a></strong>, the President of Vanuatu. Overnight, Vanuatu suffered the devastating impacts of <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-31883712" rel="nofollow"><strong>Tropical Cyclone Pam</strong></a>, a category 5 cyclone (the highest category on the <a href="http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshws.php" rel="nofollow"><strong>tropical cyclone scale</strong></a>) that battered the archipelago with winds of up to 270km (160miles) per hour and gusts up to 340km per hour - similar wind speeds to those witnessed during <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/philippines/philippines-typhoon-haiyan-our-response" rel="nofollow"><strong>Super Typhoon Haiyan</strong></a> in the Philippines in 2013.</p> <p>President Lonsdale, visibly fighting back tears as he delivered his opening statement to the conference, came close to breaking down as he spoke of the tragedy that had stricken his small island nation.</p> <p>“I speak to you today with a heart that is so heavy… I do not know at this time what impact the cyclone has had on Vanuatu”, Mr. Lonsdale said. “I stand to ask you to give a lending hand to responding to this calamity that has struck us.”</p> <p><strong>President Lonsdale’s words are a wake-up call for the international community</strong> - the current status quo in disaster risk reduction efforts is failing the world’s most vulnerable nations and communities.</p> <p>Vanuatu has consistently been ranked by the World Risk Index as the country with the highest disaster risk since 2011, and despite significant investment in disaster risk reduction from government, civil society and communities in recent years, it’s clear that people in Vanuatu were unprepared to respond to a cyclone of this magnitude.</p> <p>While this was an unprecedented hazard event that would cause heavy damage no matter where it struck, the DRR and coordinated preparedness measures implemented prior to the crisis by the Oxfam supported Vanuatu Humanitarian Team – including the establishment and registration of evacuation centres - have clearly saved lives. Oxfam has also worked with the Vanuatu Rural Development and Training Centre Association (VRDTCA) to improve access to safe water and sanitation in rural communities while supporting the construction of cyclone evacuation shelters, efforts that will have proved crucial for local communities last night.</p> <p>However, with Cyclone Pam and Typhoon Haiyan scale-events likely to increase in severity, including due to the effects of climate change, current disaster risk reduction, preparedness and response capacities, from the local to the national and international levels will increasingly be pushed to breaking point in the future.</p> <p>That’s why delegations meeting in Sendai need to have President Lonsdale’s words ringing in their ears as they negotiate a new international framework on Disaster Risk Reduction – one that adequately prepares vulnerable nations and communities for the disasters they’re likely to face tomorrow, rather than simply rolling over existing practices which are already visibly falling behind the rising tide of disasters.</p> <p>Already, the negotiations in Sendai are calling into question the world’s resolve to take on disaster risk, as sections of the draft text such as strong, measurable targets, linkages to climate change and adaptation efforts, and commitments by developed countries to help finance the global effort are slowly being watered down.</p> <p>Organizations like Oxfam will be fighting hard over the coming days to ensure that the outcome of this conference keeps faith with the people of Vanuatu, and the hundreds of millions whose lives, livelihoods and health are threatened by disasters. Let us hope that in years to come, when the President of Vanuatu addresses the world, it will be with gratitude for its solidarity, rather than with further pleas for help.</p> <p><em>The entry by Ben Murphy, Humanitarian Advocacy Lead, Oxfam Australia,  on 14 March 2015.</em></p> <p><em>Photo: Cyclone Pam hits Vanuatu, via 350 on Flickr <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/350org/16184073404/">https://www.flickr.com/photos/350org/16184073404/</a></em></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/cyclone-pam" rel="nofollow"><strong>Donate to Oxfam's Cyclone Pam response</strong></a></p> <p><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/15-03-13-cyclone-pam-world-looks-sendai-better-approach-disaster-risk-reduction"><strong>As Cyclone Pam strikes, the world looks to Sendai for a better approach to disaster risk</strong></a></p> <p><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/15-03-08-celebrating-female-climate-change-fighters"><strong>Celebrating female climate change fighters</strong></a></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Vanuatu’s impassioned plea at Sendai – why the world needs to take bold action on disaster risk reduction</h2></div> Sat, 14 Mar 2015 12:25:38 +0000 Ben Murphy 25794 