Kenyan among 10 families suing EU over global warming

May 25, 2018 (4 weeks ago) 2:52 pm
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Roba Guyo, has joined families from Portugal, France, Germany, Italy, Fiji, and Romania in seeking a review of the current EU target to reduce greenhouse emissions by at least 40 per cent of 1990 emission levels by 2030, the families saying the target is too low to protect their sources of livelihood/COURTESY

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 – A household from the northern part of the country is among ten families suing the European Union for failing to adopt stringent measures to tame global warming.

Roba Guyo, has joined families from Portugal, France, Germany, Italy, Fiji, and Romania in seeking a review of the current EU target to reduce greenhouse emissions by at least 40 per cent of 1990 emission levels by 2030, the families saying the target is too low to protect their sources of livelihood.

In a petition filed on May 23, the families now want the European General Court to direct EU lawmaking bodies to increase the target to cut greenhouse emissions to 60 per cent by 2030 in comparison to emission levels in 1990.

“Order the Defendants to adopt measures under the three Greenhouse Gas Emissions Acts such as to reduce the level emissions of greenhouse gases covered by those Acts by at least between 50 per cent  and 60 per cent of 1990 levels by 2030,” one of the reliefs being sought in the petition dubbed the People’s Climate Case read.

The petitioners are also asking the court to give EU legislative assemblies a period within which the 40 per cent target shall be revised to forestall further deterioration of the climate.

“Order that the contested provisions shall remain in force for such limited period as the Court determines appropriate until they are replaced with emissions target levels compliant with the norms of high-rank law,” the litigants asked the court.

The petitioners have raised an alarm over extreme climatic conditions as a key impediment to their wellbeing.

In northern Kenya for instance, Guyo told the AFP news agency that extreme temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius have made it increasingly difficult to access water for livestock.

“We face more and more extreme heat in our region. This threatens our lives on several levels,” Guyo who leaves neat the Kenyan border with Ethiopia told AFP on Thursday.

“Water is missing for herding and drinking — most importantly my children’s health is in danger,” Guyo pointed out.

He added the health of his five children – Sado, Issa, Jibril, Adanoor, and Mohammed, as well as well as that of his wife Fadhe Tache – had been severely affected with the heat waves it increasingly difficult for his four school-going children to walk 1.5 kilometers to school.

“They suffer because of these extreme heat waves that we have been facing for some years now. If the situation doesn’t improve and we continue like this, we are hopeless.”

Guyo is among millions of Kenyans whose fortunes have been negatively affected by hostile climatic conditions in 2017 when 3.4 million Kenyans were reported to have been food insecure.

Multi-agency efforts to provide relief food to affected persons mostly in Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) counties were launched to prevent loss of lives.

The government also intervened with livestock offset and livestock insurance programs to cushion farmers against loses.

The offset program also provided the much need food to communities facing hunger with meat from the livestock bought by the government being supplied as relief food.

The livestock insurance has since seen an estimated 18,000 pastoral households in eight ASAL counties benefit according to Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri.

The food insecurity puzzle, however, remains largely unraveled with the number of food insecure persons in the country expected to increase to 3.9 million this year.

Other than unfavorable conditions for agriculture and livestock keeping, untamed carbon emissions are increasingly putting huge populations at risk with statistics from World Health Organization showing that a whopping 92 per cent of the global population “does not breathe sate air.”

Further, air pollution is said to be causing 570,000 deaths annually among children under the age of five.

The statistics also indicate that 56 and 98 per cent of cities in high-income countries and low-income countries respectively with more than 100,000 people do not meet WHO regulations on safe air.

The gloomy figures compelled the United Nations to recommend walking, cycling, and use of public transport to curb carbon emissions during the World Environment Day on June 5, 2017.

Under the Paris Agreement on climate change, it is hoped that global temperature rise will be maintained below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels in order to control global warming.

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