Civil society groups protest slow pace of negotiations in Paris

Nafissatou of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) speaking at the rally (PHOTO: ClimateReporters/Atayi Babs)
Nafisatu Yusif of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) speaking at the rally (PHOTO: ClimateReporters/Atayi Babs)

By Isaiah Esipisu in Paris

African civil society organisations at the ongoing Conference of Parties (COP 21) in Paris today took to the streets to protest against what they called unnecessary delay of the negotiations.

Speaking to the press just after the protest, Sam Ogallah of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance said that the civil society will not be deceived by technical or procedural tricks. “The negotiations on a new climate deal are struggling due to trust issues and unnecessary delay,” he said.

He said that the civil society is aware that finance for adaptation, loss and damage are being pushed out of the Paris text. “This is already creating anxieties and turning back the progress so far made in previous climate negotiations before Paris,” he told international journalists at the conference venue in Le Bourget, in the outskirts of Paris City.

“We were promised that emission cuts would be strengthened this year, but according to the text, they weren’t. Instead African countries are been saddled with additional load of paying for climate debt which they least contributed,” said Augustine Njamnshi from BCDP, Cameroon and Technical/Political Affairs Chair of PACJA said.

The negotiations in Paris under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change lasting two weeks are focused on increasing climate actions in the near-term and on creating a new climate agreement in 2015 – to come in to effect in 2020.

“In Paris, we demand equity, fair deal and legally binding agreement.  Countries must be mandated to include contributions on all the elements including provision of money for adaptation for developing countries by developed countries.” Robert Chimambo, of Zambia Climate change Network and PACJA member, said.

He said that if the African negotiators are not careful, the Paris deal could trigger even greater climate crisis in Africa.


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