As soon as the opening ceremony of the 27th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Climate Change in Sharma El Sheikh, Egypt, ended on November 6, 2022, numerous representatives of the African CSOs coalesced under the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) held a press conference calling on the delegates to offer hope on climate finance for the African continent.
“We are here to push for loss and damage as this is key for Africa countries which have been experiencing the greatest brunt of the climate crisis although they contribute less to the planet’s degradation,” said Mithika Mwenda, the executive director of PACJA.
COP27 begins against the background of devastating floods and unprecedented heat waves, severe droughts and formidable storms, all unequivocal signs of the unfolding climate emergency.
At the same time, millions of people, particularly in Africa, are confronting the impacts of simultaneous crises in energy, food, water and cost of living, aggravated by severe geopolitical conflicts and tensions. In this adverse context, some countries have begun to stall or reverse climate policies and doubled down on fossil fuel use.
Further, COP27 is also taking place against the backdrop of inadequate ambition to curb greenhouse gas emissions. According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, CO2 emissions need to be cut by 45% by 2030, compared to 2010 levels to meet the central Paris Agreement goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century. This is crucial to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, including more frequent and severe droughts, heatwaves and rainfall.
A report published by UN Climate Change ahead of COP27 shows that whilst countries are bending the curve of global greenhouse gas emissions downward, efforts remain insufficient to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
Since COP26 in Glasgow, only 29 out of 194 countries came forward with tightened national plans.
In his opening address, the UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell asked governments to focus on three critical areas at COP27. The first is a transformational shift to implementation of the Paris Agreement and putting negotiations into concrete actions.