During the Brussels event “EU Green Deal and NECPs” (National Energy and Climate Plans) organized by Carbon Market Watch, the central question was whether Europe is on the right path to becoming the first climate-neutral continent. In his opening speech, Diederick Samson, chief of cabinet for European Commissioner Frans Timmermans, spoke about the aspects of the Green Deal that stand out to him. He highlighted the Green Deal’s ambition (Europe carbon-neutral by 2050), comprehensiveness (it does not solely focus on climate) and justice (make the change in a fair and just manner). Samson compared the implementation of the deal with dancing the tango; various people and organisations on various levels in Europe need to ‘dance’ together to achieve the 2050 goal of a climate-neutral continent. However, at the conference it was noted that not all people nor all continents are invited to join this dance. While the deal pays attention to a “just transition” within Europe, it seems to be missing a concrete plan to help other continents to make the transition to carbon neutrality and neglects the people that are already affected by climate change.
From September 2 until September 13, the 14th Conference of the Parties (COP14) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) took place in India. “Restore land, sustain future” is the slogan of the conference. The UNCCD connects environmental and development issues to sustainable land management. The aim of COP14 is to discuss the problem of desertification and to develop actions to reduce the effects of drought in order to improve the lives of people that are affected by land degradation. However, as climate change is compounding the effects of land degradation, caused by events such as prolonged drought and excessive rainfall, it is feared that forced displacement may increase from areas that are hit particularly hard, such as the Horn of Africa.
In this week’s news highlights: Eritrea shuts down schools run by religious institutions; Criticism on Eritrea peace deal excluding the people; Dutch vessel docked in Eritrean port Assab involved in Yemen war; Sudan forms new Cabinet; Podcasts to fight domestic violence in refugee camps; Rescue ships make port in Italy in spite of the ban; Greek government announces controversial emergency plan for migrants and refugees; Eritrean government celebrates 25 years of national service training in Norway; Trauma of refugees in Europe illustrated; Former Prime Minister of Australia praises anti-migration policies in Hungary; Rwanda offers space for 500 evacuees from Libyan detention centres; and UN Tweet about refugees exposes private details of a minor.