Climate Change (202)

BONN, Germany (PAMACC News) - African civil society organisations attending the ongoing climate change conference in Bonn, Germany have called on developed countries to demonstrate leadership and courage in tackling the climate crisis that threatens the common future of humanity and the entire ecosystem.

Led by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), the activists drawn from different organisations from across Africa reminded the Parties to the UNFCCC of their moral and legal obligations to protect the planet and its people from the existential threat of global warming.

“Africa is at the frontline of climate crisis. We are experiencing the worst effects of a problem that we did not create. Our communities are facing severe water scarcity, crop failures, malnutrition, diseases, displacement, conflicts, heat waves and loss of lives due to climate change. Our natural resources and ecosystems are under immense pressure from climate change and other human activities,” said Dr Mithika Mwenda, the Executive Director – PACJA.

“We are not here to ask for charity or sympathy,” he told delegates during the first civil society briefing in Bonn. “It is far from that, we are here to demand justice and equity; to demand that the Parties, especially from the North, should stop procrastination; to call on them to listen to the voices of the people, especially those who are most vulnerable and marginalized, and to act following the best available science and the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities,” said Mwenda.

Below are the demands as articulated by the team in Bonn:

  1. That all Parties cooperate in good faith and in a spirit of solidarity to reach credible progress in the conference. The time for delay and excuses is over. The world is watching and expecting concrete results, and we cannot afford to fail.
  1. That big polluters increase their mitigation ambition and announce enhanced nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that are consistent with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement and reflect their fair share of the global effort. The current NDCs are insufficient to close the emissions gap and put the world on a safe, ecologically-just and sustainable pathway. This requires Developed country Parties demonstrate leadership and responsibility by reducing their emissions at source and in providing adequate support to developing countries for their mitigation actions. These countries have a historical and moral obligation to assist developing countries in their transition to low- carbon development and to compensate them for the loss and damage caused by climate change.
  1. That developed countries take urgent and concrete actions to increase their needs –based adaptation finance for Africa. We urge them to commit to a clear and transparent roadmap for scaling up their support and to ensure that at least 50% of the climate finance provided by developed countries is allocated to adaptation and inform of grants. We stress that this is a matter of justice and equity, as Africa is the most vulnerable region to the impacts of climate change, despite contributing the least to its causes. We also emphasize that adaptation finance is essential for enhancing the resilience and adaptive capacity of our communities, ecosystems and economies. We call on developed countries to deliver on their promises and to meet their obligations under the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC. We expect them to report on their progress and achievements by the end of 2023, and to demonstrate their solidarity and partnership with Africa in addressing the climate crisis.
  1. The global goal for adaptation must receive the attention it deserves ; parties must be more decisive in fast-tracking negotiation on this agenda item. Time is running out yet there is so much to be done, since 2015, we have been going round in circles without a clear plan of action on this agenda. This is a make-or-break year for this agenda as time lapse for the work program on global goal for adaptation. We call for parties to clearly establish strong targets under the GGA framework that will enhance adaptation ambition, and at the same time ensure that a standing agenda item is established on the global goal for adaptation beyond the two-year Glasgow Sharm -El -Sheikh work program on global goal for adaptation which ends this year.
  1. That all parties work together to overhaul the climate finance architecture to ensure that it is transparent, accountable, accessible, and responsive to the needs and priorities of African communities. Specifically, we call for the following actions:

 The developed countries must fulfil their commitment to providing at least $100 billion per year by 2020 for climate action in developing countries, and increase this amount significantly in the post-2020 period;

 The Green Climate Fund must allocate at least 50% of its resources to adaptation projects and prioritize direct access and enhanced direct access modalities for African countries;

 The Adaptation Fund must be replenished and sustained as a key instrument to support adaptation efforts of the most vulnerable countries under the Paris Agreement;

 The Climate Technology Centre and Network must enhance its support for technology development and transfer in Africa, especially for locally appropriate and community-based solutions;

 The Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage must operationalize its action and support functions and establish a finance facility, compete with a replenishment mechanism to address the irreversible impacts of climate change in Africa, latest at COP28.

BONN, Germany (PAMACC News) – This year’s Bonn Climate Change Conference (SB58) launches next Monday, 5 June, designed to prepare decisions for adoption at COP28 in the United Arab Emirates in December.

