Business, academia urged on climate change solutions

The main speakers at the conference at Makerere University. PHOTO BY Stephen Otage

The private sector has been told to develop technologies to predict, detect and mitigate climate change.
This was said by Prof Ephraim Kamuntu, the Water and Environment minister, while opening the East Africa and Norway Climate Change and Business Opportunities Conference in Kampala last week.

He argued that impacts of climate change present business opportunities in the areas of renewable energy and greening the economy. “Effects of climate change are already evident in agriculture. We are experiencing variations in planting seasons, which have affected productivity,” he added, while challenging academia to conduct research on adopting to and mitigating climate change.

On his part, Prof John Ddumba-Ssentamu, the Vice Chancellor, Makerere University, revealed that due to high expenditure on water, the institution is harvesting rainwater to save on utility bills.

“The conference is an opportunity for decision makers and change agents to meet and share their perspectives on climate change mitigation, innovations and sustainable business,” noted Prof Edward Kirumira, the principal, College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The conference was convened by Norwegian Embassy and Bergen and Makerere universities under the theme “Supporting the 2015 Paris Climate Conference: Climate Change and Opportunities for Sustainable Business in East Africa”.’

At COP21, which started this week, the Ugandan delegation expects an agreement on climate change.
Ms Susan Eckey, the Norwegian ambassador, pointed out that global leaders will convene at COP21 with an aim at a legally binding and universal agreement. This is likely to change how business is run with innovation and adaptation.