By invitation from Germanwatch as a guest speaker, Ms Taonga Mbale (Dir. Environmental Affairs Dept. and National Focus Point for Climate Change, Malawi) comments on her countries climate change index to date, with Sönke Kreft (Team Leader: Intl. Climate Policy) and Christoph Bals (Political Dir: Policy) who elaborated on Germanwatch’s CCPI (Climate Change Performance Index) components and fielded questions from the floor.
Malawi as a country, have been experiencing severe climate change events over the past few years, in the form of droughts and floods, e.g. the 2015 devastating floods affecting 15 of 28 districts and 1.1 million displaced persons, which resulted in extensive infrastructure damage with a calculated estimated total cost of loss and damages totaling $335 million, with a recovery and reconstruction cost being estimated at $494 million. These impacts have affected the economic growth of the country with the GDP projection being revised down from 5.1% to 3.1%, which in terms of climate change vulnerability, behooves the need for capacity building and resource support, to enable the country to adapt accordingly and pursue sustainable economic growth.
In a response to questions from the floor regarding attributable factoring in Germanwatch’s studies and the indexing of countries, Sönke responded by confirming that they were not attempting to find the delta of Climate Change in their data, but have to envision the broader picture, e.g. IPCC, have already given some indication of the expected kind of events, including future developments, and Heatwaves being one example where science confirms a shift in risks, but overall observation of intensified weather events, i.e. an increase in water (hydrological) cycle due to temperature increases, flooding events, etc. whose pattern fit with the results of our index. In response to country indexing, he stated that individual countries all have different factors which influence the positioning on their index scale which is highlighted in their reports in terms of either a) rare exceptional events or b) those that have constant climate change impacts.
In terms of ‘What Needs to be Done’, multiple enquiries and ongoing requests from international authorities to media, advocacy groups, research centers, etc., over the years, wanting information on their vulnerabilities or impacts of past years is indicative of the need for an index of this kind. Although, post Paris, with adaptation being raised (rhetorically) to the same level as mitigation, it needs to be followed through with ‘real action’, including issues of requirements for concrete instruments and policies (safegaurding post disaster populations) and climate insurance solutions which are pro-poor through the targeting of these post events as identified in the index, and not targeting of or being driven by private sector.
Some of the current challenges that Germanwatch have to address as summarised by Christoph Bal are to a] avoid the unmanageable and b] strong mitigation actions required towards the 1.5-2.0 degree limit – the risk reduction is crucial and strongly connected to the economic performance of countries, the income of the people and also for education of the people. In this process we can only trust that adaptation and mitigation will both carry the same value for moving forward in this arena of climate change.
https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&prev=search&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=de&u=https://germanwatch.org/en/ccpi&usg=ALkJrhi7fI7k4gOfcp_rz_WUjyskfrelRw (German Watch ~ CCPI)
https://unfccc.int/files/adaptation/workstreams/loss_and_damage/application/pdf/attributingextremeevents.pdf (Attribution Science ~ Extreme Events)