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Nigel Topping visits Uganda

Nigel Topping, UK High Level Climate Change Champion poses with Ministry Officials and Climate youth activists at the British High Commission Kampala.

Kampala, Uganda | Patricia Akankwatsa | Nigel Topping, the United Kingdom’s High-Level Climate Change Champion on 20th May was in Uganda for a one-day visit.

His visit was about the UK’s commitment to carry forward the actions from COP26 as we countdown to COP27.

During his visit, he had a meeting with representatives from the Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda Cities and Infrastructure Growth, Ugandan climate youth activists and CEOs from central commercial banks to understand the climate situation in Uganda.

At the meeting, Topping said that he was excited about Uganda’s focus on climate and environment issues and also encouraged by the stakeholders, who shared interventions that he believes will be key to tackling climate change in Uganda.

“The UK remains a strong ally of Uganda in the fight against climate change,“ he said. The highlight of his visit was a panel discussion with climate youth activists on what more needs to be done to tackle climate change globally and in Uganda.

During the panel discussion, Mohammed Ssemambo, the Principal Climate Change Officer (Assistant Commissioner level) Ministry of Water and Environment at the Government of Uganda said that we need to break the ice of communication and talk about climate change resilience.

“We need mechanisms to achieve conditional and unconditional targets that affect climate change, that is supporting the financing gap.”

Damali Ssali, the Chief Programmes and Projects Officer at Private Sector Foundation Uganda said that the youth have shown interest in climate change and we should figure out a way to finance them.

“Financing is there but there are certain requirements they have to meet and some are not favourable. I suggest we find ways to make these finances accessible to them.”

Juliet Grace Luwedde, the East Africa Regional Coordinator for the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change in Uganda said that everyone now is interested in climate change but we are going about it the wrong way.

“In the past, everyone was all about sexual reproductive health but now attention has shifted to climate change space but the information is limited,” she said.

“We need capacity building in understanding climate issues and address them,” she added.

The negative impacts of climate change in Uganda are clear, with irregular weather and increased rains causing significant loss of life and livelihoods dependent on natural capital.

The UK has partnered with Uganda to develop climate-resilient technologies, harnessing expertise and innovation to find solutions that ensure Uganda is adapting for the future. For example, the WISER programme led by the UK is supporting better access to climate and weather information services aimed to support 198,000 farmers to reduce their vulnerability to climatic hazards.

Following COP26 held in November 2021 in Glasgow in the UK, and the ambitions that were set out by various countries, Topping’s visit emphasises the UK’s resolve to tackle climate change and to continue to engage with countries to find solutions to the climate crisis. As highlighted at COP26, mobilising finance is key to delivering our climate goals.

The UK is focused on supporting Uganda in accessing both private and public finance to realise opportunities for green growth and create a resilient and adaptive environment for the growing population to thrive.

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