Building on the many mandates that emerged from COP27 in Egypt last year, the conference will convene the 58th session of the UNFCCC subsidiary bodies, including a large number of events, and continue discussions on issues of critical importance.

These issues include the global stocktake, the global goal on adaptation, the just transition to sustainable societies, the mitigation work programme and loss and damage, among others.

“For many people around the world, limiting warming of our planet to 1.5 degrees Celsius is a matter of survival. The global stocktake is the opportunity of a generation to correct the course we are on, to design a way forward to tackle climate change with fresh vigor and perspective,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell.

The technical phase of the global stocktake will conclude at the Bonn Conference, and mark the start of the political phase which will work towards a strong outcome of the first stocktake at COP28.

Another key task at SB58 will be to prepare decisions at COP28 to operationalize the new loss and damage fund and funding arrangements, along with a decision on the host for the Santiago network on loss and damage.

Stiell added: “COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh marked the shift to implementation of the Paris Agreement, resulting in several important outcomes supporting this historic new phase. Parties know what is at stake, and each country now has to deliver.”

Several events will touch on climate finance, notably the provision of adequate and predictable financial support to developing countries for climate action, including the new collective quantified goal on climate finance. Other important issues will be increasing the transparency and accountability of climate action and minimizing the impacts that climate change is having on the agriculture and food security sectors.

Sameh Shoukry, President of last year’s COP27 in Egypt, said: “The Bonn Climate Conference is an opportune occasion to stock take the status of implementation of the outcomes and breakthroughs achieved in Sharm el-Sheikh. It also provides an opportunity to pave the way towards achieving remarkable progress at COP28 in the UAE later this year. This is most urgent given that the climate crisis is becoming the new reality and we are forced to deal with its consequences on a daily basis. Acknowledging this, we must seize every opportunity to renew our science-based collective resolve to adhere to the principles of the UN Framework Convention and the Paris Agreement in order to strengthen our response to ensure observing the Paris temperature goal, keeping the 1.5 degrees within reach, effectively adapting to a changing climate and sufficiently responding to the different forms of losses and damages.”

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, COP28 President-Designate, said: “The upcoming Bonn sessions are critical for shaping meaningful, pragmatic, and impactful outcomes at COP28. As the incoming Presidency, we will ensure a fair, inclusive, and transparent presidency that provides space for all Parties to reach consensus across the whole agenda. That includes making climate finance more available, accessible, and affordable; doubling adaptation finance, operationalizing the loss and damage fund, tripling global renewable energy capacity by 2030; and putting young people, nature, and health at the heart of climate progress. We express our full support for the Subsidiary Body Chairs and call on all Parties to ensure we make as much progress as possible across all tracks. Our aim is to build on the results of SB58 to achieve a balanced and ambitious outcome in the UAE this December.”

Also in Bonn, the High-Level Champions for COP27 and COP28, Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin and Ms. Razan Al Mubarak, will continue to connect the work of governments with the many voluntary and collaborative climate actions taken by cities, regions, businesses and investors and discuss how to increase the accountability of such actions.

BONN, Germany, (PAMACC News) - As the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN) Lead Coordinators convene in Bonn, Germany, to strategise ahead of the 58th session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate (UNFCCC) Subsidiary Bodies (SB58) conference scheduled for the 5th to 15th June, 2023, the Global Stocktake and discussions on the modalities for establishment of the Loss and Damage Fund have dominated the agenda.

The global stocktake, as enshrined in Article 14 of the Paris Agreement (GST), is a process for taking stock of the implementation of the Paris Agreement with the aim to assess the world’s collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the agreement and its long-term goals.

The first stocktake got underway at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November, 2021 and is expected to conclude at COP28. Each stocktake is a two-year process that happens every five years. Thus, as Parties prepare for the SB58 session and COP28 later in the year, all eyes are on the outcome of this process, which is critical to achieving the overarching goal of the Paris Agreement and the Convention.

The GST is currently in the technical phase. The political phase will be at COP28 where leaders will be expected to adopt the outcomes of the process.

Similarly, in view of the landmark COP27 decision on Loss and Damage, the discussions centred on the need for robust and flexible modalities for the operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund.

