Climate Change (204)

BONN, Germany, (PAMACC News) - As the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN) Lead Coordinators convene in Bonn, Germany, to strategise ahead of the 58th session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate (UNFCCC) Subsidiary Bodies (SB58) conference scheduled for the 5th to 15th June, 2023, the Global Stocktake and discussions on the modalities for establishment of the Loss and Damage Fund have dominated the agenda.

The global stocktake, as enshrined in Article 14 of the Paris Agreement (GST), is a process for taking stock of the implementation of the Paris Agreement with the aim to assess the world’s collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the agreement and its long-term goals.

The first stocktake got underway at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November, 2021 and is expected to conclude at COP28. Each stocktake is a two-year process that happens every five years. Thus, as Parties prepare for the SB58 session and COP28 later in the year, all eyes are on the outcome of this process, which is critical to achieving the overarching goal of the Paris Agreement and the Convention.

The GST is currently in the technical phase. The political phase will be at COP28 where leaders will be expected to adopt the outcomes of the process.

Similarly, in view of the landmark COP27 decision on Loss and Damage, the discussions centred on the need for robust and flexible modalities for the operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund.

Speaking when he officially opened the meeting, AGN Chair, Ephraim Mwepya Shitima re-affirmed AGN’s call for the GST to be balanced, covering all thematic areas, and the need for robust and flexible modalities for the operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund.

"This is an important year for us; following key outcomes from COP27, and especially in the context of taking stock of where we are, we have a mammoth task to ensure we continue advancing Africa’s interests. We cannot afford to lose track of the GST, whose outcome, we have repeatedly said, must be comprehensive and balanced to facilitate progress across all the thematic areas, and respect the priority issues of all Parties and stakeholders. Our emerging position, which is still being discussed, is to ensure an equitable and just global transition to low emission and climate resilient world that allows African countries the policy space to achieve the SDGs in the immediate to medium-term (2030), using all its natural resources and endowment. Equally, operationalization of Loss and Damage Fund with flexible and robust modalities, is a key priority for the AGN as our leaders and the entire continent is banking on us to ensure that it is not short-changed," said Shitima.

Other key agenda items included; the continued push for Africa’s Special Needs and Special Circumstances; the need for scaled-up financial and technical support to implement Africa’s highly ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), in particular, adaptation finance through a call for grant-based financial resources for African countries and the need to reform the climate financial architecture; the need to expedite operationalization of the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA); Just Transition work programme; a call for ambitious mitigation efforts from developed country parties; the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture and food security; and means of implementation.

Africa’s Special Needs and Special Circumstances

As mandated by the African Union through the Committee of African Heads of State on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) at the 36th African Union Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in February, 2023, the AGN Lead Coordinators deliberated on, and agreed to take forward the agenda on Africa’s Special Needs and Special Circumstances—a continent which is the least contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions (less than 4%) and yet the most adversely impacted region, as reaffirmed by latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports.

According to the IPCC, Africa is already experiencing severe and widespread impacts of climate change, causing devastation to lives, livelihoods and the continent's development trajectory.

“At the 36th session of the Au Summit in February, 2023, the AU Heads of State Assembly gave guidance on a number of issues, including urging the AGN to continue collaborating with other stakeholders, including the COP28 Presidency on Africa’s special needs and special circumstances agenda. So, we will continue pursuing this agenda item as guided by our leaders in the interest of the continent’s development aspirations in relation to climate action,” Shitima said.

Climate Finance and reform of the financial architecture

The question on climate finance is as old as the climate negotiations. Still, the AGN team is determined to ensure this agenda item is  given the prominence it deserves, particularly for developed countries to deliver on their climate finance pledges. The key ask is for developed countries to provide predictable and accessible funding for climate action on affordable and reasonable terms that do not further worsen the debt crisis that most developing countries are already dealing with.

Adaptation (GGA)

Adaptation to the impacts of climate change remains one of the key challenges that Africa is facing. Therefore, adaptation remains a key priority as people, infrastructure and ecosystems on the continent continue to experience climate shocks and economic distress.

The latest science by the IPCC reveals that Africa will need up to 86.5 billion USD for adaptation alone by 2030. In view of the foregoing, the AGN is seeking a clear and traceable delivery mechanism for the doubling of adaptation finance, a commitment made by developed countries in Glasgow in 2021, to avoid the mystery of the 100 billion USD per year, which has haunted negotiations since 2009.

Additionally, the weak outcome at COP27 on adaptation, largely due to developed countries’ unwillingness to take the matter seriously, has remained a concern to the AGN. The group is therefore seeking for seriousness on this matter and agreed to continue pushing for science-based indicators, targets and metrics within the agreed framework.


Notwithstanding the concentration on adaptation, the AGN’s call on developed countries to take their leadership role in climate action seriously by urgently scaling up mitigation ambition and implementation during this critical decade, to keep the 1.5-degree Celsius temperature goal alive. The group’s emphasis is also on the importance of support to implement conditional components of African countries and other developing countries' NDCs to enable them effectively contribute, as well as the call for countries to increase the share of renewable and low emission energy sources in their energy mix and scale-up renewable energy investments in particular to address the energy access challenges of many countries in Africa.

Just Transitions

In deliberating on Africa’s special needs and circumstances, the AGN Lead Coordinators also spotlighted the continent’s energy poverty, with latest statistics showing over 600 million people having no access to electricity and 900 million people with no access to clean cooking.

This is in addition to other development challenges that Africa faces requiring the continent to fully exploit its natural resources. With a heightened global campaign for countries to transition to clean and green energy sources, Africa will thus require support for Just energy transition that ensures resources and technologies are made available to enable the continent achieve climate, energy and development goals.

“Our argument is that reducing emissions should not be at the expense of Africa’s development but at a pace and scale affordable to African countries. The work programme should facilitate ambitious and equitable climate actions, recognising different starting points of countries and nationally defined development priorities of developing countries, different pathways and national circumstances and the importance of the social and economic components of the transition,” said AGN Chair. 

Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture and food security

In the context of the climate crisis in Africa, agriculture is seen as an important agenda item in view of the continent’s food insecurity, said to be worsened by climate change vagaries. In view of the foregoing, Africa cannot afford to slumber on the importance of making agriculture resilient to climate change.

Given its importance to most African countries’ food security and economic transformation, the AGN has firmly set its agenda on ensuring clear action matrix of the the four-year Sharm el-Sheikh joint work on implementation of climate action on agriculture and food security.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (PAMACC News) - The Global Stocktake (GST) is a critical turning point for efforts to address climate change, African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN) Chair, Ephraim Mwepya Shitima has told the Pan-African Parliamentarians Summit on Climate Policy and Equity.

Speaking when he addressed Parliamentarians and other stakeholders, gathered in Midrand, South Africa from 16th to 17th May, 2023, Shitima said the GST is key to the objectives of the Paris Agreement, which aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.

Shitima reiterated AGN’s call against inherent bias in favour of mitigation at the expense of adaptation, and called on African Parliamentarians to take keen interest in the GST process and its outcome as it enables countries and other stakeholders to assess their collectiveprogress towards meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.

“As Africa, we expect the GST to be comprehensive by assessing collective progress towards all the goals and not focusing on one or two,” said Shitima. “The outcome must be corrective—how to address the identified gaps and ensure implementation. The inherent bias in favour of mitigation ought to be rectified while the needs of adaptation and recognition of adaptation actions as part of the contribution of Parties towards the global effort should be accorded sufficient attention.”

The global stocktake, as enshrined in Article 14 of the Paris Agreement (GST), is a process for taking stock of the implementation of the Paris Agreement with the aim to assess the world’s collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the agreement and its long-term goals.

The first stocktake got underway at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November, 2021 and is expected to conclude at COP28. Each stocktake is a two-year process that happens every five years.

In addition to his call for African Parliamentarians to actively get involved in the GST process, AGN Chair also highlighted the climate financing and adaptation gaps as revealed by various reports including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6).

“According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP’s) Adaptation Gap Report 2022: Too Little, Too Slow – Climate adaptation failure puts world at risk finds that the world must urgently increase efforts to adapt to impacts of climate change. Implementation of adaptation actions are concentrated in agriculture, water, ecosystems- with health and education still remaining underfunded. However, without a step change in support, adaptation actions could be outstripped by accelerating climate risks, which would further widen the adaptation implementation gap.”

Shitima further lamented the poor provision of climate information in Africa, which is hindered by limited availability of weather and climate data, adding that existing weather infrastructure is insufficient for development of reliable climate information and early warning systems.

“For example, only 10% of ground-based observation networks are in Africa (the remaining 90% are outside Africa), and that 54% of Africa’s surface weather stations cannot capture data accurately,” he said.

Without belabouring the point, adaptation finance is inadequate to meet growing needs of African countries as access to adequate financial resources is crucial for climate change adaptation.

“UNEP estimates adaptation costs for Africa to be, from USD 20–50 billion per year by 2050 at 1.5℃ to USD 100–437 billion per year at 4℃ of global warming above pre-industrial levels. However, adaptation finance flows to developing countries are 5-10 times below estimated needs and the gap is widening,” lamented the AGN Chair.

Meanwhile, in his welcoming remarks, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) Executive Director, MithikaMwenda, said the African continent was already living in a critical moment as a result of climate change.

“The Sixth synthesis report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on 23rd March this year confirmed human-induced global warming is already causing widespread and irreversible impacts on our natural and human systems, and these impacts will only worsen with further warning," said Mwenda.


Three young climate activists have filed a lawsuit against Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey and Ministry of Environment, Urbanisation and Climate Change, by taking legal action due to the inadequacy of Turkey's climate target under the Paris Climate Agreement.

Turkey produced 403.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (MtCO2) emissions in 2021. This was a year-on-year increase of 8.1 percent, and the first year that emissions accelerated and peaked in Turkey since 2017. The country's coal-fired power stations are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions by Turkey at 103 Mt in 2021. Over a kilogram of CO 2 is emitted for every KWh of electricity generated in Turkey by coal-fired power stations.

Atlas Sarrafoğlu (16), Seren Anaçoğlu (20) and Ela Naz Birdal (17), young climate activists who have been campaigning for years for Turkey to fight stronger against the climate crisis, have filed a lawsuit against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Ministry of Environment, Urbanisation and Climate Change, claiming that the updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) submitted by Turkey as a climate target is insufficient, asserting that this is climate inaction rather than climate action. Underlining the lack of a transparent process in the preparation of this statement, they demanded the cancellation and renewal of Turkey's unscientific, ineffective and inadequate climate target. Young people defending their right to the future also launched a petition at

There are many similar climate lawsuits around the world. Six Portuguese young people had filed a complaint against 33 countries, including Turkey, accusing them of failing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

After Turkey submitted its updated NDCs to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat, Atlas Sarrafoğlu, Seren Anaçoğlu and Ela Naz Birdal said "Unfortunately, this declaration is not a commitment to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, but an increase. Turkey is a country of climate disasters and we, as young people, want our future to be secured with a stronger climate goal." They have become the pioneers of the first climate lawsuit filed against the Presidency and the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change, regarding Turkey's decisions on greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Climate Agreement.

Atlas Sarrafoğlu, a climate activist since the age of 11, made the following statements about the climate lawsuits they filed:  

"I came to a different world than my elders, a world caught in a series of disasters that trigger each other. It is an existential crisis. We are burning our planet with our own hands. The use of fossil fuels should have been abandoned a long time ago, but as long as governments and big corporations prefer their power and money to the future of humanity, we will not be able to prevent this crisis. 

 As a young climate activist, I want emissions to be reduced in line with the Paris Agreement, which Turkey signed too late. Children and young people are currently at the greatest risk, even though they did not cause the climate crisis. Therefore, I do not accept an environment where children's rights are disregarded. You are destroying the future of us, the young people you call "the future of this country". You are officially doing nothing against the climate crisis that threatens Turkey the most! For this reason, I initiate this lawsuit for Turkey to give a stronger climate target."

Seren Anaçoğlu, a European Union Climate Ambassador and a law student, said, "Turkey's NDC declaration submitted within the scope of combating the climate crisis, promises more than 30 percent increase by 2030, rather than a commitment to reduce emissions. Stating that it will be carbon neutral by 2053, Turkey still does not have a coherent and scientific roadmap on how it will realize decarbonization by 2053! No exit date from coal and fossil fuels! No effective climate action plan in the energy and mining sector! But unfortunately, there is a system in which the coal and mining lobby will continue to exist and poison us! For young people, the future holds more unemployment, pollution and vulnerability to climate disasters! There is a danger that we young people and children's right to life and access to basic rights such as food, water and air will be restricted or even eliminated! For this reason, I initiate this lawsuit for my right to a future."

Ela Naz Birdal, a young climate activist who fights for the right to the future, said: "The climate crisis is a global crisis and everyone has important duties in this struggle. All countries need to take on responsibility, so that we can reach the common goal of the 1.5-degree target". Listing her demands from Turkey to fight stronger against the climate crisis and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, she said: "Set an interim target. Announce a coal phase-out date. Make a real reduction commitment. Turkey's decarbonization policy should be determined with scientific methods and made into binding legal rules. We are filing this lawsuit to fight against the climate crisis and to guarantee our own future, and we look forward to the support of all our young friends in our petition campaign that we have started at! I initiate this lawsuit for a carbon-free future!"

Their lawyer Deniz Bayram made the following statement: "The realization of the 1.5 target of the Paris Climate Agreement depends on all state parties deciding on and implementing greenhouse gas emission reductions prepared with clear, understandable and scientifically based methods to the extent of their historical responsibility for global emissions. The uncertainty on scientific methods used in the decision to increase Turkey's current greenhouse gas emissions and the lack of a date for the transition from fossil fuels such as coal, are inconsistent and contradictory with the high increase in carbon emission targeting the years 2030 and 2038, and the 2053 net zero decision. In recent years, we have witnessed the devastating effects of climate change increase in the intensity of violations of basic human rights such as access to life, health, food and water. The urgency of this legal case stems from the urgency for Turkey to present a climate plan that it can defend with scientific data and protect the human rights of future generations.
The climate lawsuits filed by children and young people all over the world show us that states should stop shifting blame and responsibility to each other, and make equitable, clear, scientific and legally clear climate plans to the extent of their responsibilities. A favorable ruling in this case may have a positive impact not only for Turkey, but also for countries with high historical emissions to make their climate commitments even more ambitious and decisive."

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - The African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN) has welcomed efforts by the African group of Negotiators Expert Support (AGNES) to address Africa’s climate science knowledge gaps in relation to the continent’s contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

AGN Chair, Ephraim Mwepya Shitima says Africa’s technical negotiators have been yearning for scientific-based evidence to be informed from an African perspective.

“The IPCC is the designated scientific voice on climate science; it is therefore critical for our continent, which contributes very little and yet suffers the most, to be well represented in this body of science,” he says. “As AGN, we support every effort that African institutions such as AGNES, are making to improve the continent’s participation in the climate science discourse. This is particularly important for technical negotiators who have been yearning for scientific-based evidence to be informed from an African perspective.”  

In an effort to close the identified science knowledge gap, AGNES, in collaboration with the Kenya Meteorological Department, Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MEF), the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and other scientists/experts from Africa are convening in Nairobi to discuss important climate science knowledge gaps that are unique to the continent.

The meeting is seen as an opportunity for African scientists and experts to identify priority areas critical for the continent, and suggest inclusion during the Seventh Assessment Report (AR7) outline scoping plenary. The main aim is to stimulate and catalyse research activities geared towards addressing the identified knowledge gaps and provide an opportunity for greater involvement of African scholars/scientists.

Officially opening the meeting in Nairobi on Tuesday (18/04/2023), Principal Secretary at the Kenyan State Department of Environment and Climate Change, Eng. Festus Ng’eno emphasised the importance of ensuring that Africa’s voices are loud enough in the climate science discourse considering the continent’s vulnerability to negative impacts of climate change.

“The products in the 6th assessment cycle show an improvement in the representation of African issues, however there is still a major room for improvement,” he said. “It is alarming that only 11% of authors of the assessment report are from Africa despite Africa being one of the world’s most vulnerable continents to the impacts of climate change. It is crucial to ensure that African voices are well-represented when finding solutions, crucial too is the inclusion of the role of indigenous and local knowledge systems as well as adequate gender representation.”

While climate change is a global problem, Africa suffers its consequences disproportionately due to its limited capacity to cope. To make the matters worse, the continent contributes less than 4% to global warming emissions.

It is for this reason that there is a clarion call for Africa to be well supported in terms of adaptation finance as well as ensuring the continent’s voices are loud enough in the climate science discourse and on the negotiation table.

Experts across Africa have identified three main barriers to the continent’s scientists and scholars’ active participation and representation in the IPCC.

Firstly, there is limited publication by African scholars/scientists on African climate-related issues. High publishing costs, it is acknowledged, continue to keep African scientists/ scholars out of top science journals.

Secondly, there is a noted disjoint or weak link between the IPCC National Focal Points and the universities and/or research organizations.

Thirdly, serving as a contributing author is not compensated financially, and this is said to be a deterrent to the participation of scientists from countries that continue to work with limited resources.

Some of the solutions that the meeting aims to bring on board include having a common African position on the gaps identified, creation of an awareness and outreach programme to enhance National Focal Points’ link with policymakers, universities/ research institutions and putting in place a support system for African scientists to publish in peer-reviewed journals.

AGNES Team Lead and convener of the meeting, Dr. George Wamukoya noted the urgent need to fill the identified science knowledge gaps to improve representation of African issues in the IPCC assessments.

“Undoubtedly, there is an urgent need to fill the existing gaps in knowledge as well as anticipate the direction of science and research in the field of climate change and reflect this in published papers,” he notes. “This will improve the representation of African issues in the IPCC assessments. The question is, how does Africa plan to contribute towards addressing these knowledge gaps? It is my hope that this convening will get the most strategic solutions to ensure that representation is timely, accurate and inclusive.” 

Meanwhile, African Climate Research Fellow, Professor Chukwuemeka Diji is elated that such a meeting was taking place at a time when the IPCC Sixth Assessment report clearly indicates how Africa’s ability to adapt was being pushed to its limits.

“This meeting has become very important and expedient because the AR6 report shows that Africa’s ability to adapt is being pushed to its limits, calling for urgent action to create awareness and knowledge to urgently reverse the situation and reverse the dangerous direction. This week’s convening will set the groundwork to highlight the exposure and vulnerability of Africa to climate change and its multi–dimensional, socio–economic and political dimensions. Additionally, we also need to identify, scale – up and evaluate the current and future benefits of Adaptation to Africa while also including the voices of African scientists/ scholars.”

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