According to climate scientists globally we have less than 12 years to prevent catastrophic climate change impact, until we hit the 1.5 °C tipping point. Kosovo is a small country with around 2 million inhabitants, among which more than 50 % are young people between 18 and 30 years old. Their future and future of their children will depend on nowadays decision within development policies, mostly regarding energy, transport, agriculture, urbanization. Even though Kosovo has a small scale impact on the climate change compared to bigger countries, our actions affect our lives and lives of future generations.

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Climate for Change is project by GAIA Kosovo which aims to increase awareness and knowledge about climate change, moral responsibility for decision making and lack of environmental activism, on different levels, targeting leverage points for change in the approach, attitude and values.

Contact us at climate4change@gaiakosovo.org, by phone +383 49 455 037 or come visit us at our offices at Lagja Pejton, Rr.Pashko Vasa, nr. 10/1, Prishtinë,10000 (Inside Fiq’s office) from Monday to Wednesday (10:00 Am -17:00 Pm).

                                

This grant is supported by the ‘Civil Society programme for Albania and Kosovo’, financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Kosovar Civil Society Foundation (KCSF) in partnership with Partners Albania for Change and Development (PA).

About Climate Change

The Earth’s climate has changed a lot throughout history. The current warming trend around the world is primary because of human activities since the mid-20th century. Global impacts of climate change such as temperature increases, floods, fires and rise of sea level are created by the release of CO2 and other gases in the atmosphere. The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide, methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), fluorinated gases, and ozone (O3) play a role to that of the glass in a greenhouse. When light energy enters the earth’s atmosphere and it is being converted into heat energy, the heat that is created will radiate back at through the atmosphere and into the space however the greenhouses gases trap the heat that reflects back up into the atmosphere. The greenhouse effect keeps our planet warm so we can sustain a normal life but with the development of big nations and their industries it has become to a point where the release of these gases is beyond normal. These gases are released in the atmosphere as a consequence of natural events like volcanoes, methane in swamps and also because of human activities such as: burning fossil fuels and through agriculture industries.

Energy production and consumption from fossil fuels plays an important role towards climate change. In many countries the main source for energy are non-renewable like fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are burned so we can use that energy for cars, train and airplanes. The usage of fossil fuels is polluting our air and also it is a big factor for the human health. The release CO2 into the atmosphere is by also by cutting down forests and trees contain large amounts of carbon.

Methane besides being released naturally into the atmosphere is mostly being released in the atmosphere from agricultural industries and fossil fuel production like coal mining. As the amount of these greenhouse gasses rises so does the temperature of the earth hence our climate will change accordingly. But greenhouse gasses effect more than just our climate. The world is experiencing the changes in precipitation patterns, rise of sea level, the artic melting and more heat waves and droughts. In many parts of the world thousands of people are experiencing droughts like never before while in other parts they are experiencing horrible floods and hurricanes.

Political responsibility

The water supply, transportation, energy, ecosystems are also being effected by Climate Change. Bigger nations are the biggest producers of CO2 but that does not mean that other countries have no obligation towards reduction of CO2. In 1988, the UN Environment programand the meteorological society established IPPC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) in order to provide accurate and relevant information about climate change. The newest report of IPCC published on 8th of October, calls for urgent action to phase out fossil fuels, as well as urgent changes needed to cut risk of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty. ́Sea-level rise would affect 10 million more people by 2100 if the half-degree extra warming brought a forecast 10cm additional pressure on coastlines. The number affected would increase substantially in the following centuries due to locked-in ice melt. ́ In 2009, research papers (A Strategic Approach to the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference 2009) recommended that Kosovo starts developing its strategy for dealing with climate change, which would on one side prepare the country for obligations coming from joining the UN, and on the other side prepare the ground for transition in energy, agriculture, transport and other sectors. Although Kosovo has not participated in or signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol yet, it has the responsibility to respond to the requirements of the Convention and the Protocol, as one of the signatories of the Energy Community Treaty. In Kosovo the biggest polluter is the coal power plant and with higher demands for electricity, more coal is being burned and so more CO2 is being released into the atmosphere. Besides the coal power plant, Prishtina and other cities in Kosovo are being highly polluted by the usage of cars which seems that is increasing more every day and the usage of coal and trees heating

Climate justice

Climate change is one of the greatest injustices that humanity confronted. It was The Paris Agreement that in the first international agreement used the concept ‘climate justice’ The concept is used to understand climate change as an ethical, legal and political issue, incorporating issues of environmental and social justice. Around the world many wealthy countries and large multinational fossil fuel companies, have gained their wealth and security at the expense of billions of poor people living in highly vulnerable circumstances around the world, and have shown no intention to compensate for the harm caused. Climate justice recognizes that those who are least responsible for climate change suffer the gravest consequences while these rich, polluting countries have been avoiding the topic of liability and compensation for climate damages, low income countries like Malawi, Bangladesh, and Philippines are suffering serious consequences. The World Bank classifies Vietnam as one of the countries that is most vulnerable to climate change, largely due to rising sea levels: 85 percent of the country rests less than 1,000 meters above sea level, and 2,140 miles line the coast.

We are not on track to achieve the principal aim of the Paris climate agreement which is : keeping global temperature rise to well below 2°C, while pursuing 1.5°C. The damage resulting from climate change will disproportionately burden youth and future generations relative to present generations. More ambition is urgently needed. It is essential that wealthier countries urgently and dramatically deepen their domestic mitigation while, many developing country pledges do meet or exceed their fair shares.

References:

Boom, K., Richards, J. A., & Leonard, S. (2016). CLIMATE JUSTICE. Retrieved from The international momentum towards climate litigation: https://www.boell.de/sites/default/files/report-climate-justice-2016.pdf

Camarsa, G. (2015). European Union. Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/clima/sites/clima/files/docs/life_climate_change_adaptation_en.pdf

Galvin, G., & Writer, S. (2018, 1 24). U.S News. Retrieved from That Sinking Feeling: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2018-01-24/why-climate-change-worries-these-countries-most

CSO Equity Review (2017) Equity and the Ambition Ratchet: Towards a Meaningful 2018 Facilitative Dialogue. Manila, London, Cape Town, Washington, et al.: CSO Equity Review Coalition. [civilsocietyreview.org/report2017] [doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.5917408]

NASA. (n.d.). NASA. Retrieved from Climate Nasa: https://climate.nasa.gov/effects/Wright, R. T., & Boorse, D. F. (2011).

Environmental Science. In R. T. Wright, & D. F. Boorse, Environmental Science (p. 327). San Francisco: Pearson.

Young friends of the earth. (2017, 10 13). Young friends of the earth. Retrieved from Climate Justice: http://www.foeeurope.org/yfoee/climate-justice-infographic

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