Climate Change (110)

CATOWICE, Poland (PAMACC News) - The UN Climate Change Conference has entered into the final day of the first week termed as the technical segment. Few agenda items have been concluded and many, especially the essential ones, are not even near to be concluded in time to be taken forward to our Ministers who will be joining the conference next week for the second part of the high-level segment.

We have seen progress on Agriculture, Gender and NAPs but there are serious concerns on the climate finance, adaptation and the finalization of the robust Paris Agreement Work Programme. We have taken stock of these alarming proceedings and share the following on the elements below:

Climate Finance

At the start of the COP24, African Civil Society demanded for fulfilment on pre-2020 climate finance commitments, putting in place robust system for reporting on the support and ensuring new, additional and predictable climate finance beyond 2025. African civil society are gravely concerned about very slow progress on the climate finance agenda items with developed countries not committing to fulfil their pre-2020 commitment and not agreeing on even initiating the process for the new quantified climate finance goal. Conclusions on how the Adaptation Fund shall serve the Paris Agreement, including ensuring adequate resource mobilization for the Fund, have not yet been agreed.

African civil society see a clear intent for the developed country Parties to shift their Convention obligation on provision of climate finance to private institutions and worse enough to developing countries. This is and will not be acceptable.

Adaptation

African civil society takes note of the progress on the NAPs whereby a conclusion has been reached and taken forward to SBI; but we are concerned with the overall dealings of the adaptation with no equal treatment as other elements. Adaptation has been stripped off from the transparency framework discussion and may not be part of the MRV. The elements from the transparency discussion also affect guidance to the modalities for adaptation communication.

African civil society reiterates that adaptation remains to be a priority for African countries.

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

The discussion on features and timeframe for the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) started even before COP21 and the Paris Agreement. We are disappointed by continuous dragging of agenda which should have been concluded in this first week. African civil society supports NDCs with all elements and a five-year timeframe to be in line with the Global Stocktake.

Mitigation

Developed country Parties are obliged to reduce emission and support developing countries to contribute to the efforts. African civil society has observed intent to shift the obligations to developing countries avoiding differentiation and flexibility in both reduction and reporting process.

We urge the COP24 Presidency to show great determination and leadership to ensure the best outcomes of the conference. This includes a robust and balanced Paris Agreement Work Program that covers all elements and meets the required ambition; and a comprehensive framework for fulfilment and reporting of the pre-2020 commitments and ambitions. We emphasize that the legacy of the Katowice Conference lies on these issues and will be placed in history books as one of the stepping stones that paved the way for future generation. Whether positive or undesirable outcomes, it will remain in our books.

 

KATOWICE, Poland (PAMACC News) - The Africa civil society organisations under the umbrella of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) have called on the negotiators at the ongoing United Nations climate conference in Poland to come up with a comprehensive work plan that will help in implementation of the Paris Agreement.

“We join the African Governments and experts in underscoring the vital importance of ambitious outcomes from this conference,” said Mithika Mwenda, the Executive Director at PACJA.

“We need to uphold equity, justice and act as an anchor in the Paris Agreement’s implementation,” he told a press conference at the UNFCCC COP 24 in Katowice, noting that the pre-2020 ambition remains vital to stay within the closing window as indicated by the recently released IPCC report and the Paris Agreement implementation.

Sudanese scientist and climate activist, Dr. Shaddad Mauwa also said that climate finance should be taken seriously as a critical issue of negotiations for COP 24. “We expect a clear roadmap for fulfilment of climate finance commitment of USD 100 billion per year by 2020,” he told a team of journalists in Katowiche.

Dr Shaddad said that parties should agree to discuss a new post - 2025 quantified climate finance goal from the floor of USD 100 billion, and also agree on accounting rules for climate finance that are robust and provide full transparency on actual assistance provided and to be provided to the developing countries.

The activists also pointed out that there is need to focus on how Adaptation Fund will serve the Paris Agreement. “Parties should agree on maintaining the current balance of the Fund’s board membership, operational policies and guidelines for developing countries to access the funds when it serves the Paris Agreement,” said Shaddad.

They called on parties to negotiate on the Nationally Determined Contributions timeframe in relation to the Paris Agreement. They noted that a single five-year common timeframe for NDC implementation should be agreed at the ongoing COP 24 in order to enhance consistency and comparability of NDCs.

On loss and damages, the civil society representatives pointed out that Africa continues to suffer enormous economic losses in billions of dollars as a result of climate change impacts.

“It is worrying to keep hearing the answer for loss and damage as insurance, this might be possible in developed countries but in developing countries especially in Africa, it is a far-fetched dream,” said Mithika. “We call for the commitment in the implementation of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage and need a predictable a financing approach for Loss and Damage in Africa,” he added.

Rebecca Muna, the Director of Civil Society Forum on Climate Change (FORUMCC) in Tanzania noted the importance of gender considerations in policies that supports activities on adaptation, mitigation, finance, technology development and transfer, including capacity building.
“We call for Parties to increase their efforts in ensuring that women are represented in all aspects of the Convention process, and gender mainstreaming is achieved in all processes, and activities of the Convention,” she said.

“We are calling on parties here in Katowice to fresh energy and push the negotiations towards concrete outcomes that will address this grave concern to Africa. The world is watching and the outcome from this COP24 as it will determine whether the Paris Agreement will be a reality or a mere rhetoric,” said Mithika.

 

WINDHOEK, Namibia (PAMACC News) - Over 15 weather experts from African Regional Climate Centres (RCCs), Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and representatives of Regional Climate Outlook Forum (RCOFs) have agreed on a draft outline and content for RCOFs best practices document.

The experts met under the auspices of the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA’s) Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa (WISER) programme from 22-23 November in Windhoek, Namibia.

The meeting came as a result of RCOFs knowledge exchange workshops convened by ACPC earlier in the year, which have led to a rich collection of material consisting of procedures, lessons and practices that RCCs utilise in producing consensus seasonal forecasts, organizing RCOFs, engaging stakeholders and seeking their feedback.

While the knowledge shared is already benefiting the RCC focal persons who have participated, the write-shop was convened to produce a consolidated document to serve as a reference by all RCCs.

Procedures and practices applied by the RCOFs to both produce consensus seasonal forecasts and publicise them vary. While most of the RCOFs face similar challenges, especially related to engaging stakeholders, dissemination and uptake of the seasonal forecasts they produce, some RCOFs have been operational for many years and thus have lessons and experiences that can help other RCOFs avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’.  

And some of the key thematic areas deliberated on included; training and capacity building, funding mechanism and sustainability, communication and dissemination, and engaging stakeholders among others.

“As a best practice, for sustainability, it is important that member state governments take full ownership of the RCOFs process in terms of funding because the current donor based support system is not sustainable,” said Phillip Omondi of the Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC) at the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eastern Africa.

Omondi also believes, as other experts do, that with changing meteorological dynamics, “continuity and consistency in training is needed to keep weather experts well-informed on latest trends and tools in the sector.”

It is generally agreed that there is a suspicious relation between scientists and media professionals. The weather experts therefore agreed on the need for enhanced relations between scientists and media. As a best practice, it was agreed, communication and dissemination should be enhanced through provision of training to media and boundary stakeholders, for the benefit of end users.

“I am particularly impressed with the way they arrive at the consensus, but I believe the way stakeholders are engaged is also key,” said Mouhamadou Bamba Sylla,Senior Scientist in climate modeling and climate change at the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL).“Having media persons, the journalists as part of the process to serve as drafters of the press releases from the technical statement is just great, as we scientists are trained in scientific language which is most often not understood by stakeholders. It is something we must improve upon to ensure that the solutions we discover reach the intended end users.”

In line with the overall objective of the write-shop, experts agreed on an outline of the RCOFs best practices document, an early draft with content to be included in the publication, assigned roles and responsibilities, timeline and publication dissemination plan.

“It is always gratifying to note the dedication and expertise from the distinguished experts who gathered here and contribute to their various regional climate outlooks for socio-economic development of our people on the continent,” said Mark Majona of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). “As WMO, we will continue to support and ensure that this forum continues on the continent.”

 

WINDGOEK, Namibia (PAMACC News) -  The Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa (WISER) funded Climate Research for Development (CR4D) has moved into high gear with the establishment of a grant management mechanism framework.

According to Frank Rutabingwa of the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the key objective of the framework is to support “African-led small, but potentially scalable research grant management facility in African institutions that will support CR4D research priorities.”

“A comprehensive project document on WISER funded CR4D research definition, oversight and uptake has been developed,” Rutabingwa said, adding that 2, 847,000 pounds have been secured from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).

Rutabingwa was speaking in Windhoek, Namibia, at the fourth Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting.

The meeting was held ahead of a two day write-shop to produce an African Regional Climate Outlook Forum (RCOFs) Best Practices document emanating from ACPC’s knowledge exchange workshops organised earlier in the year. The aim is to have a document that serves as a reference by all RCCs.

CR4D which was launched in 2015, aims at advancing new frontiers of African climate research to enhance co-production of climate information and services for development planning,

Research for development is therefore seen as a critical and complimentary component to achieve the overall goal of the WISER progarmme, which is to stimulate the uptake of climate information by policy makers and vulnerable groups including the youth and women.

Most importantly, Africa’s increasingly variable weather and climate, experts say, threatens development in sectors such as agriculture and food security, water, energy, infrastructure, and health are already sensitive to weather related shocks.

Further, experts believe research is critical in the operationalization of the Paris Agreement whose rule book is expected to be finalised at COP 24, and that African countries would need to be better prepared in the implementation of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

James Murombedzi, ACPC officer-in-charge, says the centre is fully committed to support member countries in their efforts to fight climate change and achieve sustainable development.

“The ECA is fully committed to supporting member States regarding the NDCs, taking into account the need for urgent and adequate climate action while staying on course to achieve the goals of Agenda 2063 and the sustainable development goals,” he said.

COP 24 is seen as the make or break meeting since the landmark Paris Agreement in 2015. It is being held against the backdrop of a year of record-breaking climate impacts, and the landmark special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); “Global Warming of 1.50C” which unequivocally concluded that the world is not on track to limiting global temperature rise to below 1.50C.   

It is generally agreed that 2015 was a landmark year in the development of coherent global frameworks to guide development planning. The agreements concluded in 2015 include: the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (SFDRR); the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; African Union’s Agenda 2063; the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

For Africa, whose economies have been severely affected by global warming and climate change, successful implementation of any of these frameworks is fundamentally contingent on actions taken regionally and globally to address the negative impacts of climate change on the one hand, and/or to explore and use some of the development opportunities from climate change.

As most of the 2015 development frameworks demonstrably point out, very little could be achieved by way of implementation of these frameworks without a complete mastery of the collection and analysis processes of climate data, which is the basis for reliable information for action on climate change at all sectoral levels.

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