Climate Change (185)

Sham El Sheikh, Egypt (PAMACC News) - The African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN) has re-affirmed its commitment to Africa’s climate and development aspirations.

Addressing a high-level stakeholder post-COP28 meeting taking place on the margins of the African Union (AU) summit, AGN Interim Chair, Alick Muvundika said the group will continue to represent and defend Africa’s priorities and aspirations in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) multilateral processes.

Dr. Muvundika said the AGN stands ready and eager to continue receiving guidance from the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) and the Committee of African Union Heads of State on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) to ensure that the continent’s climate interests are safeguarded.

He cited the historic establishment and operationalisation of the loss and damage fund at COP27 and COP28 respectively, as an outstanding outcome where the AGN was a key player in reaching the decision and ensured that Africa’s interests were well articulated.

“As we start the year, looking back at COP28 and planning for 2024, I wish to re-affirm our commitment to the continent’s cause. The group, guided by AMCEN and CAHOSCC, has in the presented Africa, and remain a strong and united group of technical negotiators ready to safeguard and defend Africa’s interests in the UNFCCC processes,” said Dr. Muvundika. “As always, we remain committed to the guidance of our policy makers at the level of the AMCEN and CAHOSCC to ensure that we keep in tune with relevant policies guiding the continent’s development agenda.”

The AGN Interim Chair highlighted key decisions from COP28 which include; operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund where; operationalisation of the Global goal on adaptation; the first Global Stocktake (GST); and the Just Transition Pathways work programme.

In highlighting the multifaceted nature of climate change and its impacts on various sectors most African countries, Dr. Muvundika said the group is looking at innovative ways of how to constantly engage and enhance synergies between climate negotiators and policy makers from the environment sector and other climate sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water and health among others.

“Climate change is a development issue beyond the environment sector. For example, climate impacts on health and agriculture have widely been articulated. For the first time, we had a health day at COP28 where climate and health issues were discussed. As negotiators, we therefore need innovative approaches to engage with these climate sensitive sectors in order to expand not only our own understanding but also be of support to the entire development spectrum which is impacted by climate change,” said Dr. Muvundika as he addressed the AGN LC post-COP28 meeting in Sham el Sheikh, Egypt, supported by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Egypt.

Speaking during the same meeting, UNDP Egypt Resident Representative, Alessandro Fracassetti, highlighted the importance of partnerships and lauded the existing partnership between UNDP and the Egyptian government, and by extension, the AGN.

“I would like to take a moment to highlight the fruitful partnership between UNDP and the COP27 Presidency over the past couple of years. The designation of COP27 as both the "Implementation COP" and the "African COP" has been instrumental in shaping the outcomes of this conference, and acknowledge the substantial efforts and resources dedicated by the Government before and during COP27,” said Fracassetti.

And representative of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Ambassador Mohammed Nasr commended UNDP for consistently supporting Egypt and AGN and emphasised the importance of the AGN to Africa’s unified approach to climate change negotiations in the interest of the continent’s development needs.

“This meeting comes after a crucial conference, COP28 in Dubai, where critical decisions were reached. This meeting will discuss several critical issues that will feed into key decisions at various levels and meetings such as CAHOSCC and UNEA. We are therefore happy to support continued efforts around a united approach to Africa’s development challenges,” said Ambassador Nasr.

DUBAI, UAE (PAMACC News) - As COP 28 begins in Dubai, the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, PACJA is seeking for transparent and just measures to address climate change challenges.

At a press conference organized by civil society actors various speakersraised concerns on the credibility and trustworthiness of the different actors on the negotiation table.

“We need to amplify the voices of the vulnerable communities in this climate change talks, that of inclusiveness, transparency and justice . The developed countries and their leaders have to show real commitment and honour their pledges,” Dr Mithika Mwenda, PACJA CEO said at the press briefing.

 The African Civil Society emphasizes the importance of fairness, openness, and impartiality. They firmly urge all stakeholders to adhere to these principles to ensure that the decisions made during COP28 UAE align with the global commitment to combat climate change.

“We need a leadership that reflects these values and upholds the promise of a collective effort in addressing environmental challenges. The interest of the vulnerable communities, women, youths, indigenous population have to be protected” notes Dr Augustine Njamnshi of PACJA and CEO ACSEA.

Meanwhile at side event by PACJA prior to the official opening of COP 28, civil society actors in a panel discussion called for greater and sustainable production of a variety of minerals that are central to de-carbonization in Africa.

“We have clear opportunities not only from the global green mineral boom but also from our domestic achievements, such as the African Continental Free-Trade Area to facilitate the development of regional value chains for our green economy products in Africa," says Dr Linus Mofor, Senior Environmental Affairs Officer African Climate Policy Centre, ACPC at the panel discussion

Africa experts say is home to multiple minerals. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), for example,  produces over 70% of the world’s cobalt. DRC and Zambia together supply 10% of global copper while Mozambique and South Africa hold significant reserves of graphite, platinum metals, lithium and more.

