Climate Change (54)

LIBREVILLE, Gabon (PAMACC News) - Ahead of the writing of the Paris rulebook and preparations for the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue, Major Groups attending this year’s Pre-AMCEN sessions have called on African governments to take stock of the current status of implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and identify barriers that need to be addressed with a view to enhancing ambition beyond what currently exists as NDCs.
Speaking at the African civil society workshop heralding the 16th session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment in Libreville, Gabon, Sam Ogallah of the Pan African Justice Alliance (PACJA) stressed the need for the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue (FD2018) to specifically highlight potential opportunities where countries can increase their ambition.
“The FD2018 process, should as matter of priority recognize that collective ambition in current NDCs remains inadequate to pursue effort to limit warming to 1.5°C or 2°C. It should enhance ambition and commitment from Parties to make new pledges and submit updated or new NDCs ahead of 2020 which should be sufficiently ambitious to close the emission gap, and identify what further work is needed to enable countries to enhance their ambition, especially in countries with lower capabilities” he said.
According to Ogallah, “African leaders must use the FD2018 to leverage lessons and best practices, in identifying ways to overcome barriers and opportunities to enhance the enabling environment, and engage in win-win climate and sustainable actions for Africa.”
Robert Chimambo of the Zambian Climate Change Network (ZCCN) believes that the facilitative dialogue provides “a veritable opportunity to collectively look into options on how current NDCs can be revised and new ambition generated to strengthen individual Parties’ contributions by 2020.”
Chimambo called on African ministers and negotiators to identify ways in which Parties could implement climate action in areas not covered by their NDC or surpass the ambition level outlined therein while exploring ways of fast-tracking the implementation of NDCs and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Many of the stakeholders who addressed the workshop urged African leaders, mayors, negotiators, private sectors, and other non-state actors to engage fully into the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue, and lead or champion specific actions and initiatives in various sectors.
They also called for the inclusion of non-Party stakeholders who are always at the front-lines of implementation in the facilitative dialogue’s examination of barriers and opportunities for greater ambition.
According to the African Major Groups, action from non-state actors can contribute to the achievement of NDCs, and can also increase their level of ambition.
2018 Facilitative Dialogue
The Conference of the Parties (COP) at its 21st session in Paris decided to conduct a Facilitative Dialogue in conjunction with the 22nd session of the COP to assess the progress in implementing certain COP decisions.
These decisions border on identifying relevant opportunities to enhance the provision of financial resources, including for technology development and transfer, and capacity-building support, with a view to identifying ways to enhance the ambition of mitigation efforts by all Parties, including identifying relevant opportunities to enhance the provision and mobilisation of support and enabling environments.
According to the UNFCCC, the first part of the Facilitative Dialogue will offer space for an assessment of progress made, with regard to the enhancement of pre-2020 ambition, and the provision of means of implementation.
It will also provide opportunities to exchange relevant information on all aspects to be addressed in this Facilitative Dialogue, and particularly provide the space to showcase specific case studies or initiatives related to ambition and the provision of support.
The FD2018 will be a focal point of COP23 in November this year as it is mandated to take stock of the collective efforts of Parties towards the Paris Agreement’s long-term goal in Article 4 and to inform the preparation of nationally determined contributions (NDCs), the next round of which are due by 2020.

