America’s pledge is about more than pollution

By Karl Mathiesen in Bonn | Published on 13/11/2017 | 10:49 AM |

US mayors and governors want to show the world they stand by US commitments, but to their African counterparts solidarity means cash.


“We can’t get [climate finance],” says Célestine Ketcha Courtès, mayor of Bangangté in Cameroon (Photo: UN Climate Change)

The presence of US cities and states at UN climate talks in Bonn has been big, brash and supercharged with billionaire cash.

In a bouncy castle-like dome on Saturday night, mayors, governors and activists repeated their mantra – “we are still in”. Branded America’s Pledge, the sideshow is an attempt to convince the world that the US will stand by its commitments to the Paris climate deal.

House music, champagne and confidence – paid for by Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer and others – flowed in equally neurotic proportion.

Sunday morning, 9am, back to reality. Climate Home News is drinking black coffee with Solly Msimanga, the mayor of Tshwane – the municipal region that contains the South Africa’s administrative capital Pretoria.

Msimanga is standing on the lip of one of the great demographic shifts happening on earth, the urbanisation of Africa.

From 3 million today, Tshwane will double in size by the middle of the century, he predicts, although no-one really knows. Every year, 10,000 new families move into the city, many migrating from Zimbabwe or Mozambique.

From Bonn: Bloomberg demands seat at UN climate negotiating table for cities and states

This population shift is happening across the continent. Africa’s cities are expected to triple in size by 2050, sending energy demand and pollution soaring.

“There is a danger and an opportunity in how we plan going forward,” says Msimanga. “The more developed countries are dealing with monsters built years ago.” But he says Africa’s mayors could leapfrog those problems, if they heed the warnings.

That means reinventing the wheel. Many old modes of urbanisation are defunct and much of the knowledge of how to green a city is tied up in the giant retrofitting process only just beginning in the cobbled alleyways of Europe and suburbs of the US.

“It’s not going to be an easy task, it’s not going to be a cheap task,” says Msimanga.

Climate finance, which the rich world has acknowledged it owes to the poor for causing climate change, isn’t simply a justice issue. It’s also preventative.

By the end of this century, if all Africans have the carbon footprint of South Africans (who currently have the highest emissions on the continent) it would add 1C to the global temperature. How Africa’s cities grow will make a huge difference to all of us.

Report: Poor countries spending climate cash on rich world consultants

Yet under Donald Trump, the US has said it will renege on $2bn it has promised to the Green Climate Fund – the UN’s major conduit for climate funding. That money is the glue that holds the Paris deal together, yet it features little in the fine words offered by the US dissenters in Bonn. The mayors and governors are preoccupied with how much they can do to cut their own emissions without federal help.

In Jakarta, already a megacity, there is little public appetite for attempts to cut down on carbon emissions, says its deputy governor for spatial planning and environment Oswar Mudzin Mungkasa, especially if they pose a threat to the economy.

Every day, 3 million commuters grind in and out of the city. The resulting air pollution is tangible and has spurred the government to spend money on mass public transport.

Industrial pollution sources, like coal power, have been moved out of the city into surrounding countryside. But not shut down. It would be impossible for the city to talk seriously about spending public funds on cleaner alternatives, says Mungkasa.

“It’s difficult for us to reduce carbon pollution because it is something new. Because we are talking about people who are looking for a job,” he says.

Célestine Ketcha Courtès, the mayor of the small city of Bangangté in Cameroon and president of the Network for Locally Elected Women of Africa, says access to climate finance is essential as cities like her own prepare for the boom.

“But we can’t get it. Mayors, cities, they can’t get it,” she says.

Report: Seattle pledges support for climate fund barred by Trump

There are problems with the structure of the Green Climate Fund in getting money to the cities and institutions that need it and know best how to use it.

But there is also just $10bn pledged to the fund, which falls to $8bn with the US reneging.

The Centre for American Progress reports that each $1bn given to the GCF could prevent almost half a billion tonnes of carbon pollution each year and also help 55 million people be better prepared to face the impacts of climate change.

