The Conflict of interest debate at the UN Climate talks has taken a new twist as new research from Climate Investigations Center (CIC) has exposed a long history of fossil fuel industry lobbyist interference in climate change negotiations.
The research, which is based on 25 years of meeting “Participants” documents published by the UNFCCC uncovers for the first time how many fossil fuel industry trade groups and industry lobbyists attended the climate talks going back to the first Conference of the Parties in 1995.
The research builds on CIC’s release of an archive of documents from the now-defunct Global Climate Coalition (GCC). The documents show new details on how the GCC targeted the UNFCCC and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to undermine science and slow progress on climate policy.
The new research on meeting participants shows that once the GCC dissolved in 2001, the same corporations and sometimes the same people who were GCC members continued attending COP after COP until today.
“As the Global Climate Coalition documents show, corporate interference has not only been happening at the UNFCCC for decades, it has had a real impact on climate policy,” said SriramMadhusoodanan, Deputy Campaign Director at Corporate Accountability.
Madhusoodanan adds that the GCC used its access to derail policymaking and undermine climate science, and worked with Global North governments to advance its denier agenda.
According to Madhusoodanan, many of the same individuals and corporations associated with the GCC are still active today, still freely able to stalk the halls and influence governments at the talks.
“While their goal in 1995 was to derail the talks, now it’s to steer it toward false solutions that will allow their members—the fossil fuel industry—to continue business as usual,” alleges Madhusoodanan.
According to a tally of total number of delegates over the period 1995-2018, Trade Associations that count fossil fuel corporations as members have sent more than 6,400 delegates to the climate talks in the aforementioned period.
And Climate Investigations Centre Director, Kert Davies says the legacy of fossil fuel corporate impact on the UNFCCC process and the IPCC is both invisible and impossible to forget.
“Fossil fuel interests have tried from the very beginning to undermine and infiltrate this difficult global agreement to make sure that it failed or faltered at each step. As they win, the planet loses," says Davies.
And commenting on the findings, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) Executive Director, MithikaMwenda said the fossil fuel industry’s thirst for profit threatens to ruin the opportunity for urgent, ambitious and just climate action.
“For decades, they are allowed to come to these talks and pretend to be on our side,” said Mwenda. “They use their money and influence to steer these talks in their favour, regardless of the impact it has on people…And while they lobby, global north countries and others to maintain the status quo, their thirst for profit threatens to ruin the opportunity we have for urgent, ambitious, just action and turn it in to yet another money-making scheme.”
Meanwhile, NdivileMokoenaof the Women for climate justice Southern Africa, lamented how the polluter influence is hurting small scale agriculture, which is predominantly done by women.
Mokoena said the big push for industrial and commercial agriculture was placing markets and profits over communities.
"Agricultural activities in Africa particularly in South Africa are threatened by climate impacts like floods, storms, droughts and heavy soils. Rural women play a major role in small-scale agricultural production and 70% of all food is produced by small scale farmers who use low input and low emission technologies. But, the industrial and commercial “Climate Smart Agriculture” places markets and profits over communities. This involvement of corporate actors with clearly conflicting commercial interests in these talks will fatally undermine the integrity, effectiveness and legitimacy of UNFCCC’s work in the field of agriculture and climate change," said Mokoena.
Others whospokeon the research findings include SouparnaLahiri on behalf of the Climate Justice Now constituency, Michael Charles, of the Navajo Nation and a member of the Indigenous Peoples' Organization, LorineAzoulai representing hundreds of thousands of youth at the UN and Pascoe Sabido of Corporate Europe Observatory.
BONN, Germany (PAMACC News)
Climate finance remains a crucial topic at the UN climate talks, as it is the core aspect for implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Key issues include fulfilment of climate finance commitment of USD 100 billion per year by 2020, by the developed country Parties as well as transparency and accountability modalities.
It is against this background that civil society groups attending the SB50 talks in Bonn have warned the African group of negotiators to stay alert to manoeuvres by the global north to push for climate loans in place of grants.