Linus Mofor deplored the fact that about 70% of the Africa’s exports are unprocessed commodities, a situation that can change with the right policies that prioritise industrialization and value-addition in mining and other resource sectors.

GOOD NEWS AT OFFICIAL OPENING

However there was some good news at the official opening of COP 28.

The President of COP 28, announced loss and damage fund forvulnerable countries  on the first day of the UN climate conference with a total commitment of over $420 million. The UAE host country and Germany took the lead contributing $100 million each to the fund.

“We’ve delivered history today. The first time a decision has been adopted on day 1 of any COP. And the speed at which we have done so is also historic. Getting this done demonstrates the hard work of so many, particularly members of the transitional committee who worked tirelessly to get us to this point. This is evidence that we can deliver. COP28 can deliver,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, president, COP28.

He said that the threshold today was to establish and operationalise a $200 million fund. “We reached north of $420 million and over the next couple of days, many more pledges are going to be made. I thank Germany, the UK, the EU, the US and Japan for their pledges earlier today,” he said.

The funds accordingly was first agreed upon during COP27, held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, and became operational on Thursday November 30,2023 following the agreement reached by parties during 5 transitional committee meetings.

He said the COP28 team approached this task in a completely different and unconventional way.

“The fact that we have been able to achieve such a significant milestone on the first day of this COP is unprecedented. This is historic. The fact that we were able to get the agenda voted and agreed on without any delay is unprecedented. We have been able to deliver what was promised in Sharm al Sheikh and activate and operationalise and pass the threshold have been associated with this fund is historic.”

For Madeleine Diouf Sarr, Chair of the Group of the 46 Least Developed Countries much is still expected as outcome of the ongoing COP 28.

“COP28 is a moment to take stock of progress towards achieving the goals we all set in Paris. But we know since then, emissions have kept increasing and the impacts of climate change have intensified. The world is not on track with efforts needed to adequately address this climate crisis and the window of opportunity for limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C is rapidly closing. A meaningful decision is needed at COP28 that provides a clear path forward for deep emissions reductions and scaled up finance, which governments are held accountable to,” said at opening event.

DUBAI, UAE (PAMACC News – The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28 will open tomorrow with a resounding call to accelerate collective climate action. The conference takes place in what is already known to be the hottest year ever recorded in human history and as the impacts of the climate crisis wreak unprecedented havoc on human life and livelihoods around the world.

COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), from 30 November to 12 December 2023, is a decisive moment to act on climate commitments and prevent the worst impacts of climate change. UAE has the presidency for COP28, with Dr Sultan Al Jaber as this year’s president.

This year’s COP marks the conclusion of the “global stocktake”, the first assessment of global progress in implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement. The findings are stark: the world is not on track to limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C by the end of this century. It does recognize that countries are developing plans for a net-zero future, and the shift to clean energy is gathering speed, but it makes clear that the transition is nowhere near fast enough yet to limit warming within the current ambitions.

report recently published by UN Climate Change shows that national climate action plans (known as nationally determined contributions, or ‘NDCs’) would collectively lower greenhouse gas emissions to 2% below 2019 levels by 2030, while the science is clear that a 43% reduction is needed.

The global stocktake must be a catalyst for greater ambition in meeting the Paris Agreement’s goals as nations prepare to submit revised national climate action plans by 2025. It lays out actions on how to accelerate emissions cuts, strengthen resilience to climate impacts, and provide the support and finance needed for the transformation.

“Over 160 world leaders are headed to Dubai, because only cooperation between nations can get humanity back in this race. But COP28 cannot be just a photo-op. Leaders must deliver – the message is clear,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell. “And as leaders leave Dubai after the opening summit, their message to their negotiators must be equally clear: don’t come home without a deal that will make a real difference.”

Climate finance stands at the heart of this transformation. Replenishing the Green Climate Fund, doubling financial resources for adaptation and operationalizing the loss and damage fund are key to keeping 1.5°C within reach while leaving no one behind.

“The reality is that without much more finance flowing to developing countries, a renewables revolution will remain a mirage in the desert. COP28 must turn it into a reality,” Stiell added.

Progress on climate finance at COP28 will be crucial to build trust in other negotiation areas and to lay the groundwork for an even more ambitious “New Collective Quantified Goal” for climate finance, which must be in place next year. It will also set the stage for a just and inclusive transition to renewable energy and the phasing out of fossil fuels.

In the face of rising conflicts and tensions worldwide, Stiell emphasized the need for collaborative efforts to combat climate change, an area in which nations can work together effectively to ensure a sustainable future both for people and the planet.

“We don’t have any time to waste. We need to take urgent action now to reduce emissions. At COP28, every country and every company will be held to account, guided by the north star of keeping 1.5°C within reach,” said COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber.

“All parties should be prepared to deliver a high ambition decision in response to the global stocktake that reduces emissions while protecting people, lives and livelihoods,” Al Jaber added.