The need to address this side of America’s pledge to Paris is being discussed. In Massachusetts the legislature is working through legislation that will add a voluntary donation to the GCF’s sister fund, the Adaptation Fund, to resident’s income tax forms. The city of Seattle has passed a resolution to uphold its portion of the bargain.

And there was a conversation in the alternative US pavilion on Saturday, says Dan Zarilli, the mastermind of New York’s plan to go carbon neutral by 2050.

“It’s really hard for local or state officials to make those direct contributions, but there may be some kind of crowdsourcing there may be some other philanthropy that can fill some of that gap. Probably nowhere near to a $2bn federal void that’s just been left. But there is at least some conversation happening,” he said.

Climate Home News’ reporting at Cop23 is supported in part by the European Climate Foundation.

Article Disclaimer: This article originally appeared on Climate Home News and was retrieved on 01/17/2018 and republished here for information and educational purposes only. The views and contents of the article remain those of the authors. We will not be held accountable for the reliability and accuracy of the materials. If you need additional information on the published contents and materials, please contact the original authors and publisher. Please cite the authors, original source, and INDESEEM INCORPORATED accordingly. If you have any question or concern, please send us an email at

Career Opportunity: The International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT) seeks applications for a Science officer

Closing date extended to 15 January 2015. The International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT) seeks applications for a Science officer, CCAFS West Africa based at ICRISAT Bamako – Mali.

Closing date extended to 15 January 2015. The International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT) seeks applications for a Science officer, CCAFS West Africa based at ICRISAT Bamako – Mali.

CCAFS aims to address the increasing challenge of global warming and declining food security on agricultural practices, policies and measures through a strategic collaboration between CGIAR and Future Earth. CCAFS brings together the world’s best researchers in agricultural science, climate science, environmental and social sciences to identify and address the most important interactions, synergies and trade-offs between climate change and agriculture. CCAFS is structured around four closely inter-linked global research flagships: Climate-smart agricultural practices; Climate information services and climate-informed safety nets; Low-emissions agricultural development; and Policies and institutions for climate-resilient food systems. The Program is focusing on five regions: South-East Asia, South Asia, Latin America, East Africa and West Africa. For more information visit

The incumbent will report to CCAFS Regional Program Leader (RPL), and  will be a member of the ICRISAT multi-disciplinary team.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Handling administrative tasks for the CCAFS regional program for West Africa, especially with regards to the development and advancement of partnerships;
  • Monitoring budget implementation and fund disbursement according to contracts with partners;
  • Monitoring the execution of CCAFS research activities with partners in the sub‐region;
  • Developing the CCAFS West Africa yearly work plan and budget;
  • Liaising with other CCAFS science officers for specific CCAFS-WA contributions to CCAFS global level initiatives;
  • Reviewing reports and project-related documentation from partners;
  • Synthesizing knowledge and contributing to strategic research of interest to CCAFS within own areas of expertise;
  • Handling logistics for and actively participating in workshops, meetings and capacity‐building activities;
  • Fund raising through development of research projects in collaboration where possible, with partners;
  • Representing CCAFS (and the Regional Program Leader) in national, regional and international meetings, and helping to develop and maintain collaborative relationships;

Required Qualifications and Skills:

  • PhD in agricultural science, environmental science, or related discipline with 3-5 years post-doctoral experience;
  • Relevant work experience in program/project management/administration, including planning and monitoring of project execution;
  • Good skills on participatory action research and smallholder farming systems in West Africa, climate related risks, and the use of research to achieving development outcomes;
  • Excellent communication skills in French and English;
  • Demonstrated excellent writing skills, and ability to write synthesis reports as well as to publish in peer reviewed international journals;
  • Ability to work independently, manage multiple tasks with diverse multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.

How to apply

Applicants should apply on or before 15 January 2015, with a letter of motivation, latest Curriculum Vitae, and names and contact information of three references that are knowledgeable of the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience. All applications will be acknowledged, however only short listed candidates will be contacted.

Please  CLICK HERE to submit your application.

The Reward:

This is an internationally recruited staff position with an attractive and competitive salary and benefits package payable in US dollars. The contract will be initially for a period of two years and extendable depending on performance of the incumbent and funding availability. An attractive compensation will be offered to the right candidate.