“We are gravely concerned by the trend of commercialising climate action to an extent that the poor people who are supposed to benefit from these finances are left out or are just being used for business interests,” said Mithika Mwenda, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) Executive Director. “The narrative of loans and other false solutions on climate financingare not welcome. The poor people who are on the frontlines of the climate crisis are urgently looking for real solutions. We therefore urge the African Group of Negotiators to remain steadfast and not fall for the carrots being dangled by the global north."
Mwenda said developed countries should just show leadership and live up to their responsibilities by cutting carbon emissions and financially support climate action to address what they caused through their industrialisation activities over the years.
And commenting on the concerns, Zambian delegation Coordinator, Carol Mwape Zulu said Zambia is opposed to the commercialisation of climate financing as it goes against the spirit of the convention which respects common but differentiated responsibilities.
“The convention is clear on the responsibility of developed countries to provide financial and technical support to developing countries as a moral obligation to address climate change based on the historical context of the climate crisis,” said Mrs. Zulu. “This is also in view that loans overburden our small economies as developing countries.”
She said the priorities of African countries revolve around adaptation which is more of a social service than an income generating/revenue source as compared to mitigation measures such as carbon markets that have a revenue component.
“In this case therefore, grants become the main and preferred form of support to developing countries. At this session, Zambia has been making submissions for the financial budget of the convention for both the GCF and Adaptation Fund to prioritise grants for adaption in developing countries.”
After the landmark Paris Agreement in 2015, it was realised that the colossal sums of money needed for its implementation would require the private sector to get involved.
And at COP 22 in Marrakech, a full day was dedicated to Business and Industry at which it was agreed that business had a significant role to play in enabling the global economy to achieve – and exceed – its climate goals.
As a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, the private sector was seen as a crucial partner in securing a prosperous and sustainable low-carbon economy for all.
But with these concerns being raised about climate finance commercialisation, it could be important to revisit the private sector’s involvement in climate action especially on the modalities for financial support from developed to developing parties as enshrined in both the convention and the Paris Agreement.
BONN, Germany (PAMACC News)
An array of experts, political leaders, NGOs and indigenous peoples and communities have agreed to a rights approach as a crucial step in confronting the global climate crisis.
Dubbed the ‘gold standard’, the methodology emphasizes rights for Indigenous peoples and local communities.
It aims to strengthen respect, recognition and protection of the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities as stewards and bearers of solutions to landscape restoration, conservation, and sustainable use; end persecution of land and environment defenders; build partnerships to enhance engagement and support for rights-based approaches to sustainable landscapes across scales and sectors; and, scale up efforts to legally recognize and secure collective land and resource rights across landscapes.
At the Global Landscapes Forum, held alongside the UNFCCC’s Bonn Climate Change Conference (SB50), the ‘gold standard’ approach was formally presented to kick-start consultations with Indigenous peoples’ organizations and NGOs from 83 countries around the globe who gathered at the summit.
The Forum, which every year carries a different theme through its series of events, news, workshops, community outreach and online courses, is focusing 2019 on rights—giving land rights the visibility they need to leapfrog to the top of global discussions, and frame rights as a solution to the climate change crisis.
The new standard, developed by the Indigenous People’s Major Group for Sustainable Development (IPMG), working with the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), will support the vital work Indigenous peoples and communities are already doing to adapt to global warming, threats to the world’s biodiversity and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Presentations and expert analysis during the two day summit showcased evidence from around the globe that when the authority of local communities over their forests and lands, as well as their rights, are legally recognized, deforestation rates are often reduced.
“By implementing a gold standard, we can both uphold and protect human rights and develop conservation, restoration and sustainable development initiatives that embrace the key role Indigenous peoples and local communities are already playing to protect our planet,” said Joan Carling, co-convener of IPMG.
IPMG recognizes that Indigenous and local communities are bearers of rights and solutions to common challenges.
“This will enable the partnership that we need to pave the way for a more sustainable, equitable and just future,” added Carling.
It is expected the consultations on this ‘gold standard’ will continue until year-end.
“It’s clear that when rights of local communities and indigenous peoples are recognized, there are significant benefits for the fight against climate change and environmental degradation,” said Robert Nasi, Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), which jointly coordinates GLF with UN Environment and the World Bank.
“Whoever controls the rights over these landscapes has a very important part to play in fighting climate change,” he said.
