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UK calls for improved ambition as UN finds global warming faster than previously estimated

By Ikenna Oluka

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GLobal warming, UK
  • UN report out on Monday warns we’ll likely reach 1.5 degrees warming in the next one or two decades unless we take immediate action

  • Prime Minister and COP26 President Alok Sharma call for urgent action to cut global emissions

  • UK lobbying countries to increase ambition on climate change ahead of COP26 in Glasgow in November

The UK is calling for urgent global action in response to a UN report published today on the science of climate change, that says the planet has warmed more than previously estimated.

This latest report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a stark warning from scientists around the world that human activity is damaging the planet at an alarming rate.

The report warns that climate change is already affecting every region across the globe and that without urgent action to limit warming, heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and loss of Arctic Sea ice, snow cover and permafrost, will all increase while carbon sinks will become less effective at slowing the growth of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The report highlights that cutting global emissions, starting immediately, to net zero by mid-century would give a good chance of limiting global warming to 1.5C in the long-term and help to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“Today’s report makes for sobering reading, and it is clear that the next decade is going to be pivotal to securing the future of our planet. We know what must be done to limit global warming – consign coal to history and shift to clean energy sources, protect nature and provide climate finance for countries on the frontline.

UK Prime Minister

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

“The UK is leading the way, decarbonising our economy faster than any country in the G20 over the last two decades. I hope today’s IPCC report will be a wake-up call for the world to take action now, before we meet in Glasgow in November for the critical COP26 summit.”

As extreme events are felt across the globe, from wildfires in North America to floods in China, across Europe, India and parts of Africa, and heatwaves in Siberia, COP President Alok Sharma has been negotiating with governments and businesses to increase global climate ambition and take immediate action to help halve global emissions in the next decade and reach net zero emissions by mid-century in order to keep the 1.5C goal set out in the Paris Agreement within reach.

The UK is already showing leadership with clear plans to reduce its emissions by 68% by 2030 and 78% by 2035, leading to net zero by 2050.

Today, more than 70% of the world’s economy is now covered by a net zero target – up from 30% when the UK took over as incoming COP Presidency. May saw the establishment of the first net zero G7, with all countries coming forward with 2030 emission reduction targets that put them on a pathway to reaching this goal by 2050. However, today’s report shows that more action is urgently needed.

Some progress has been made since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015. More than 85 new or updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to 2030, representing over 110 parties, have been submitted to set out how countries will cut their emissions and address the climate crisis.

In a meeting with scientists, earlier today, COP President Alok Sharma encouraged countries that have not already done so, to urgently submit new or updated NDCs with their plans for ambitious climate action ahead of the vital COP26 summit later this year in Glasgow, particularly all major economies of the G20 who are responsible for over 80% of global emissions.

In response to the report, Mr Sharma said: 

“The science is clear, the impacts of the climate crisis can be seen around the world and if we don’t act now, we will continue to see the worst effects impact lives, livelihoods and natural habitats.

“Our message to every country, government, business and part of society is simple. The next decade is decisive, follow the science and embrace your responsibility to keep the goal of 1.5C alive.

“We can do this together, by coming forward with ambitious 2030 emission reduction targets and long-term strategies with a pathway to net zero by the middle of the  century, and taking action now to end coal power, accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles, tackle deforestation and reduce methane emissions.”

UK International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

“The impacts of climate change are already affecting lives and livelihoods around the world, with increasing frequency and severity. Alongside the need to drive down emissions, this report rings the alarm to urgently help vulnerable communities adapt and build resilience – in developed and developing countries alike.

“Protecting the most vulnerable is a priority for the UK’s COP26 Presidency. World leaders must heed the science and work together to adapt to our changing climate, as well as act to avert, minimise and address loss and damage for those on the frontline.”

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Business

Bolt Launches Bolt Food Delivery Service In Nigeria

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A leading ride-hailing platform in Africa, Bolt has launched its food delivery service in Nigeria.