ICRISAT is an equal opportunity employer and is especially interested in increasing the participation of women on its staff.

Photo taken during interviews with farmers in Mali by Peter Caiser.

UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office — Chevening Scholarships 2015-2016


Welcome to the Chevening Scholarships website

Chevening Scholarships are the UK government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations. The programme makes awards to outstanding scholars with leadership potential from around the world to study postgraduate courses at universities in the UK.

The Chevening programme was established in 1983 and has developed into a prestigious international scheme. Chevening Scholars come from more than 150 countries and territories worldwide (excluding the USA and the EU), and this year the Scholarships will support more than 1500 individuals. There are over 43,000 Chevening alumni around the world who together comprise an influential and highly regarded global network.

The programme provides full or part funding for full-time courses at postgraduate level, normally a one-year Master’s degree, in any subject and at any UK university.

Apply for a Chevening Scholarship

To apply for a Chevening Award you will need to submit an application through our online application system.

How to apply for a Chevening Award

Follow these six steps to apply for a Chevening Award:

  1. Read this important information about your application before you apply
  2. Select your country from the drop down menu below
  3. Select the Chevening Award you wish to apply for (only the award categories open in your country will appear)
  4. Answer the pre-screen questions to see if you’re eligible for a Chevening Award
  5. Create an account
  6. Complete each section of the online application form

Apply for a Chevening Award

Select your country from the menu below to begin your application.

 Please Select… 
Antigua and Barbuda
Bosnia and Herzegovina
British Virgin Islands
Burkina Faso
Cape Verde
Cayman Islands
Central African Republic
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
DR Congo
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Falkland Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
Guinea Bissau
Hong Kong
New Zealand
Papua New Guinea
Republic of Korea
Republic of Marshall Islands
Sao Tome and Principe
Sierra Leone
Solomon Islands
South Africa
South Caucasus
South Sudan
Sri Lanka
St Helena
St Kitts and Nevis
St Lucia
St Vincent & Grenadines
The Gambia
The Maldives
The Occupied Palestinian Territories
Timor Leste
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos

Already started your application?

To continue your saved application:

  1. Select your country from the drop down menu above
  2. Select ‘login’ in the right hand corner of the online application form
  3. Enter your login details
  4. Continue your saved application

About the online application form

  • Read our application form guidance for more details on each of the ten sections
  • You can only submit one application each year and only your first application will be accepted
  • You can save your application at any time, and log in to complete it later
  • Once you have submitted your application, you cannot change your answers to the questions
  • Paper applications will not be accepted

Applications close 15 November at 23:59 GMT

Please visit this link for more details: 

Fall 2014 Call for Applications for U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security



October 1, 2014

Program Description:

The program is generously funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with an aim to boost the number of future leaders and decision-makers who have the scientific base needed to effectively study and promote sustainable food systems. The U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security program is implemented by the Purdue University Center for Global Food Security.

This program supports exceptional U.S. graduate students conducting research on topics related to USAID’s global hunger and food security initiative—Feed the Future. All topics that relate to food security and are linked to the research strategies of the Feed the Future initiative are eligible. Applicants must focus their food security related graduate research in a single, developing country context and collaborate with a mentor from an International Agricultural Research Center (IARC), or a qualifying National Agricultural Research System (NARS) unit. Two application cycles are held annually, in the Spring and Fall semesters.

Award Benefits:

Grants for 6-month long international research stays have a maximum value of USD 15,000. Grants for 1-year long international research stays have a maximum value of USD 20,000. Grants for 2-year long international research stays have a maximum value of USD 40,000. Students are expected to stay in the host country for the majority of the time (85%) with some time available for short-term absences. Year long research grants may be split into two, 6- month long stays over a period of no more than 18 months. Grant funds are not intended to cover all costs of the proposed research, and applicants are expected to leverage additional funding in support of their graduate work. Additional state-side support upon completion of field research can also be requested for a period of up to 4 months.

Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must be a U.S. citizen and must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. graduate program.