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs and COP27 President Sameh Shoukry said: “It is of crucial importance to continue building on previous achievements, but more importantly to implement what we already agreed upon. We cannot achieve our common goals without having everyone on board, most importantly the Global South. We need to start delivering on climate justice and provide the needed tools that we already agreed upon in Sharm el-Sheikh for funding loss and damage, including the establishment of a fund. One of the major outcomes that has to come out of COP28 is for the fund to be fully operationalized and funded.”

PAMACC News - The Global Stocktake, to assess countries’ progress against the goals on climate change laid out in the Paris Agreement in 2015, must lead to rapid action to get the world back on track to limit warming to 1.5 degrees and to cope with the effects of a changed climate, according to the group of 46 Least Developed Countries (LDC) group who negotiate as a bloc at the UN’s climate change talks.

 

The first Global Stocktake of progress towards the global goals of the Paris Agreement is expected to conclude at the next round of negotiations, COP28, getting underway in Dubai, UAE later this month. It is already clear it will find that countries are failing to meet all the goals, including limiting warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, enhancing adaptation to climate change, increasing climate finance and addressing loss and damage.

 

Madeleine Diouf Sarr, Chair of the LDC group said “Heat waves, floods, droughts, cyclones, forest fires and sea level rise — the consequences of climate change are becoming clearer each day, with extreme events affecting the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable people across the globe first, and worst.

 

“The stocktake must clearly articulate how and why countries are falling short on reaching their goals and make robust recommendations to drive an urgent increase in emissions reduction commitments, adaptation efforts, support to address already occurring loss and damage, and climate finance.”

 

The LDC group will be looking for richer countries to rebuild trust on the issue of climate finance by demonstrating they’ve met the $100bn goal they promised to developing countries by 2020 for addressing climate change. Developed countries should also adopt a roadmap on the goal to double finance to pay for measures to adapt to climate change by 2025. And the LDC group expects to see negotiation of a common definition of climate finance to make the tracking of progress towards these goals easier and more transparent.

 

The paper, Vulnerability, Finance and Ambition – Critical Negotiations at COP28 for LDCs, co-written with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), sets out further aims including around the new loss and damage fund. The LDC group wants to see the fund put into action and its coffers filled not with loans that will worsen the debt crisis for many countries, but with grants.

 

Since the COP26 negotiations in Glasgow two years ago, countries have been working on agreeing a global approach to efforts to adapt to climate change in order to meet the Paris Agreement’s global goal on adaptation . Disagreements remain on the scope of targets to be included in the new framework and how the work required to meet such targets will be paid for. The LDC group wants to see the adoption of a robust framework on the global goal at COP28 centred around people, livelihoods and ecosystems.

 

 

The Global Stocktake, to assess countries’ progress against the goals on climate change laid out in the Paris Agreement in 2015, must lead to rapid action to get the world back on track to limit warming to 1.5 degrees and to cope with the effects of a changed climate, according to the group of 46 Least Developed Countries (LDC) group who negotiate as a bloc at the UN’s climate change talks.

 

The first Global Stocktake of progress towards the global goals of the Paris Agreement is expected to conclude at the next round of negotiations, COP28, getting underway in Dubai, UAE later this month. It is already clear it will find that countries are failing to meet all the goals, including limiting warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, enhancing adaptation to climate change, increasing climate finance and addressing loss and damage.

 

Madeleine Diouf Sarr, Chair of the LDC group said “Heat waves, floods, droughts, cyclones, forest fires and sea level rise — the consequences of climate change are becoming clearer each day, with extreme events affecting the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable people across the globe first, and worst.

 

“The stocktake must clearly articulate how and why countries are falling short on reaching their goals and make robust recommendations to drive an urgent increase in emissions reduction commitments, adaptation efforts, support to address already occurring loss and damage, and climate finance.”

 

The LDC group will be looking for richer countries to rebuild trust on the issue of climate finance by demonstrating they’ve met the $100bn goal they promised to developing countries by 2020 for addressing climate change. Developed countries should also adopt a roadmap on the goal to double finance to pay for measures to adapt to climate change by 2025. And the LDC group expects to see negotiation of a common definition of climate finance to make the tracking of progress towards these goals easier and more transparent.

 

The paper, Vulnerability, Finance and Ambition – Critical Negotiations at COP28 for LDCs, co-written with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), sets out further aims including around the new loss and damage fund. The LDC group wants to see the fund put into action and its coffers filled not with loans that will worsen the debt crisis for many countries, but with grants.

 

Since the COP26 negotiations in Glasgow two years ago, countries have been working on agreeing a global approach to efforts to adapt to climate change in order to meet the Paris Agreement’s global goal on adaptation . Disagreements remain on the scope of targets to be included in the new framework and how the work required to meet such targets will be paid for. The LDC group wants to see the adoption of a robust framework on the global goal at COP28 centred around people, livelihoods and ecosystems.

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