PACJA, ClimDev Africa Initiative Partners, the African Climate Policy Centre of UN Economic Commission for Africa, the African Union Commission and the African Development Bank held a successful roundtable in Addis Ababa to reflect and take stock of the UNFCCC-COP 25 Outcomes, and the implications for the African people.
This high level event was graced by the presence of the UK government representative Jason Grimes, who is the Deputy Permanent Representative to the African Union, the spokesperson of the African Group of negotiators Ambassador Seyni Nafo, Jean-Paul Adam, the Director, Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management at ECA, and several others.
The participants engaged in an open reflection of the outcomes of the COP25, which were disappointing, particularly to the African countries, since the pertinent issues of concern to the continent were not addressed.
In his opening remarks, PACJA Executive Director Mithika Mwenda indicated that African had a good opportunity to influence the climate change negotiations this year in Glasgow, UK, but this was only possible if the continent could take advantage of the upcoming pre-events like the Africa Climate week to come up with concrete African homemade position in the negotiations.
Dr Mithika highlighted the need to convene a multi stakeholder platform that would build a momentum as we approach COP 26.
The UK government indicated its readiness to work with PACJA, African Union, African governments, African Group of Negotiators (AGN), ECA among others in making COP26 a success, especially for the continent.
In his remarks, Mr Jason informed the meeting that Africa was central in the preparation of COP26 and that the UK government would make deliberate efforts in engaging the continent in the build-up to the conference.
He averred that the president of COP26 was committed to delivering a conference that would meet the interests of all. Jason said the youth constituency was particularly important and that the youth formed a formidable force that could not be ignored.
The deputy permanent representative to the AU further indicated that the UK government was aware of the concern that had always been raised by Africans concerning access to climate finance.
Accessing the climate finance has been a challenge to many African countries.
Jason committed that the UK government would seek to address the challenge, and pointed out that building of consensus as the COP26 approached was a key priority for UK government.
The UK government will, therefore, work tirelessly in engaging everyone aiming at building consensus before COP26, according to Jason.
The AGN indicated its commitment to working with PACJA and other partners in preparing Africa’s position at COP26. Speaking on behalf of the AGN, Ambassador Seyni Nafo from Mali indicated that the AGN was keen on developing a climate financial instrument proposal favorable to the African countries. He indicated that the climate emergency was not only a big threat to the wellbeing of a people but also put achievement of Sustainable Development Goals at risk. He informed the meeting that the African Heads of State would be banking on climate change experts in the continent to advise on tangible solutions for the continent. Mr Seyni reiterated that it was about time the continent started implementing COP recommendations, even as they pursued better ones.
The participants in the roundtable recommended formation of a multi stakeholder committee that brings all stakeholders together to prepare the continent for COP26. The committee will include government representatives, AGN, AU, Regional Economic Commissions, Civil Society actors, women, Youth and all other key stakeholders.