To Apply:

Submit a completed application by Monday, November 10, 2014, 11:59 p.m. Eastern time to Application instructions and forms are available online.

Application Form
Project Narrative
Budget, Budget Justification & Project Timeline Form
Proof of Citizenship
Institutional letters of support from the submitting university and participating IARC/NARC
Letter of approval from submitting university’s sponsored programs office
Two letters of recommendation
Review of Applications:

Awards are made on a competitive basis to students who show strong scientific foundation and possess leadership potential, propose a well-coordinated research plan that clearly articulates concepts and objectives that are innovative and feasible, and demonstrate a commitment to international development. A selection committee will review applications and the top-ranked applicants may be interviewed before a final selection is made. Applicants will be notified of their status by December 22, 2014.

Bookmark and Share

Contact Details

Pamela McClure
(765) 494-5441
More Information

U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security Program

Funding Opportunity in Climate Change, Food, and Farming Research

Source: CLIFF students 2013-06-19 08.22.34 B del Campo

Source: CLIFF students 2013-06-19 08.22.34 B del Campo

The Climate Food and Farming (CLIFF) Research Network invites applications from students from developing countries currently enrolled in PhD programs for short-term scientific training and research stays at CGIAR research centers.
Applicants should have a background in agriculture and climate change research and an interest in mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. We especially seek students with experience with crop-livestock systems.

Selected students will be sponsored for short-term (3-4 month) scientific training and research stays at CGIAR centers or affiliated research institutions in their home regions. (Scientific stays to non-CGIAR centers will be considered if justified.)

During their tenure at the host institutions, students will learn approaches used in the Standard Assessment of Mitigation Potential and Livelihoods in Smallholder Systems (SAMPLES) research program to evaluate options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from smallholder systems and the changes in productivity and livelihood indicators associated with alternative practices. The techniques that may be studied include (but are not limited to) remote sensing, economic surveys, and measurement of greenhouse gas emissions. Topics will depend on student and host institution scientist interests.

Applications are invited for training and travel grants of up to 10,000 USD. The grants will be used to support living and research costs at the host institution for short stays (3-4 months) to take place in 2015. It is important to note that these grants will not necessarily be to support participants’ own research, but to facilitate training on techniques and methods being applied in CCAFS research.

Application requirements

The application must include the following documents merged into one pdf file:

1-2 page motivation letter (described below).
1-page curriculum vitae that includes your contact details.
Letter of support from your university supervisor.
All applications must be in English.

The motivation letter, no more than two A4 pages, must include:

Your name, citizenship and the country where you are conducting your graduate study.
The objectives of your graduate study.
Linkages between your study and the SAMPLES program.
Any other relevant research experience.
Justification for the short-term scientific visit. How will scientific training with the SAMPLES program improve your graduate research?
Eligibility and conditions

Applicants must be currently enrolled PhD students.
Applicants must be students from and conducting their research in a developing country. For this call, we include all countries NOT listed as “high income economies” in this World Bank database.
The grant money should be used to finance the short-term scientific visit, NOT tuition or other fees related to the degree.
Scientific visits must take place during 2015.

Applications must be submitted on or before the 30th of September 2014. To submit your application and for any questions, please contact the coordinator of the CLIFF network, Tanka Kandel, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Email:


Successful applicants will be notified by email by December 2014 and will be invited to attend a CLIFF-funded workshop in early 2015.

Potential host centers and topics

The following CGIAR centers have indicated their willingness to host students to collaborate on the described research projects, all of which are related to SAMPLES. If you have previous experience or interests related to one of the projects described below, please indicate this in your motivation letter.


Research locations: Kenya, Uganda, or Tanzania

CGIAR host center: International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Center for

International Forestry Research (CIFOR), or World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF)

Topic: Combining mitigation potential from the livestock sector with LED pathways

Emissions from livestock production systems dominate the greenhouse gas budgets of East Africa. Gaps and uncertainties in our knowledge – of emission rates, mitigation opportunities, incentives to change practice, and institutions that enable adoption – slow down the transition toward low emissions development in the livestock sector, the best opportunity for mitigation in the region. This project integrates social and biophysical research, including surveys, ethnography, spatial and mechanistic modeling, and targeted GHG measurements, to co-define with stakeholders landscape mitigation leverage points, supportive social constructs, and national priorities in order to inform ongoing climate change policy processes in Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya.