According to the United Nations, Indigenous peoples make up less than six percent of the world’s population but account for 15 percent of the poorest people. They live in some 90 countries, representing 5,000 different cultures and speak an overwhelming majority of the world’s estimated 6,700 languages.
Alain Frechette, of Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), saidthe rights approach has been proven to be an essential condition for sustainable development projects to succeed.
“Rights – the ability of people to make basic decisions about their needs, the use of their lands, their ambitions and their hopes or aspirations – invariably determined social-ecological outcomes, including economic security, wellbeing and livelihoods.”
The basic principles of a gold standard already exist, such as free, prior and informed consent, according to Frechette. What has been lacking is the application of principles which would be boosted by high-level statements that could “spur a race to the top”.
The Forum heard that the lands of the world’s 350 million Indigenous peoples and local communities already act as powerful shields against climate change, holding 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity and sequestering nearly 300 billion metric tons of carbon. Over 80 percent of biological diversity is found on local peoples’ lands.
“Our identity is being threatened, and we need to avoid it being completely eradicated,” said Diel Mochire Mwenge of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
According to his testimony during the summit, Mwenge, who leads the Initiative Programme for the Development of the Pygme, witnessed more than a million people evicted from their traditional land to make way for a national park and given no benefits from the ecotourism industries brought in to replace them.
In the climate and development arenas, the most current alarm being sounded is for rights –securing the land rights and freedoms of Indigenous peoples, local communities and the marginalized members therein. How can these custodians ofa quarter of the world’s terrestrial surface be expected to care for their traditional lands if the lands don’t, in fact, belong to them? Or, worse, if they’re criminalized and endangered for doing so?
This year’s Global Landscapes Forum, which attracted over 600 delegates from across the globe was therefore convened to define a new ‘gold standard’ for rights, with the hope of securing the rights of these important but marginalised groups in the management of forests.
The Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) will this September join several other groups in the push for more favourable climate through investment on clean and renewable energy as opposed to fossil fuels.
Up to eight organisations are planning a major conference in South Africa this September to discuss and emphasise the need for more states to choose and invest on renewable energy.
This is considering that the world is building towards the greatest capital shift in history, from the fossil fuel past to the renewable energy future. With little time left before we lock in irreversible climate impacts, governments, investors and civil society must redouble their efforts.
The fossil fuel divestment and clean energy investment movement has emerged as one of the bright spots in the climate fight, mobilising trillions of dollars in service to the energy transition. To support this growing movement, the Wallace Global Fund, 350.org, GreenFaith, the Global Catholic Climate Movement, Divest Invest, the Shine Campaign, the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, and Fossil Free South Africa are organising a Global Divest Invest Summit in Cape Town, South Africa this September.
As the birthplace of the anti-Apartheid divestment movement, South Africa has unparalleled symbolism and emotional resonance to serve as host for the summit. More broadly, the significance of the conference’s location in the Global South cannot be overstated: The fossil fuel industry is vying to be the engine of rapid economic development in the region at the same time that the climate crisis demands we leapfrog dirty energy in favor of clean, distributed renewable energy systems. This is especially poignant for the more than 1 billion people in the developing world, who still lack basic energy access.
The conference is expected to help build momentum for the global Divest Invest movement by convening cities, faith-based organisations, foundations and universities for an interactive program that provides tools and resources to align capital with climate goals.
Its organisers also expect to provide, through the conference, a platform for new Divest Invest announcements and for the release of a high-level statement from movement leaders challenging the global community to leave fossil fuels in the ground.
The other objective of the conference would be to showcase the movement’s increasing foothold in the Global South, underscoring the urgent need for investments that help developing nations leapfrog dirty development and provide clean energy access.
Since its launch by students as a call to climate action in 2011, the fossil fuel divestment campaign has become a rapidly growing movement that has mobilised trillions of dollars to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels and to support the clean energy transition. Today, more than 1,000 investors marshalling $8 trillion in assets have committed to divest, an increase of over 15,000% since 2014 when commitments stood at $52 billion. Increasingly, institutions are also tilting their portfolios towards climate solutions in renewable energy, efficiency, clean energy access and sustainable food and water programs.
