CHOGM: State and Governments need to push for COP27 to address emerging issue in Africa

Climate justice experts convening on the sidelines of CHOGM in Kigali have identified the political commitment of African heads of state and governments as the missing cog in pushing COP27 to discuss issues that are a priority for Africa. The climate experts are convened by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, a leading convener of climate dialogues across Africa and beyond.

The climate justice experts are in Kigali to initiate steps to solicit the support of the African heads of states who are members of the Commonwealth as well as to seek north-south solidarity for action in advancing issues that are priorities to Africans in the discussions at the 27th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate change.

“We are here to engage and find some common ground upon which we may seek the support of not just the Commonwealth but all people and institutions of goodwill to have COP27 that carries the hope and aspirations of the African continent,” said Charles Mwangi, The Acting executive Director of PACJA in his opening remarks.

There is growing opposition on the agenda for Africa in the UNFCCC process as demonstrated in SB56, and occurring at a time when the impacts of climate change on the continent are real. The reality of climate change in Africa has in previous convenings by the African Group of Negotiators led to dubbing COP27 a ‘Climate Impact COP’ to enable strategic positioning of demands on loss and damage.

The unprecedented waves of loss and damage events across Africa coupled with inaccessible financing mechanisms for adaptation crystalize the need to address the special needs and circumstances in the UNFCCC conversation, that Africa has continued to agitate for in previous COPs and is now super urgent.

“Africa must be at the heart of climate negotiations but how this is to be achieved is neither straightforward nor immediately clear,” says Mamadou Gueye, Legal Advisor Africa Group of Negotiators. This casts a dark cloud on the negotiations and the need for Africa to arise and rethink its strategies while recasting its priorities.

“We were in SB56 and treated to dialogues and processes that were not clear on how they feed into the negotiations” asserts Prof. Shadaad

There are UNFCCC principles that have been too diluted and there is no need to negotiate where there is nothing to negotiate” added Prof. Shadaad.

Differentiated responsibility is longer working as responsibility for climate action is spread widely to all with those responsible for climate crith sis escaping accountability. The convening unanimously agreed that Africa shall negotiate in COP27 based on our needs, with adaptation and loss, and damage at the core of the agenda.

This was at the core of the discussion that the Panafrican Climate Justice Alliance, PACJA, is engaging alongside the CSOs representatives, public, private, and non-profit sectors in Kigali on the 20th of June, 2022, Rwanda at the margin of when the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

According to Charles Mwangi, the Commonwealth is a big player on the global stage and has a vibrant Climate Change Programme, which facilitates the human and institutional capacity development of member countries to access public and private climate funding to meet their Paris Agreement commitments, including the implementation of their Nationally Determined Contributions.

At the heart of the discussions and concerns around the discussions at this meeting was ensuring that the next COP27 guarantees a predictable loss and damage financing mechanism that is separate from Official Development Assistance (ODA), the Adaptation Fund, and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

The IPCC 6th Assessment Report, which was presented at the first meeting of the Glasgow Dialogue at COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland, indicates that the excess mortality rate due to sub-optimal temperatures in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be nearly double the global average. Unfortunately, rich countries who are responsible for global emissions continue to turn a blind eye to the miseries they are causing to Africa and other climate change vulnerable countries.

“Contrary to the outcomes of the recently concluded 56th session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), CHOGM must support Africa to ensure that negotiations on loss and damage are on the agenda at COP27” asserts Charles

“The UNFCC Convention and its principles and commitment if adhered to provide instruments of implementation will make this a successful COP for African people.” Mamoudou Gueye, Legal Advisor of the African Group of Negotiators shared Addressing a general overview of COP26, the expectations and Promises COP27 holds for Africa and what are the best strategies for pursuing these promises.

Prof. Shaddad, explains the long way that Africa, the civil societies and the African governments have to go to reach an ideal COP27 for Africa.

“The road is not smooth. It needs a high level of political commitment and a clear and strong African stand to make this COP a truly African COP.”  Added Prof. Shaddad.

This political commitment will foster the realization of i. gender inclusion ii. A strong financial mechanism for Loss and damage and I in achieving the Global Goal of adaptation

The CSO representatives reaffirmed that the demand of Africans to be considered as a region with specific needs and circumstances is still valid, and pledged to mobilize all parties to ensure that this is the case at COP27.

The climate justice experts rejected the carrot dangled under mitigation, opting to pursue Africa as special needs and circumstances in COP27”

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