Bolt Food is the latest category set to offer customers competitively affordable and efficient food delivery service to customers while offering good working conditions to food couriers and profit to restaurant partners.

With over 30 million customers worldwide, Bolt has built its ride-hailing platform efficiently to offer the best service in the sector to drivers and riders, positioning the company as a leader in Nigeria’s mobility sector. The company will now extend its expertise to food delivery to advance the sector with innovation and technology.

Speaking on the launch, Bolt Nigeria’s Country Manager, Femi Akin-Laguda, said, “We are excited to launch Bolt Food, which will allow Nigerians to order food from their favourite restaurants and receive it quickly and safely at their home or office.”

“Our ride-hailing business is built on efficiency and easing mobility for riders while offering drivers a flexible opportunity to earn more income. Bolt is eager to bring this approach to food delivery and ensure that our partner restaurants benefit from our loyal customer base.

This is also a way for us to augment the earning opportunities for Nigerians by contributing to the gig economy. We will ensure that it is worthwhile for couriers on the platform like drivers have benefited from our ride-hailing platform,” Femi concluded.

The entrance of Bolt Food to Nigeria will help restaurants have a broader reach to customers, with Bolt acting as a reliable platform for affordable delivery and efficient service. At the initial stage of the launch, customers can only place food orders from more than 100 restaurants in Lagos Island. Bolt is looking to add new restaurants to the app daily while also expanding to other parts of Lagos soon.

To place an order, users can download the Bolt Food application on their smartphone, with an array of different restaurants and available menu options to choose from. The application also provides customers with various price ranges and an estimated delivery time. Initially payments will be paid by cash, and customers can specify the location for contactless delivery drop-offs upon order arrival.

Bolt Food was first launched in Estonia in August 2019. The service is also available in South Africa, Ghana and Kenya. Restaurants and couriers can sign up on the website food.bolt.eu.

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Agriculture

We Need ₦140bn For Ranching In Kaduna State – El-Rufai

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Kaduna State will need at least ₦140 billion for 14 ranches to fully settle herders and their families in the state, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said.

He revealed this recently during an interactive session with journalists in Abuja when asked the measure needed for sustainable boost to livestock productions.

“It is not a matter of populist legislation or saying that tomorrow this or that; it is not the solution. We have taken a position as northern states governors and we are implementing that,” he said.

“We cannot do it overnight. We need billions of naira. This is just one ranch that is costing N10 billion. I have 14 grazing reserves in Kaduna State and I would like to convince them into ranching. Do I have 14 times N10 billion? I don’t have.”

“In my state for instance, we are developing a huge ranch at Damao to centralise the herders and that is the solution (on the) long term. But can it be done overnight? No. This project that we are doing will cost us about ₦10 billion. The CBN is supporting us with about ₦7.5 billion and [it] will take about two years to do.”

While El-Rufai maintained that ranching remains the recipe for the recurring farmer-herder conflict in the country, he described the anti-grazing law enacted by some of his colleagues as unrealistic.

According to him, although ranching is the ideal solution to the problem, it cannot be done overnight. He urged those pushing for the immediate ban on open grazing to exercise patience as time and resources are required to have ranches across the country.

“We will be settling about 1,500 Fulani herders’ families and [I] hope they will see that there are alternative ways of producing livestock instead of running up and down with cattle and going to people’s farms and causing all kinds of problems,” Governor El-Rufai added.

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Agriculture

Releaf Secures $4.2M Seed Funding To Drive Food Industrialisation In Africa

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Releaf, an agtech start-up that develops proprietary hardware and software solutions that makes African farmers and food factories more efficient and profitable, has raised $2.7 million seed funding in a round led by Samurai Incubate Africa, Future Africa and Consonance Investment Managers with participation from Stephen Pagliuca, Chairman of Bain Capital and Justin Kan (Twitch).

Releaf also secured $1.5 million in grants from The Challenge Fund for Youth Employment (CFYE) and USAID.

