National

Man-made climate change blamed for weather disasters

  • By Frank Kanyesigye
  • September 09, 2013
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Children play after heavy rains in the Northern Province. Rwanda, like other countries world over, is experiencing floods and other natural catastrophes due to climate change. The New Times/File.

Human induced climate change has been blamed for the extreme weather catastrophes that are ravaging the globe, according to a report by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS).

The study released on Friday at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the UK’s Met Office, takes into account the extent to which man-made climate change influenced 12 extreme weather events that occurred in 2012.

“The conclusions of 2012 report are similar to those of a related, first of its kind study published last year that focused on extreme weather events in 2011,” reads part of the survey.

The report has linked extreme weather events like wildfires, heat waves, downpours, and droughts happening around the world to human-induced global warming.

Rose Mukankomeje, the director general of Rwanda Environment Authority (REMA) supported the report, saying human activities are responsible for the climate change that has brought about extreme weather disasters.

Effort needed

“There is an increase of green house emissions which has caused imbalance of natural composition of gases in atmosphere resulting into weather calamities,” she said.

She stated that Rwanda is experiencing floods and other natural catastrophes due to climate change and much effort is needed to address the global challenge.

To address the negative impact of climate change, Mukankomeje stated that the government in 2011 adopted the green strategy for climate change and low carbon and the economic impact on climate change has also been assessed.

“We have embarked on green economy in our Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy to reduce on the economic activities that maybe contributing to global warming,” the Rema boss explained.

The United Kingdom recently donated more than Rwf22 billion to Fonds National de l’Environnement (Fonerwa) a fund created to deal with climate change and environmental degradation.

Fonerwa is a new initiative that the Rwandan government set up to support environment protection and deal with climate change issues through supporting public and private clean energy and green life initiatives.

The government has also allocated £1.7 million (around Rwf 1.7 billion) of domestic resources as it continues to mobilise money for the first three years of kick-starting the climate change fund.

Rwanda continue to experience heavy downpour that has led to loss of lives and property, the recent one being  the Musheri Sector in Nyagatare District incident, a few days ago that left two children dead and property destroyed.

The United States alone has experienced 25 extreme weather events since 2011 that each caused more than $1 billion dollars in damages, contributing to the loss of more than 1,000 lives and costing each American family roughly $400 each year.

The research shows that the world is likely in for more extreme weather if it stays on its current course. As the costs of climate inaction become clearer, the urgency for shifting toward a low-carbon economy becomes ever-more pressing.


Contact email: frank.kanyesigye[at]newtimes.co.rw

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