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-03-14-vanuatu-impassioned-plea-sendai-world-needs-bold-action-disaster-risk-reduction#comments 4 steps food companies can take to help stop climate change http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/14-05-20-4-steps-food-companies-can-take-help-stop-climate-change <div class="field field-name-body"><h3>Feeding people doesn’t have to mean feeding climate change</h3> <p>No company is too big to listen to its customers. When enough of us speak out, <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/14-02-27-behind-brands-food-companies-do-care-what-consumers-think"><strong>companies listen</strong></a>. Last year more than 400,000 of you called on companies to do more for women in their supply chains. <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/14-02-26-turning-way-food-companies-do-business-upside-down"><strong>They listened.</strong></a> Then you spoke up about land grabs in companies’ supply chains. They listened. Now we need your voice to stand up and insist that the brands we love do more to address the single biggest threat to fighting hunger-- climate change!</p> <p>By 2050, there could be an extra 25 million malnourished children under the age of 5 because of climate change, and 50 million more hungry people. Ironically, it’s not only dirty coal or the oil industry behind this; it’s also food companies. The way they grow the food that we eat is leaving people hungry and homeless. Actually a quarter of all global emissions are coming from the food system. Producing everyday items such as cereals, yogurts, ice cream and tacos, has a hefty climate footprint.</p> <h3>“A quarter of all global emissions are coming from the food system”</h3> <p>Food companies, <strong>like Kellogg and General Mills</strong> -- the creators of our favorite brands—are some of the companies being accused of things like reckless deforestation, overuse of polluting fertilizers, large scale land clearance, burning forests, and other harmful production practices in their supply chains. These are the kinds of production practices which drive dangerous climate disruptions and more hunger. For many farmers around the world this means they are not able to grow enough food to feed their families or that they are unable to make a decent living.</p> <p>Around the world families like Eric Pyne in Liberia are already struggling to grow enough to feed themselves and make a living because more extreme weather events, like droughts and floods, are hitting their crops year after year. It’s just as real for Richard Oswald, from Missouri in the United States, a corn and soybean farmer whose crops are used in products sold by big food companies. His crops were destroyed by historic floods that hit Missouri in 2011. “There was nothing to harvest,” said Oswald. “We spent all the money for seed, fertilizer, herbicides and got nothing in return.”</p> <p>More frequent and more extreme storms, floods, droughts and shifting weather patterns are affecting food supplies, <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/policy/extreme-weather-extreme-prices" rel="nofollow"><strong>driving up food prices</strong></a> and causing more hunger and poverty. It doesn’t have to be this way. Companies can cut their emissions and encourage others to do the same.</p> <p><strong>Kellogg and General Mills, stand out as among the worst</strong> of the “Big 10” when it comes to these issues.  They claim to be reducing their emissions but still don’t have a plan for themselves or their suppliers to do the same. It is time for all of us to speak up and demand that companies like Kellogg and General Mills help stop climate change from making people hungry. </p> <p>Together, the 10 Big Food and Beverage companies create an amazing 264 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year, if they were country,<a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/pressroom/pressrelease/2014-05-20/big-ten-food-companies-emitting-as-much-worlds-25th-most-polluting-country" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong> they would be the 25th biggest polluter on the planet</strong></a>, spewing more emissions than Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway combined.</p> <h3>“If the Big Food and Beverage companies were a country, they would be the 25th biggest polluter on the planet”</h3> <p>Agriculture emits more greenhouse gasses than all our cars, trucks, trains and airplanes combined. We think that Kellogg and General Mills can lead and help stop climate change from making people hungry starting with a few easy steps:</p> <h3>1. Measure Emissions</h3> <p>All of the Big 10 food companies, talk about climate change. But, you can’t fix what you can’t measure. We want the companies to measure and disclose their emissions.</p> <h3>2. Set Targets for Reducing Emissions</h3> <p>This one is simple. Once they know how much they are producing then they can set targets and make clear plans on how they will cut those emissions.</p> <h3>3. Encourage Suppliers to Act</h3> <p>Companies can be doing so much more. It’s not just about companies tackling their own operations but about using their influence and requiring their suppliers to do the same.</p> <h3>4. Act as a team and get others to act too</h3> <p>The Big 10 have significant power; when they speak out, it can really make a difference. Aside from cutting their own emissions they can and must call on governments and other companies to do the same.</p> <p>If The ‘Big 10’ companies fail to use their power responsibly and undertake these 4 easy steps we will all suffer the consequences.</p> <p><strong>Kellogg and General Mills in particular are not doing their part.</strong> These companies should be leading the fight to help stop climate change from making people hungry. It’s time for them to act. The food we love does not have to feed climate change.</p> <p><a href="http://www.behindthebrands.org/en/campaign-news/fed-up-with-climate-change-making-people-hungry,-q-,-take-action" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Take action by asking Kellogg and General Mills to step of the sidelines and tackle climate change.</strong> </a></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><strong>Read the report: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/policy/standing-sidelines" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Standing on the sidelines: Why food and beverage companies must do more to tackle climate change</a></strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/policy/standing-sidelines" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"></a></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2> 4 steps food companies can take to help stop climate change</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_es first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/14-05-20-cuatro-pasos-que-las-empresas-alimentarias-pueden-dar-para-ayudar-detener-el-cambio-c" title="Cuatro pasos que las empresas alimentarias pueden dar para ayudar a detener el cambio climático" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> <li class="translation_fr last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/14-05-20-quatre-etapes-empecher-changement-climatique-aggraver-faim" title="Quatre étapes pour empêcher le changement climatique d&#039;aggraver la faim" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> </ul> Tue, 20 May 2014 06:31:16 +0000 Al Kinley 10674 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/14-05-20-4-steps-food-companies-can-take-help-stop-climate-change#comments Emotivo discurso del embajador de Filipinas: un poderoso alegato para luchar contra el cambio climático http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/node/10504 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Ayer, durante la jornada inaugural de la <a href="http://unfccc.int/meetings/warsaw_nov_2013/session/7767.php" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">cumbre del clima de la ONU</a> en Varsovia, representantes de países de todo el mundo llenaron la sala de conferencias para escuchar a Yeb Sano, principal negociador sobre el clima de Filipinas. En su intervención, describió “la devastación inimaginable, horrible y sin precedentes que el tifón Haiyan ha dejado a su paso –el mayor tifón de la historia reciente–”</strong>.</p> <p>En un <strong><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SSXLIZkM3E" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">emotivo llamamiento</a></strong>, Yeb relató su agónica espera hasta que tuvo noticias de sus familiares, el alivio que sintió cuando supo que su hermano había sobrevivido, así como las traumáticas experiencias que ha sufrido durante los últimos días, en los que “hambriento y exhausto, amontonaba los cadáveres de las víctimas con sus propias manos.” </p> <p>Fue, con diferencia, la intervención más emotiva que he escuchado desde que, hace años, empecé a seguir las idas y venidas de las negociaciones sobre el clima. Las conmovedoras y poderosas palabras llenaron la enorme y tan a menudo desangelada sala de conferencias, y devolvieron a los asistentes a la realidad de lo que supone el cambio climático para algunas de las personas más pobres y vulnerables del mundo. Las lágrimas corrían por las mejillas de muchos de los presentes.  </p> <h3><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/sites/blogs.oxfam.org/files/oxfam-extreme-weather-revised.png" target="_blank"></a>Clima extremo</h3> <p>Si bien es imposible discernir si una tormenta, inundación u ola de calor en concreto se debe al cambio climático, la comunidad científica tiene claro que los fenómenos meteorológicos extremos como el tifón Haiyan serán más frecuentes según avanza el calentamiento mundial.   </p> <p><strong>No hay razones más convincentes que las palabras de Yeb Sano para reducir las emisiones de gases</strong> y ayudar a los países pobres a prepararse y adaptarse a un clima cada vez más extremo y errático. Sin embargo, no parece nada claro que los representantes de los países sentados en la mesa de negociaciones en Varsovia estén listos para reaccionar con la urgencia necesaria.   </p> <p><strong>Las personas que viven en las zonas devastadas de Filipinas necesitan de manera inmediata alimentos, agua y atención médica, y <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/emergencies/tifon-haiyan" rel="nofollow">Oxfam está trabajando duro</a></strong> para proporcionar agua apta para el consumo y saneamiento a las familias de las zonas más afectadas. Pero las comunidades pobres de Filipinas, Bangladesh, Mozambique, Guatemala y el resto del mundo también necesitan ayuda para asegurarse de que puedan prepararse y adaptarse a un clima cada vez más extremo y errático.</p> <h3>Detengamos esta locura</h3> <p><strong>Los Gobiernos pueden demostrar que realmente estaban escuchando a Yeb Sano</strong> y que están listos para reaccionar de manera urgente contra el cambio climático acordando en Varsovia la creación de un mecanismo internacional sobre la pérdida y el daño que aborde los efectos del cambio climático a los que no sea posible adaptarse  –como la pérdida de vidas o la destrucción de un país–.  </p> <p>Los países desarrollados también deben declarar cómo van a cumplir la promesa que hicieron hace cuatro años en Copenhague de aportar 100.000 millones de dólares anuales a partir de 2020 para abordar el cambio climático; y deben  anunciar un compromiso financiero aquí y ahora para ayudar a los países pobres a afrontar los efectos del cambio climático. </p> <p>Los países pobres que se encuentran en primera línea antes los efectos del cambio climático necesitan saber que ese dinero estará disponible, que no provendrá de presupuestos de ayuda ya existentes y que no se concederá en forma de préstamos que difícilmente podrían devolver. Si bien es innegable que se trata de una cantidad de dinero considerable, es una gota de agua en el océano comparado con las inmensas sumas de dinero –hasta 90.000 millones de dólares anuales– que los países desarrollados gastaron en subsidios para los combustibles fósiles entre 2005 y 2011. </p> <p>Como dijo Yeb Sano, “Lo que está sufriendo mi país como resultado de este fenómeno meteorológico extremo es una locura. <strong>La crisis climática es una locura… y podemos parar esta locura aquí mismo, en Varsovia</strong>”. </p> <p> </p> <h3>Más información</h3> <p><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/emergencies/tifon-haiyan" rel="nofollow">Haz un donativo para el trabajo de emergencia de Oxfam en Filipinas </a></strong></p> <p><strong>Lee el blog: <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/es/blogs/13-11-12-tres-razones-por-las-que-espero-que-conversaciones-sobre-clima-en-polonia-sean-como-pais-anfitrion">Tres razones por las que espero que las conversaciones sobre el clima en Polonia sean como el país anfitrión</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Únete a la <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/crece/signup" rel="nofollow">campaña CRECE</a> de Oxfam</strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Emotivo discurso del embajador de Filipinas: un poderoso alegato para luchar contra el cambio climático </h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/13-11-12-un-plaidoyer-vibrant-de-l%E2%80%99ambassadeur-des-philippines-pour-la-lutte-contre-le-changem" title="Un plaidoyer vibrant de l’ambassadeur des Philippines pour la lutte contre le changement climatique " class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> <li class="translation_en last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-11-12-climate-talks-philippines-rep-announces-fast-people-affected-typhoon-haiyan" title="Philippines rep&#039;s tearful testimony makes compelling case for climate action" class="translation-link" xml:lang="en">English</a></li> </ul> Tue, 12 Nov 2013 17:07:21 +0000 Al Kinley 10504 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/node/10504#comments Philippines rep's tearful testimony makes compelling case for climate action http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-11-12-climate-talks-philippines-rep-announces-fast-people-affected-typhoon-haiyan <div class="field field-name-body"><p>At the opening of the <strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-11-11-three-reasons-i-hope-poland-climate-talks-are-just-poland">UN climate talks in Warsaw</a></strong> yesterday representatives of countries from around the globe packed into the conference hall to hear the lead climate negotiator for the Philippines, Yeb Sano, describe the ‘unthinkable, horrific and unprecedented devastation left in the wake of Typoon Haiyan - the strongest typhoon in modern recorded history’. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SSXLIZkM3E" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>In an emotional appeal</strong> </a>Yeb told of his agonising wait for word from his relatives, his relief that his brother has survived the onslaught and the traumatic experiences his brother had lived through over the past few days ‘hungry and weary, he gathered bodies of the dead with his own hands.”