The seed funding will enable the development of industrial food processing technology in Nigeria’s smallholder-driven Oil Palm sector while the grant will enable Releaf to provide working capital and other value-added services for smallholders and small-scale processors.

Grant funding will support the training, recruitment and retention of more women and youth in Nigeria Oil Palm sector through the creation of both digital and technical jobs.

Nigeria’s oil palm industry is dominated by smallholder farmers, with 80 percent of local market share. However, production rates are low because many still rely on ineffective processes for de-shelling, including the use of rocks and inappropriate hardware.

These ineffective processes also lead to low quality palm kernels which are largely unfit as input for high quality vegetable oil manufacturing. As a result, food factories are unable to purchase these raw materials and operate significantly under capacity.

On average, food factories have 3X more installed capacity than utilization, which impacts the cost of food and hampers further investment into processing capacity.

Releaf acts as a bridge between smallholder farmers and food manufacturing companies with its proprietary patent-pending machinery, Kraken.

Kraken can process any quality of palm nut into premium quality (95 percent purity) inputs for food factories. Releaf’s software connects the start-up to more than 2,000 smallholder farmers, ensuring consistent, large-scale supply. While palm kernel oil production is not foreign to Nigeria, Releaf’s technology and scale means it can process 500 tonnes of palm nuts per week.

The software offerings also allow the start-up to receive inbound supply requests from farmers via USSD, provide working capital financing as well as collect proprietary data on supply availability.

Speaking about the new funding, Ikenna Nzewi, CEO and co-founder of Releaf, said, “our mandate is to industrialize Africa’s food processing industry. This round of funding enables us to develop and prove our technology with smallholder farmers in the oil palm sector. Given Nigerians spend ~60 percent of their income on food and Africa’s population is set to increase by 100,000 people per day over the next three decades, we’re presented with an incredible opportunity to feed more people, reduce consumer costs, and supply the fastest-growing food market in the world.

Releaf is committed to harnessing technology to accelerate the economic wealth of rural, agrarian societies throughout the Continent. We firmly believe that a robust real economy is the foundation for long-lasting and shared prosperity for Africans and are excited to deepen partnerships with like-minded organizations, governments, and firms.”

This new funding will enable better productivity and accelerate the eradication of the menial and archaic processes that are prevalent across Nigeria’s oil palm sector and the agriculture sector as a whole. It will also enable Releaf to drive more value and profitability across the oil palm value chain, as well as support direct and ancillary job creation in the farming communities of South and Eastern Nigeria.

Rena Yoneyama, Managing Partner at Samurai Incubate Africa who led the round commented, “Releaf’s novel approach to operating within the value chain with proprietary technology set it aside from many agtech startups we have spoken to. We believe the firm’s thesis on decentralizing food processing would have a strong match with Africa’s economic development landscape for the next few decades.

Ikenna and Uzo are the perfect founders to disrupt this market in Nigeria and beyond. We are thrilled to back them as they innovate in providing both agro-processing and financial services to rural communities and farmers.”

Iyin Aboyeji, General Partner at Future.Africa noted, “more than 50% of the goods in supermarkets globally contain glycerine – an extract made from palm oil – a cash crop that is passed down from generation to generation.

The team at Releaf is building the agro-allied industry of the future from the ground up starting with palm oil which they have developed novel technology to aggregate, deshell and process into critical ingredients like vegetable oil and glycerine. Future Africa is delighted to back Releaf to build the future of modern agriculture”

Dr. Nneka Enwonwu, Country Relationship Manager, from The Challenge Fund for Youth Employment (CFYE) said, “We are thrilled to partner with Releaf on their mission to improve efficiency and profitability for farmers and food factories in Africa.

The founders’ vision and the team’s enthusiasm gave us confidence that Releaf will deliver real value for rural communities and create digital/technical jobs for women and youth. We are looking forward to their results and success over the coming years and continuing to support their work.”

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