Today, we celebrate Earth Day, which is an opportunity to highlight all the significant steps we have taken at MEDA to make the earth more livable for ourselves and future generations. It’s also an opportunity to highlight the steps we need to continue to ensure that climate change’s worst effects do not occur.
In line with this day, on April 4th, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Sixth Assessment Report on Climate Change Mitigation. It assessed climate change mitigation processes and pledges and further discussed developments in emission reductions and impacts on long-term emission goals.
The report outlined several key findings, including:
- Net human-caused greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have continued to rise from 2010 to 2019
- All major sectors show an increase in GHG emissions from 2010
- Warming will likely exceed 1.5°C in the 21st century based on previous national promises/pledges
- Climate mitigation policies and laws have expanded since the last report
- Major transitions are required to reduce emissions from all energy sectors
MEDA is doing its part to minimize climate change and help create a more livable world through its Environment and Climate Change (ECC) initiatives. These are active in several of its global projects, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Nicaragua, and Senegal, with ECC being a core component of each project’s design. We have strived to be more environmentally sustainable in our projects for over twenty years. Some of our past Environment and Climate Change (ECC) work include releasing our first Environmental Sustainability Policy statement in 1999, having our first environmental impact assessment training in 2001, and incorporating environmental components into our projects in Zambia and Senegal.
MEDA is pleased to be making solid strides in integrating sustainability by having a green team and developing ideas and strategies to reach its sustainability goals by joining the Centre for Sustainable Climate Solutions Advisory Council last year. This year, it also became a member of Sustainable Waterloo Region (SWR)’s Regional Sustainability Initiative as an Observing Organization. Through the latter’s membership, MEDA will gain access to an extensive member network to learn best practices to create a culture of sustainability that will engage employees as advocates as they look to set ambitious and realistic sustainability targets.
This year, MEDA participated in Regional Sustainability Initiative’s Carbon Cleanse Challenge, a friendly annual competition to reduce organizations and their employees’ environmental impacts and test their knowledge about sustainability. MEDA’s Green team helped organize and implement this 4-week event that took place between March 28th- and April 22nd, with different focus topics each week: Energy, Water, Waste, and Transportation. These challenges were provided weekly by the Regional Sustainability Initiative to encourage us, as an organization, to reduce our environmental footprint. We received great engagement across our organization, with our MEDA Nigeria team leading the organization in terms of participation. Some of the most popular challenges that MEDA staff completed included Project Neutral’s carbon footprint calculator, Home Water Works’ water footprint calculator, the Uncooked Meal Day, and the Walk or Roll to Work challenge.
MEDA is committed to mitigating the harmful effects of climate change by promoting sustainable agriculture and business practices for farmers and entrepreneurs. Through this practice, farmers and entrepreneurs can increase their productivity, adapt to climate change, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and help protect biodiversity and natural ecosystems. We’re pleased to continue doing our part by building upon our over twenty-year effort to make our offices and projects more sustainable and encourage you to check out the hashtag #CarbonCleanseWR on social media.