</p> <p>It was by far the most moving intervention I have heard in all the years I have followed the highs and lows of the climate change negotiations. With these poignant and powerful words, everyone in the huge conference hall, which is so often devoid of atmosphere, was brought face to face with the reality of what climate change means for some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities across the world and yes <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24899647" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>tears were shed</strong></a> by many.</p> <h3><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/sites/blogs.oxfam.org/files/oxfam-extreme-weather-revised.png" target="_blank"></a>More extreme weather</h3> <p>While it is impossible to say whether any one storm, flood or heat wave results from climate change, scientists are clear that extreme weather events, such as Typhoon Haiyan, will become more likely as the world warms.</p> <p>There can be no more compelling reason to reduce emissions and help poor countries prepare for and adapt to extreme and erratic weather than the case put by Yeb Sano. However, it is by no means certain that country officials sitting around the negotiating tables in Warsaw are ready to act with the urgency demanded.</p> <p>People in devastated areas of the Philippines need food, water, medical attention and shelter right now and <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/philippines-typhoon-haiyan" rel="nofollow">Oxfam is working hard to deliver clean water and sanitation to families in some of the worst affected areas</a>.</strong> But poor communities in the Philippines, Bangladesh, Mozambique, Guatemala and around the world also need help to ensure that they can prepare for and adapt to increasingly extreme and erratic weather.</p> <h3>Stop this madness</h3> <p>Governments can show that they were truly listening to Yeb Sano’s words and are ready to take urgent climate action by agreeing here in Warsaw an international mechanism on loss and damage that addresses the impacts of climate change which it is not possible to adapt to – such as loss of life or nation. </p> <p>Developed countries must also spell out how they plan to deliver the $100 billion a year by 2020 for climate finance- promised four years ago in Copenhagen and clearly commit money right here, right now to help poor countries cope with the impacts of climate change.</p> <p>Poor countries on the climate front line need to know this money will be available, that it won’t be diverted from existing aid budgets or given as loans which they will struggle to pay back. While there is no getting away from the fact that this is a significant chunk of money it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the huge sums - up to $90 billion a year – rich countries spent on <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/oxfam-media-briefing-cop19-11nov2013.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>fossil fuel subsidies</strong></a> between 2005 and 2011.</p> <p>As Yeb Sano said, ‘What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness. The climate crisis is madness… we can stop this madness, right here in Warsaw.”</p> <p> </p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><strong>Support <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/haiyan-response" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's Typhoon Haiyan Appeal</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Read</strong> how climate change is making extreme weather much more likely: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/policy/extreme-weather-extreme-prices" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Extreme Weather, Extreme Prices</strong></a></p> <p><strong>Join <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/signup" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's GROW campaign</a>,</strong> to help ensure we all have enough to eat, always<strong></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Philippines rep&#039;s tearful testimony makes compelling case for climate action</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_es first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/13-11-12-emotivo-discurso-embajador-filipinas-poderoso-alegato-contra-cambio.climatico" title="Emotivo discurso del embajador de Filipinas: un poderoso alegato para luchar contra el cambio climático " class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> <li class="translation_fr last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/13-11-12-un-plaidoyer-vibrant-de-l%E2%80%99ambassadeur-des-philippines-pour-la-lutte-contre-le-changem" title="Un plaidoyer vibrant de l’ambassadeur des Philippines pour la lutte contre le changement climatique " class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> </ul> Tue, 12 Nov 2013 13:49:14 +0000 Kelly Dent 10510 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-11-12-climate-talks-philippines-rep-announces-fast-people-affected-typhoon-haiyan#comments