Speaking when he officially opened the meeting, AGN Chair, Ephraim Mwepya Shitima re-affirmed AGN’s call for the GST to be balanced, covering all thematic areas, and the need for robust and flexible modalities for the operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund.

"This is an important year for us; following key outcomes from COP27, and especially in the context of taking stock of where we are, we have a mammoth task to ensure we continue advancing Africa’s interests. We cannot afford to lose track of the GST, whose outcome, we have repeatedly said, must be comprehensive and balanced to facilitate progress across all the thematic areas, and respect the priority issues of all Parties and stakeholders. Our emerging position, which is still being discussed, is to ensure an equitable and just global transition to low emission and climate resilient world that allows African countries the policy space to achieve the SDGs in the immediate to medium-term (2030), using all its natural resources and endowment. Equally, operationalization of Loss and Damage Fund with flexible and robust modalities, is a key priority for the AGN as our leaders and the entire continent is banking on us to ensure that it is not short-changed," said Shitima.

Other key agenda items included; the continued push for Africa’s Special Needs and Special Circumstances; the need for scaled-up financial and technical support to implement Africa’s highly ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), in particular, adaptation finance through a call for grant-based financial resources for African countries and the need to reform the climate financial architecture; the need to expedite operationalization of the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA); Just Transition work programme; a call for ambitious mitigation efforts from developed country parties; the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture and food security; and means of implementation.

Africa’s Special Needs and Special Circumstances

As mandated by the African Union through the Committee of African Heads of State on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) at the 36th African Union Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in February, 2023, the AGN Lead Coordinators deliberated on, and agreed to take forward the agenda on Africa’s Special Needs and Special Circumstances—a continent which is the least contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions (less than 4%) and yet the most adversely impacted region, as reaffirmed by latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports.

According to the IPCC, Africa is already experiencing severe and widespread impacts of climate change, causing devastation to lives, livelihoods and the continent's development trajectory.

“At the 36th session of the Au Summit in February, 2023, the AU Heads of State Assembly gave guidance on a number of issues, including urging the AGN to continue collaborating with other stakeholders, including the COP28 Presidency on Africa’s special needs and special circumstances agenda. So, we will continue pursuing this agenda item as guided by our leaders in the interest of the continent’s development aspirations in relation to climate action,” Shitima said.

Climate Finance and reform of the financial architecture

The question on climate finance is as old as the climate negotiations. Still, the AGN team is determined to ensure this agenda item is  given the prominence it deserves, particularly for developed countries to deliver on their climate finance pledges. The key ask is for developed countries to provide predictable and accessible funding for climate action on affordable and reasonable terms that do not further worsen the debt crisis that most developing countries are already dealing with.

Adaptation (GGA)

Adaptation to the impacts of climate change remains one of the key challenges that Africa is facing. Therefore, adaptation remains a key priority as people, infrastructure and ecosystems on the continent continue to experience climate shocks and economic distress.

The latest science by the IPCC reveals that Africa will need up to 86.5 billion USD for adaptation alone by 2030. In view of the foregoing, the AGN is seeking a clear and traceable delivery mechanism for the doubling of adaptation finance, a commitment made by developed countries in Glasgow in 2021, to avoid the mystery of the 100 billion USD per year, which has haunted negotiations since 2009.

Additionally, the weak outcome at COP27 on adaptation, largely due to developed countries’ unwillingness to take the matter seriously, has remained a concern to the AGN. The group is therefore seeking for seriousness on this matter and agreed to continue pushing for science-based indicators, targets and metrics within the agreed framework.

Mitigation

Notwithstanding the concentration on adaptation, the AGN’s call on developed countries to take their leadership role in climate action seriously by urgently scaling up mitigation ambition and implementation during this critical decade, to keep the 1.5-degree Celsius temperature goal alive. The group’s emphasis is also on the importance of support to implement conditional components of African countries and other developing countries' NDCs to enable them effectively contribute, as well as the call for countries to increase the share of renewable and low emission energy sources in their energy mix and scale-up renewable energy investments in particular to address the energy access challenges of many countries in Africa.

Just Transitions

In deliberating on Africa’s special needs and circumstances, the AGN Lead Coordinators also spotlighted the continent’s energy poverty, with latest statistics showing over 600 million people having no access to electricity and 900 million people with no access to clean cooking.

