Climate activists and experts are calling on Ethiopia to deliver a powerful message at COP28, shedding light on the devastating toll climate change has taken on its livestock sector, resulting in the loss of millions of cattle.
Scheduled to take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) from November 30 to December 12, 2023, the UN Climate Change Conference presents an opportunity for global leaders to address the urgent need for collective action on climate change and its far-reaching implications.
In the lead-up to the summit, the British Embassy in Addis Ababa organized a climate reception event titled “Climate Reception in the Lead-Up to COP28.” The event brought together climate stakeholders, government leaders, and young activists to discuss the pressing issue.
Speaking at the event, Vicente Solera Deuchar, deputy development director and team head of Climate, Economy, Trade, and Investment at the British Embassy, emphasized the urgency of the current climate crisis.
“We are the last generation capable of dealing with this catastrophe,” Deuchar stated.
To amplify this message, the British Embassy has rallied young climate activists to exert pressure on governments worldwide for immediate action.
Ethiopia faces immense challenges, with five consecutive failed rainy seasons and a three-year drought, affecting over 20 million people. Deuchar says that it is difficult to empathize without experiencing the devastation firsthand.
Addressing this situation, according to the Deputy Director, requires two critical actions: first, taking urgent measures to tackle the catastrophic climate crisis, and second, the establishment of resilient systems to prepare for future crises.
The Ethiopian government has undertaken rigorous efforts to combat climate change. “COP28 presents a crucial opportunity for Ethiopia to showcase the climate impact it has endured and its remarkable achievements in this field,” Deuchar says. “Ethiopia can also present a nationally developed plan that incorporates the Green Legacy initiative.”
AsefaLintiso, founder and director of the Green Thinkers Climate Advocacy Organization and Coordinator of the local convention’s young climate campaign, highlights the importance of advocating for action during the global climate meeting.
He believes that, alongside presenting the facts, international actors should be invited to witness the impact of drought in affected areas.
“While the government bears significant responsibility for driving action, private actors and young individuals should not hesitate to speak up about the effects of climate change and propose potential solutions,” Asefa says.
Over the past five years, climate-induced severe drought and extreme weather events have devastated livelihoods, leading to livestock losses and significant population displacements.
Climate change is an intangible issue that affects everyone’s way of life, according to Siham Kamil, founder and CEO of Reblu Manufacturing, a company that produces environmentally friendly materials from recycled plastic bottles.
“During COP, Ethiopian delegates must present facts and numbers concerning the damage we are enduring and highlight the severe impact on individuals,” she added.
Ethiopia’s Ministry of Planning and Development recently held a press conference, announcing their preparations for COP28.
They expressed their commitment to supporting the implementation of climate-related commitments to assist developing countries affected by climate change. The conference also highlighted the expectation of various bilateral discussions.