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The African Group of Negotiators has called for support from the Civil Society

Madrid, Dec.4

The African Group of Negotiators has called for support from the Civil Society to help the continent’s special case and circumstances recognised.

Speaking to a group of CSOs, led by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) at the COP25 venue in Madrid, Spain earlier today, the African Group of Negotiators chair Mohamed Nasr said there was need for more pressure, as what Africa was asking for was based on scientifically generated information.

Already a lot of African countries are suffering because of flooding and mudslides following ongoing heavy rains.

The situation is worse in countries such as Kenya, Somalia and Congo, which has lost more than 100 lives, collectively, in the last month alone.

Abject poverty, limited education and now poor health are being cited as some of the indicators of the situation that requires Africa’s special circumstances acknowledged even as negotiations and decisions are made and reached at the climate conference.

But the noise seems minimal, with the AGN now seeming helpless.

The AGN was earlier today assured of the backing of the CSOs attending the meeting with Mr Nasr.

The CSOs had earlier read a position paper and discussed matters deserving immediate attention in Africa, and which should help in the push for recognition as a continent with special needs.

Speaking at the meeting with the AGN chair, Augustine Njamnshi, the Africa Coalitions of Sustainable Energy and Access said Africa needed to be heard because it was asking for cure of problems it did not cause itself.

“We will continue to demand these rights for as long as they will ignore us, because they caused us these sufferings,” said Njamnshi.

Amb Nasr, who is also the Head of Environmental Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, said the African situation was not only evident but also backed by a scientific research. He quoted the IPCC report released in July as highlighting the situation.

“We are not cry-babies, and are not just making noise. People are dying pin Africa, and something can be done by the people who contribute more to the global warming,” said Nasr.

PACJA Executive Mithika Mwenda said the CSO were speaking in one voice and willing to support the AGN team to the end.

“We are fully behind you because we speak for Africans who are tired of these sufferings. If they do not listen, we will change tack,” said Dr Mithika.

The COP25 President Carolina Schmidt, who is also the Minister for Environment of Chile, in her opening remarks on Monday, said the issue raised by Africa would not be in the conference’s agenda.

It took protests from Egypt, Tanzania, Ghana and several representatives of some other African countries for her to say the request could be discussed, though informally.

“If they cannot see our sufferings, we must make them see. Why should we continue to lose our people in preventable deaths when the people behind the climate crisis are comfortable?” asked Mwenda