This is in addition to other development challenges that Africa faces requiring the continent to fully exploit its natural resources. With a heightened global campaign for countries to transition to clean and green energy sources, Africa will thus require support for Just energy transition that ensures resources and technologies are made available to enable the continent achieve climate, energy and development goals.

“Our argument is that reducing emissions should not be at the expense of Africa’s development but at a pace and scale affordable to African countries. The work programme should facilitate ambitious and equitable climate actions, recognising different starting points of countries and nationally defined development priorities of developing countries, different pathways and national circumstances and the importance of the social and economic components of the transition,” said AGN Chair. 

Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture and food security

In the context of the climate crisis in Africa, agriculture is seen as an important agenda item in view of the continent’s food insecurity, said to be worsened by climate change vagaries. In view of the foregoing, Africa cannot afford to slumber on the importance of making agriculture resilient to climate change.

Given its importance to most African countries’ food security and economic transformation, the AGN has firmly set its agenda on ensuring clear action matrix of the the four-year Sharm el-Sheikh joint work on implementation of climate action on agriculture and food security.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (PAMACC News) - The Global Stocktake (GST) is a critical turning point for efforts to address climate change, African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN) Chair, Ephraim Mwepya Shitima has told the Pan-African Parliamentarians Summit on Climate Policy and Equity.

Speaking when he addressed Parliamentarians and other stakeholders, gathered in Midrand, South Africa from 16th to 17th May, 2023, Shitima said the GST is key to the objectives of the Paris Agreement, which aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.

Shitima reiterated AGN’s call against inherent bias in favour of mitigation at the expense of adaptation, and called on African Parliamentarians to take keen interest in the GST process and its outcome as it enables countries and other stakeholders to assess their collectiveprogress towards meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.

“As Africa, we expect the GST to be comprehensive by assessing collective progress towards all the goals and not focusing on one or two,” said Shitima. “The outcome must be corrective—how to address the identified gaps and ensure implementation. The inherent bias in favour of mitigation ought to be rectified while the needs of adaptation and recognition of adaptation actions as part of the contribution of Parties towards the global effort should be accorded sufficient attention.”

The global stocktake, as enshrined in Article 14 of the Paris Agreement (GST), is a process for taking stock of the implementation of the Paris Agreement with the aim to assess the world’s collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the agreement and its long-term goals.

The first stocktake got underway at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November, 2021 and is expected to conclude at COP28. Each stocktake is a two-year process that happens every five years.

In addition to his call for African Parliamentarians to actively get involved in the GST process, AGN Chair also highlighted the climate financing and adaptation gaps as revealed by various reports including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6).

“According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP’s) Adaptation Gap Report 2022: Too Little, Too Slow – Climate adaptation failure puts world at risk finds that the world must urgently increase efforts to adapt to impacts of climate change. Implementation of adaptation actions are concentrated in agriculture, water, ecosystems- with health and education still remaining underfunded. However, without a step change in support, adaptation actions could be outstripped by accelerating climate risks, which would further widen the adaptation implementation gap.”

Shitima further lamented the poor provision of climate information in Africa, which is hindered by limited availability of weather and climate data, adding that existing weather infrastructure is insufficient for development of reliable climate information and early warning systems.

“For example, only 10% of ground-based observation networks are in Africa (the remaining 90% are outside Africa), and that 54% of Africa’s surface weather stations cannot capture data accurately,” he said.

Without belabouring the point, adaptation finance is inadequate to meet growing needs of African countries as access to adequate financial resources is crucial for climate change adaptation.

“UNEP estimates adaptation costs for Africa to be, from USD 20–50 billion per year by 2050 at 1.5℃ to USD 100–437 billion per year at 4℃ of global warming above pre-industrial levels. However, adaptation finance flows to developing countries are 5-10 times below estimated needs and the gap is widening,” lamented the AGN Chair.

Meanwhile, in his welcoming remarks, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) Executive Director, MithikaMwenda, said the African continent was already living in a critical moment as a result of climate change.

“The Sixth synthesis report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on 23rd March this year confirmed human-induced global warming is already causing widespread and irreversible impacts on our natural and human systems, and these impacts will only worsen with further warning," said Mwenda.

 

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