The movement is having a material impact on the fossil fuel industry, as evidenced by the open admission by companies like Shell, that divestment poses a risk to their business, with the potential to impact share price and access to capital. Goldman Sachs recently said it “believes that the coal divestment movement has been a key driver of the coal sector’s 60% de-rating over the past ﬁve years.” Divestment campaigners around the world are pursuing sophisticated strategies targeting pension funds, insurance companies, cities, universities, faith groups and, most recently, asset managers.
Yet, while divestment remains dynamic and full of impact, the challenges are daunting: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently published a special report on 1.5 degrees that said civilisation had about a decade left to avoid catastrophic harm, adding that nothing short of “rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban infrastructure, and industrial systems” are needed now. While most countries in the world are committed to the Paris Agreement on paper, policies to support the clean energy transition often lag far behind the rhetoric.
Investors, with their trillions of dollars in assets, have the power to move faster than governments and catalyse the transition by shifting their capital out of the problems and into the solutions now. In so doing, they steer the backbone of politicians and policymakers to accelerate their own progress by giving them comfort that a mobilised constituency has their backs. Fossil fuel divestment and clean energy investment is more important than ever.
Why South Africa
South Africa is uniquely situated to host the conference, as divestment was used successfully as a tactic against the Apartheid government. The boycott and sanctions campaign raised awareness about the evil of the apartheid regime and built international solidarity. South Africa has played an influential role in the international climate talks, and hosted the 17th Conference of the Parties in December 2011. Cape Town is also significant as the first city in the Global South to have committed to divest from fossil fuels. Climate impacts are front and centre: Cape Town was recently brought to the brink by a severe water shortage brought on by a climate change-fueled drought. The country also recently suffered after heavy rains caused havoc in KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape Provinces, causing flooding and mudslides. Up to 80 lives were lost and many displaced to collective shelters. Several houses, religious structures and roads were also destroyed in the flooding that took place in May this year. Climate change was blamed for a lot of the losses incurred.
PACJA actively participates at UN Conference on Climate Change
The Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) has joined other civil society groups takig part in the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany.
The conference that has included the fiftieth sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body (SB 50) for Implementation started on June 17th, and ends on June 27th 2019 at the World Conference Centre in Bonn.
It has brought together environmental experts and stakeholders around the topic on global warming.
The objective of the meeting is to present climate action in the context of developed and developing countries, with a view to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The African civil society has taken advantage of this framework of reflection to recall its expectations in the implementation of the international mechanism of the Warsaw Agreement on Losses and damages that until then did not have favorable consequences. "Loss and damage remain a big problem in these negotiations, because civil society asked for a specific, appropriate and independent mechanism to address the issue of loss and damage,” said Augustine B Njamnishi, the Technical and Political Affairs Chair at PACJA.
He added: "Despite the fact that developing nations, especially African countries, are already experiencing floods due to climate change, as was recently witnessed in Southern Africa, and which require prompt and adequate responses, the responses are not necessarily guaranteed in existing climate finance mechanisms".
In addition, several key points were raised by Civil Society groups in their advocacy, in particular the thorny issue of financing the fight against climate change, given the vulnerability of African countries to the consequences of global warming at the social, political and economic levels.
Attendants of the meeting are, therefore, calling for the adoption of the commitment of $100 billion a year, in the fight against climate change, which funding will eventually be the green background for climate. It also gives priority to the Adaptation component, which is one of the fundamental principles of the Paris Agreement that is respectful of equity and justice, and serves as an anchor for the implementation of this Agreement.
As African countries cope with the effects of climate change, the need to increase aid flows to climate change adaptation and mitigation actions is becoming an urgent issue in light of the huge numbers of natural disasters some countries in sub-Saharan Africa are now facing. Civil society welcomed the breakthrough progress made in the UNFCCC agriculture negotiations to make recommendations on strengthening the resilience of agriculture and food systems. As agriculture is a key driver of development in Africa, the new challenges that climate change exposes therefore require the provision of technology transfer and access to adequate means.
In addition, civil society suggests strengthening the capacity of institutions to fight global warming through favorable legislation to facilitate the exercise of their missions.
Among other topics discussed, Gender Equality through Effective Representation of Women in all aspects of the Convention, have been the main expectations of African countries through the African civil society present at the international meeting.
