COP 23: African groups underline the economic influence of climate change

Seyni Nafo, Chair of the AGN, (PHOTO: IISD)
Seyni Nafo, Chair of the AGN, (PHOTO: IISD)


The African civil society organisations have presented  a communiqué that reviews the COP 22 Marrakech outcome and Paris Agreement regime and also contains recommendations for upcoming COP 23 to the Chair of African Group of negotiators, Seyni Nafo.

Coordinated by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) the communiqué was presented in a meeting on the sidelines of climate talks in Bonn from 8-18 May, 2017.

PACJA’s  Technical and Political Affairs Chair Augustine Njamnshi said the document was drafted at an Africa Regional Consultative Forum on Post-Marrakech and the Paris Agreement on April 19-21, 2017 in Kampala, Uganda. The consultation meeting accordingly, brought together  Africa civil society, private sector, regional institutions like the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and Pan-African Parliament, pastoralists, youth and women representatives.

The chair of the African group of negotiators Seyni Nafo hailed PACJA for its lead role on coordinating civil society in the continent.

“Civil society has an important role to play in ongoing climate talks, working in tandem to push national governments to action,” he said.

“African leaders have the liberty to make their own decisions. And though they may not be influenced by their ministers or by a commissioner of the EU in implementing decision, they are by and large accountable to the people that elected them to office. The civil society represents the voice of the grass root communities and this is very important,” Seyni noted.

The African Group of Negotiators, AGN, accordingly is a structure of all African Member States’ senior officials, experts and negotiators in the UNFCCC negotiations, with the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) providing political oversight on the group.

Seyni said it has become traditional for AGN representatives to meet with various interest groups to explain the momentum and direction of negotiations during climate talks, reason why the meeting with African civil society led by PACJA at the ongoing CB46 talks in Bonn was imperative.

Among other things the African civil society expressed their concern about the seeming neglect of the adaptation needs of developing countries and inadequate levels of public climate finance, limited access to adaptation finance such as demonstrated by the imbalance between financing of mitigation and adaptation within the Green Climate Fund proposals so far approved by the Fund.

They also raised the issue of the slow development of operational mechanism of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative.

PACJA’s programmes officer Sam Ogallah, underscored the role of non-state actors in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and called on the African non-state actors to enhance cooperation and partnerships with African governments and development partners so as to intensify national climate actions

The document presented by the African civil society also called on the Pan African Parliament to strengthen the work of the African Climate Change Legislative Initiative by supporting countries to develop and implement climate change legislations as part of action to enhance implementation of the Paris Agreement.

It also called upon “African leaders and the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) to consider a paradigm shift in response to climate change catastrophe. Climate Change should be looked at as an “economic influence” as it affects productive sectors of most African countries; hence need to be factored in all economic equations. The demand to Annex 1 countries should include development of green industries and initiatives in Africa, address challenges of intellectual property rights and limited financing hindering technology transfer.”

The document requests African leaders to fast-track and ensure an African-led process in the operationalisation of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) to serve the African people.


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