LIBREVILLE, Gabon (PAMACC News) - Leading non-state actors and civil society groups from across Africa have called on African governments to kick-start the process of designing an African Rule Book for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The book, according to them, will help in galvanising a robust presentation of African perspectives in the Paris Rule Book which is being formulated.
The call was made today at the ongoing civil society consultative talks which precedes the 16th session of the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) in Libreville, Gabon.
Recognising the strategic importance of the Paris Rule Book to the implementation of the climate agreement, the non-state stakeholders urged African environment ministers to ensure that the continent is not left behind in the efforts at crafting the regulatory framework for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
“We want an African rule Book for the implementation of the Paris Agreement that will better measure and manage climate action and support in the light of varying quality and level of information included in countries’ national climate plans (NDCs),” John Bideri, the Co-Chair of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) said.
“An African Rule Book will help in scaling up actions and support at the right pace as many of the NDCs submitted by countries are not ambitious enough to achieve the Paris Agreement’s objectives,” Bideri added.
The urgency of the call for an African Rule Book is further underlined by the latest UNEP Gap Report which revealed that the climate plans submitted by all parties to the Paris Agreement can only limit global warming to 3o degree C if fully implemented and the conditions highlighted in the submissions are met.
This alarming report, according to Yamide Dagnet of the World Resources Institute, justifies the readiness of civil society groups like PACJA and WRI to mobilise resources and partnerships capable of supporting the drafting of the African Rule Book by African governments.
The Paris Rule Book
At the recent UN climate negotiations in Bonn which featured the 46th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 46) and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 46) as well as the session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement, negotiations on the key elements of the Paris Rule Book began in earnest.
According to Achala Abeysinghe, a long serving legal and strategy advisor to the Least Developed Countries Group (LDC), “The Paris Agreement is just an empty shell without the rulebook”.
The Paris Rule Book seeks to establish the rules and processes needed to provide the operational guidance for fulfilling the ambition of the Agreement and providing clarity on countries’ efforts to reach the global goal.
The rule book comes on the heels of the Paris Agreement which created an international framework that outlines what governments and wider stakeholders are expected to do strengthening the global response to climate change and limit the temperature increase to 1.5 - 2 degrees C.
It therefore seeks to flesh out how the global response will be orchestrated.
By 2018 negotiators are expected to reach an agreement on the rule book which will include details on how countries will communicate their efforts with regards to adaptation, climate finance, transfer of technology and capacity building, and how they will be held accountable for their commitments.
It will also establish how collective efforts will be reviewed, leading to scaled-up actions and support every five years; as well as create a facilitatory process for the implementation of the agreement and promote compliance.

LIBREVILLE, Gabon (PAMACC News) - African Civil Society Organisations on climate have started talks ahead of the 16th session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) scheduled for 12th to 16th of June 2017 in in Libreville, Gabon, with main focus on the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063.

Organised by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) in collaboration with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Government of Gabon, the workshop is being attended by civil society groups from the five sub-regions of Africa.

The workshop aspires to provide an avenue for non-state actors in Africa to interrogate emerging global perspectives and actions on climate change and the implications of the Paris Agreement for Africa as well as the SDGs and Africa's Agenda 2063.

According to Sam Ogallah of PACJA, "African civil society groups under the umbrella of PACJA have vigorously engaged with different stakeholders on the urgent need to take forward and internationalise the Paris Agreement, implementation of the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Africa's Agenda 2063."

These engagements according to him, are in recognition of civil society's role in informing processes and influencing decisions taken by UNFCCC parties and African member states with a view to driving the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

"The Pre-AMCEN workshop offers us an opportunity to urge African governments to forge ahead with the implementation of the Paris Agreement regardless of United States' exit from agreement as well as deepen our engagements with regards to the African Policy Dialogue on Climate Change, High Level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Energy and Energy Access, African Parliamentary Roundtable on Climate Policy and Legislation, and the African Regional Post-COP22 Consultative Forum," Ogallah added.

The AMCEN Process

This year's AMCEN meeting comes after the 15th Session of AMCEN in Cairo, Egypt March 2016; the UNFCCC–COP22 which held in Marrakech, Morocco in November 2016 and the just concluded UNFCCC-Bonn Climate Change Conference (SB46) which held in Bonn, May 2017.

The meeting provides an opportunity for African Governments, represented by 55 African Ministers of Environment, to discuss challenges of the implementation of SDGs and Africa Agenda 2063 and a regional stocktaking of their performance at UNFCCC-COP22 and Bonn SB46 on the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Other key focus at this meeting will be on the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), Africa Adaptation Initiative (AAI) and other issues closely related with the Paris Agreement which came into force on the 4th of November 2016.

The 2017 Pre-AMCEN Consultative workshop will be held alongside the UNEP Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum ahead of the main 16th Session of AMCEN on 10th -11th June, 2017.