Research locations: Costa Rica or Colombia

CGIAR host centers: International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) or World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)

Topic: Supporting low emissions development planning for the cattle sector through best-fit mitigation options and informed policy

The aim of this research is to explore mitigation options and approaches for producing more milk and meat and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensities between 15% to 30% for milk, beef, and dual purpose systems mostly via decreased enteric fermentation and increased soil carbon accumulation from pastures.

A combination of GHG measurement approaches (poly tunnels/GASMET/in vitro) and established empirical relationships based on feed intake and proxies for GHG emissions will be used. This approach will contribute towards development of cost-effective methods for measurement that support evaluation of mitigation options and identification of incentives for adoption of practices in the cattle sector.


Research location: Viet Nam

CGIAR host center: International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). Center for

International Forestry Research (CIFOR), WorldFish, or International Rice Research

Institute (IRRI)

Topic: Identification and implementation support of mitigation priorities and opportunities in rice-dominated landscapes

Policy makers need precise information for prioritizing mitigation interventions. While there have been several attempts to estimate greenhouse gas emissions from Vietnamese agriculture, this project will use state-of-the-art models in combination with new spatial and temporal information derived from other projects. This will include an analysis of hotspots of emissions, with different emission sources (lowland and upland production systems, livestock systems) and potential sinks (afforestation of degraded land) as well as spatially explicit evaluation of mitigation options. Methods used in this project will include primarily spatial analysis and modeling, not field measurements. Students interested in working on this project will ideally have some experience with computer modeling.


Research location: India

CGIAR host center: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)

Topic: Quantification of GHG emission in contrasting tillage, residue and nutrient management scenarios in wheat and rice-based cropping systems

This project continues GHG measurements in long-term trials of wheat- and rice-based cropping systems under a range of crop establishment, cropping sequence, residue management and nutrient management regimes and in different agro-ecological conditions in the Indo-Gangetic plain.


Research location: Philippines, Viet Nam, Lao PDR, or Cambodia

CGIAR host center: International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)

Topic: Mitigation strategies in rice production

Alternate-Wetting-and-Drying (AWD) is a rice management strategy that reduces water use and greenhouse gas emissions. It has great potential as a mitigation strategy with co-benefits for crop performance, but uptake has been slow. This project will address the problem of slow uptake of AWD and other mitigation options by providing a comprehensive methodology for assessing and strengthening co-benefits of mitigation. Questions to be addressed include:

· How do the gendered patterns of interaction and degree of integration of women into decision making influence collective action to adopt mitigation technology?

· What is the economic input/output ratio of different mitigation options (incl. labor) and how could these practices be made more profitable and socially acceptable?

· Given that water savings may not always be an incentive per se, what other features of improved irrigation techniques can render the buy-in required for farmers’ adoption?


The Climate Food and Farming (CLIFF) Research Network is a collaborative initiative of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the Universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus. The Network aims to build the capacity of young scientists, generate novel climate change research on smallholder farming systems, and facilitate South-South knowledge exchange. Each year, starting in 2011, CLIFF has provided small grants to support PhD research and training on topics related to SAMPLES, which is also a program of CCAFS.

The SAMPLES program

SAMPLES is a global research program that investigates the impact of smallholder agriculture on the climate. Currently, extremely limited data are available on greenhouse gas emissions and removals from smallholder production systems. The dearth of information constrains the transition to low emissions agricultural development. SAMPLES aims to generate robust and comparable data on greenhouse gas emissions and livelihood indicators for smallholder farming systems. Activities within the SAMPLES program are carried out by a network of researchers at several CGIAR centers.

Other activities

Grant recipients automatically become members of the CLIFF network, which provides networking and collaborative opportunities with fellow students and leading experts.

More information



CLIFF network

Please visit these websites before preparing your application.

%d bloggers like this: