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COP27: Africa’s Action Points

The Africa Group of Negotiators has just concluded a COP 27 preparatory meeting in Sharm El-Sheikh ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, to realign Africa’s position.

The AGN has unveiled a six-point plan that will guide Africa’s negotiations as the continent seeks to steer the talks toward successfully tackling the climate crisis.

The 6-point plan includes the following key objectives:

1: Delivery of climate finance and other support to Africa and other developing countries

Finance is often a touchy subject at the climate talks because even though wealthy nations committed to releasing 100 billion dollars each year to enable poor countries to climate-proof themselves, that goal has never been met. Africa will therefore be pushing for this pledge to be honoured.

2: Strengthening adaptation support

Developed countries under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement are required to assist developing nations to meet the costs of adapting to the adverse effects of climate change. At COP26, developed countries agreed to double financial support for adaptation to USD $40 billion per year, but they have not yet done this. Africa seeks to close this adaptation gap at COP27.

3: Addressing climate-induced loss and damage

Africa will be pushing for the creation of a Loss and Damage Fund to enable the continent fully address the economic cost of climate change. Droughts and floods often result in massive economic losses which the continent is seeking compensation for. The Rising Lakes phenomenon for instance cost Kenya 17 billion shillings in losses and damage.

4: Enhancing ambition on mitigation towards 1.50C

The COP26 Glasgow Climate Pact stressed that national emission reduction plans need to be aligned with a 1.50C temperature limit. Many countries, both developed and developing, have committed to reach net zero emissions by mid-century. Africa, despite contributing the least amount of emissions, has the plan to cut its emissions.

5: Supporting Africa’s just transition to clean energy

This agenda item seeks to leverage on Africa’s renewable energy potential to become a clean energy superpower. The Glasgow Climate Pact came close to phasing out fossil fuels but a last minute change saw the agreement go with the phase down of fossil fuels. Over 600 million people in Africa have no access to electricity while 900 million still use dirty fuels for cooking. Under this agenda item, Africa will be seeking deliberate investments to enable the transition to clean energy.

6: Using the UN’s ‘Global Stocktake’ to put fairness at the heart of the climate negotiations

The Global Stocktake (GST) is a key element of the Paris Agreement. The first GST was launched at COP26 in Glasgow, with the first session of its Technical Dialogue held in Bonn at the June 2022 session.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Focal Point Persons from across the continent attended the meeting, as well as those who will sit at the negotiation tables on behalf of Africa. In the meeting, the AGN stressed the need to push for recognition of Africa’s special needs and circumstances, because it is a continent that contributes the least to c

Global warming yet suffers the greatest impacts.

“Africa is the least contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions with less than 4% of total global emissions and yet the most adversely impacted region as reaffirmed by the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. Africa is already experiencing severe and widespread impacts of climate change causing devastation to lives, livelihoods and the continent’s development trajectory. And this is a clear manifestation of climate injustice,” Ephraim Mwepya Shitima, the AGN chair, said.

The AGN also has agriculture on the agenda, because it is the backbone of most African countries. The agriculture sector’s vulnerability to climate shocks often leaves vast populations in severe food insecurity and Africa wants concrete actions to support climate resilient agriculture.

“Kenya is suffering from its worst drought in 40 years. More than 3 million people live with food insecurity, and many have become displaced. Climate change is a global problem requiring global solutions, but developing countries are bearing the brunt of this crisis,” Environment CS Soipan Tuya said.

She’s also in Egypt for the pre-COP preparatory meetings. “What we need is urgent finance to address these burdens.  The knowledge and technology of how we cut emissions and adapt to climate impacts is known, what we need is the political will to deliver the finance to allow them to happen. That is what needs to shift at COP27.”

COP 27 is set to kick off this Sunday, the 6th of November.

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