The European Union (EU) has announced up to Shs 232 billion to finance Uganda’s climate change contributions.
The money is part of a seven-year commitment plan to support the country achieve its environmental protection targets. The money is meant to support different interventions to boost afforestation, and biodiversity in the Karamoja region as well as climate information agendas in the country, according to Nadia Cannata, the first secretary, and head of section, sustainable development at the European Union Commission in Uganda.
According to the breakdown, over Shs 155 billion is earmarked for the forestry sector, Shs 58 billion for climate change information, and Shs 19 billion for biodiversity in Karamoja. Cannata explains that the funding was provided under the European Union global climate protection policy also known as the Green Deal Policy, which encompasses all the work done for sustainable green economic growth among nations, from the climate financing docket.
“We do this in Europe and also in partner countries all over the world, through strategies we build together with the governments, and private sectors of each country, but we also have regional ones. To be more ambitious, we developed a strategy of green and climate transition in Uganda, under which we have priorities we want to push together, like more climate financing and forest protection, promoting eco-tourism and construction of sustainable cities,” she said.
Uganda is ranked as the 13th most vulnerable country to climate change in the world. During the Norte Dame Global Adaptation Initiative 2021, Uganda committed to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol as well as the Paris Agreement of 2015.
According to information from the ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda requires up to Shs 105 trillion to meet its revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) to climate change by 2030 and commits to domestically mobilize Shs 15 trillion.
Cannata says that climate financing is a priority in the EU working relations with Uganda, and under the new strategy it is looked at under different entry points, and enshrined into the new 7 years program whose implantation is starting next year.
"We are looking at it from 180 degrees, from the national public intervention level, and the private sector funding to support climate change operations. We support the government on policies and regulations development, and for the private sector we provide funding for different projects and technical assistance on how to implement the green economy we are doing all these to help Uganda achieve its NDCs for the global good,” Cannata said.
She revealed this during awarding ceremony for the winners of the European Union Youth Climate Change Quiz trivia held at the EU offices in Kampala, which ran on social media from December 1-8, 2022. Cannata explained that the quiz is part of climate change diplomacy since it opens up climate change information to the broader society, rather than concealing it to a little few who are the most concerned.
“Climate diplomacy, is yet another issue we agreed on, and this involves sharing climate protection information, to give visibility to the climate protection topic, as well as finding the means on how to reach out to a bigger number part of the society, to take part in the climate protection fight, because most of the climate protection activities are very individual based," said Cannata.
Sarah Mazirwe, the quiz grand winner, said that it gave her an opportunity to spread environmental conservation information among her social media counterpart, and others around her.
“There is a need for mindset change among the youth when it comes to climate change issues because many of us think it doesn’t concern us yet we are the future who must take up this challenge, and also understand that climate change is real,” she said.