PACJA is a non-governmental organisation created in 2008, and which brings together more than 1,600 African civil society organisations. The Alliance is present in 48 countries in Africa, and champions justice and equity for local people in climate change and sustainable development.
Statement in reaction to Government’s endorsement of the Lamu Coal Project, Nairobi, Kenya; 20 June 2019
Today is a sad day for this country and the taxpayers working so hard to feed themselves and the Government.
Today, I return to express my shock and disgust that the same government that purports to care for its people has stood before cameras and declared it’s intention to continue with the Lamu coal project, turning a deaf ear to the noise on the ground, and a blind eye to the realities.
It was not for show that Civil Society Organisations joined other Kenyans and marched in the streets of Nairobi to protest the appetite the Government has developed towards the coal plant project at the Kenyan Coast.
There have been more protests in this regard, and if the Government was listening and cared for its people, this project would be dead.
Despite the fact that these issues were so obvious, we raised them again to remind the Government to pause, listen and do the right thing. We marched to remind the Government not to listen to a few greedy people hiding behind local and international firms with a resolve to have the Lamu Coal project continue, no matter what! All we were saying was that Coal is not cool. Coal is going to kill our people in Lamu. Going on with this project will sink the country’s economy and push the already overburdened taxpayer to the wall.
Kenya as a signatory to the 2015 Paris Agreement is blatantly choosing to go against the grain, reversing the many gains we have achieved in our attempts to access and push for cleaner, renewable and more sustainable energy and in the end reduce carbon emission.
What is baffling is that the Government is not composed of people with low understanding of all the underlying issues, but it continues to act in a manner likely to suggest that it does not care how many people suffer the consequences of a Coal project, even if the economy sinks by a few hundreds of billions of shillings. We have seen countries in the world constructing stadiums with solar panels. Kenya can also take this direction instead of investing in killer projects that will destroy future generations!
The 200 billion being invested in coal projects can be direveted to cleaner and renewable energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal energy.
Some of the harmful effects of coal will include increased greenhouse gas emissions, production of harmful toxin during burning. Some of the gases have been known to cause ailments like cancer and asthma. Other disadvantages of having a coal plant are environmental degradation, risk of mines collapsing on miners, displacement of communities, pollution of water bodies and soil as rain water mixes with toxic substances and get absorbed. It will also affect the fishing community by contaminating the water disposed around the ocean
So who are the real faces behind this Lamu Coal project? What don’t they have? What don’t they understand? How many more lives must be lost for them to hear our cries? Doesn’t the life of that poor Kenyan at the Coast matter anymore? Why insist on the coal project when the Government itself has acknowledged surplus from our other renewable, some even unexploited energy sources? Everyone is moving towards clean energy. Why are we walking in the wrong direction?
Yes, there will be economic gains from the coal project, but for how long and at what expense?
We need our ecology and economy sound.
We don’t want to pay more debts; we are tired!
Kenya is one of the 196 signatories to the Paris Agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that vowed, in 2015, to mitigate greenhouse gas emission, and transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient, green economic development pathways. We must do the right thing. I urge the Government to give this project a second, third or even fifth thought, with the people and the rest of the biodiversity in mind.
We don’t want to kill our people, environment, unity and economy.
The Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) has joined partners to review the Second Progress Report on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implementation.
PACJA, which is the Lead in SDG 13, with its Kenyan Platform on Climate Governance (KPCG) being a Lead in Goal 7, sent representatives to the meeting attended by several Civil Society Organisations in Nairobi on June 19th 2019.
Kenya Civil Society Organisation (CSO) report 2019 is part of the Voluntary National Review (VNR) process that countries committed to during the adoption of the Agenda 2030. This year’s biennial national progress report aims to help Kenya track its progress in achieving Agenda 2030, promote accountability and exchange best practices.
The SDGs Kenya Forum, in its capacity as a strengthening platform and convener for SDGs Implementation, Monitoring and Review among CSOs, convened the goal group leads elected during its (the Forum’s) Annual General Assembly in January 2019. The VNR guideline workshop took place on Friday, 15th February 2019, at ibis Hotel in Nairobi.
The half-day workshop helped prepare civil society organisations to compile their contributions for the 2019 Status report that will be incorporated into the national report Kenya is preparing officially for the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2019.
