Paris COP21: African civil society presents handbook on INDCs

Mithika Mwenda of PACJA
Mithika Mwenda of PACJA

By Aaron Yancho Kaah

Ahead of  the 2015 Paris climate conference and in line with the call on both state and non-state actors to work towards delivering a fair and equitable climate deal at the twenty-first conference of parties in Paris this December, the coalition of African civil society under the aegis of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) has presented its latest publication to the general public.

Entitled Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs): A Handbook for Practitioners, the publication aspires to assist countries in drafting their INDCs to conform with accurate technical specifications, using practical models to drive understanding.

INDCs have been chosen as the vehicle for national contributions to the international Paris agreement. They include, for example, details of emission reductions countries will undertake and can include other action plans covering areas such as mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The Paris agreement will come into effect in 2020, empowering all countries to act to prevent average global temperatures rising above 2 degrees Celsius and to reap the many opportunities that arise from a necessary global transformation to clean and sustainable development.

Including Gabon, 37 parties to the UNFCCC have formally submitted their INDCs, covering all the countries under the European Union plus the European Commission, Mexico, Norway, the Russian Federation, Switzerland the United States, Liechtenstein and Andorra .
According to PACJA’s Mithika Mwenda, “the INDCs handbook cannot come at a better time than now that Gabon is the only African country that met the March 31st 2015 deadline for the submission of  INDCs to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).”  A second implicit submission deadline has now been set for October 1st 2015, after which submissions are still allowed, but will not be included in the UNFCCC’s synthesis report, which will be made available to Parties in time for the 21st Conference of Parties in Paris, December 2015.

With over 50 African countries expected to submit their INDCs to the Secretariat of UNFCCC and the 15th Ordinary Session of AMCEN’s Decision in Cairo on INDCs, the role of African civil society in actively participating and contributing to the process from the national to the regional level remains strategic as they influence policy from all relevant angles.

For African civil society, INDCs must be a total package that takes into account all the elements of adaptation, mitigation, finance, technology development and transfer, capacity building and means of implementation. “In a nutshell, for the continent and other developing countries, INDCs should include the international support needed as well as their proposed domestic actions for both mitigation and adaptation and also for loss and damage, in a way that reinforces an equitable global deal, and reflects the demands and needs of people,” Mwenda added.


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