Hosting the African civil society workshop at the sidelines of the AMCEN meeting is a recognition of the need to strengthen non-state actors analysis and contributions to respond in a timely and resolute manner to these key issues, focusing in particular on the role they expected to play in influencing governments,  African Group of Negotiators (AGN) and related inter-governmental institutions such as African Union, UNEP, UNECA and Regional Integration Economic Blocs.

YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon (PAMACC News) - The decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement signals that the Trump Administration is in total discord with both reality and the rest of the world,a press release from Climate Action states.

Civil society actors have been reacting to news of the withdrawal and are unanimous that the first to suffer from the injudicious decision is the American people. "This action is totally contrary to their best interests: their health, security, food supply,  jobs and future," the release states.

By turning its back on climate action, the Trump administration burdens the American people with rising costs and risks from pollution, environmental degradation and lost opportunities in a low-carbon economy and renewable energy jobs. None of this will make America great, in any way.

The overwhelming show of support from the international community in the past weeks, defending the Paris Accord, is a reminder that the world is wasting no time on laggards when it comes to climate action.

“Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement is an act of global environmental vandalism that has the potential to do great harm to current and future generations. Even without the US as a party, Paris still represents our best chance of avoiding severe and destabilising climate change. The rest of the world must continue to build on Paris to speed the transition to a cleaner, lower-carbon world. The direction of travel is clear, and climate action will continue globally and within the US, as states and businesses continue to drive progress. In the meantime the commitment of the UK, the EU and other leading nations is more important than ever,” says Jonathan Church, lawyer, ClientEarth

"As global temperatures hit record high every year now, the world is rightfully outraged by the decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement.

We welcome the strong statements from all other world leaders that their countries will not withdraw their commitments, goals, policies and actions related to climate change. Unlike the view of the current US administration, countries all over the world see the Paris Agreement as an engine for growth and jobs.The EU is already strengthening its alliances with countries like China and Canada, as well as those most affected by climate change.  The EU needs to step up its game now, to trigger more climate action and smooth the way for scaling up the Paris climate pledges, "  points out Wendel Trio, Director, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe .

For  Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network,Canada has quickly established a track record of collaborating and working across differences to launch coherent climate strategies. Now is the moment for Canada to take that to the next level, and emerge on the world stage as a bold climate leader. "Trump may be ready to abandon the benefits associated with climate action, including improved air quality and human health, job creation in emerging industries, and international influence. Yet it is clear that American states, communities, and businesses are not willing to make the same sacrifice. Canadian governments and citizens will continue to work with these entities and allies in Mexico to maintain North American momentum on climate action.”

“The historic Paris Agreement was achieved thanks in large part to US climate diplomacy, but it will succeed with or without the US, as the rest of the world remain committed to the low-carbon transition. The 20th Century was powered by fossil fuels and America dominated the world. The 21st Century will be powered by clean energy and Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement could mark the end of American supremacy," says Mohamed Adow, International Climate Lead, Christian Aid.

"In the face of a dangerous and failing Trump administration, and its withdrawal of the US from the Paris Climate Accord, the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network stands in solidarity with our partners, frontline communities and Indigenous peoples worldwide as we continue to organize ceaselessly and rise ever more boldly to end extraction of fossil fuels and the destruction of the planet for profit and power. Women worldwide are working everyday to protect our lands, waters, climate and children’s futures - and though the challenges and injustices we face are many - women will be undeterred in our action and advocacy for a just and livable world. " - Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director, Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN International)

“U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement will erode America’s standing in the world at a time when global cooperation is needed more than ever. Coming on the heels of a budget proposal that, if enacted, would increase suffering among the poorest and make the world a more dangerous place, the Trump Administration’s intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement is another failure of U.S. leadership. Addressing climate change is critical to the continued progress to combat extreme poverty and to alleviate humanitarian crises. Walking away from the Paris Agreement now is a sign that America is prepared, not only to stand in isolation, but also to walk away from its partners, from its moral responsibility, and from the promise it owes to future generations of a healthy and safe planet.” -Michelle Nunn, president and CEO, CARE USA

The Paris Agreement is a lifeline for small islands and vulnerable communities everywhere. President Trump’s decision to withdraw from Paris will not bring prosperity to the US. It will create further injustice for those who have contributed little to climate change. - Farhana Yamin, Founder and CEO, Track

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