Although Kenya will not be formally presenting a VNR at the HLPF this year, the interagency committee on SDGs Implementation passed a resolution for countries to regularly monitor, review and compile a progress report every two years.
The Goal Group leads convened members and submitted Goal reports as presented by members.
The secretariat, in partnership with Development Initiatives (the forum fiscal host) compiled the consolidated draft report, which will be presented for validation by members.
In March 2019, the forum commissioned a baseline survey to assess the extent to which gender, women and girls empowerment has been integrated in development processes in Kenya. The survey is part of a grant from the Gates Foundation, to strengthen the coordination of SDGs 5 goal group and design a model that can be borrowed by the other16 goal groups.
The forum, therefore, presented the results of the study and got the members’ inputs.
The meeting today aims to present to participants the overall findings of the CSOs consolidated progress report for validation and additional reviews to enable finalisation of the report by end of June 2019.
It also aims to present the draft Goal 5 baseline survey for input to enable finalisation.
The event was at Royal Azure Hotel, Lantana Hotel, Westlands in Nairobi.
The Kenya Platform on Climate Governance (KPCG) has documented the outcomes of the activities of different projects it implemented at national and county levels throughout the year.
The Kenyan platform of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) held a meeting at Ngong Hills Hotel in Nairobi, with each of its thematic working groups presenting their achievements for projects undertaken and reviewing challenges and opportunities.
Speaking at the event, in which she represented the Executive Director Mithika Mwenda, PACJA Head of Programmes Salina Senou commended KPCG for being vibrant.
David Jesse, the CEO of the KPCG, gave a brief history of the platform. “PACJA, through the Angaza Project, was able to come up with KPCG,” he said, adding that the platform would not relent in its efforts to fight for adaptation to and mitigation of effects of climate change, guided by the five thematic working groups. “As CSOs we need to engage the government more,” said Jesse.
Jesse, however, expressed the need to firm up the membership process to lock out jokers.
Dickson Kithinji, the Angaza Project Assistant, took the participants through the steps of packaging their outcomes. Some of the outlined outcomes of the working groups are listed below:
- Enhanced tree cover (indigenous and fruits) in Meru, Mbagathi, Kiambu, Kisaju and Nairobi
- More people have embraced the use of clean energy. Clean energy campaigns that include walks and cycling, are some of the strategies used to reach out to the people
- There is an adaption of green buildings as seen in Nairobi
- County officials are embracing climate change and showing interest in taking part in reducing the greenhouse emissions, which is in line with the Paris Agreement
- There was also an increased willingness of different county blocs to press their governments to pledge financial resources towards climate.
Collins Oduor, the Voice for Change Partnerships (VFCP) project undertaken by the platform, enlightened the audience about his project. “We work with pastoral and marginalised communities in different thematic areas to build Climate Change Governance,” he said. Mr Oduor urged Kenyans to conserve their environments for the sake of all, including pastoral communities whose livelihoods totally depended on the environment.
Oduor expressed possibilities VFCP collaborating with KPCG to tackle climate change issues in Kenya.
Yvonne Maingi, a representative from the Department for International Development (DFID) who has been contracted to review the project, was the chief guest.
KPCG has five thematic working groups, namely:
- Gender, Youth and Marginalised
- Technology Transfer, Knowledge Management and Capacity Building
- Climate Finance
PACJA Executive Director’s Press Statement at the Global Climate Action Beyond 2020' - Bonn Climate Change Conference (SB 50) on Monday June 17th 2019Written by Mike
Reflection on the Climate Change Negotiations: Where we are and expectations from the African Civil Society
We join the African Governments and experts here in Bonn for the SB50, with very disturbing memories of recent impacts of extreme events in Africa, especially in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. The African continent is under extreme pressure more than ever due to these extreme events, and the most affected are countries with existing capacity and development challenges. The Africa Civil Society calls for urgent climate action and support to addressing such extreme calamities. In Katowice last year, we called for a comprehensive and balanced Paris Agreement Work Programme that upholds equity, justice and act as an anchor in the Paris Agreement’s implementation to be delivered, but this ambition is not yet realised.
We, therefore, expect: -
Loss and Damage: We call for the commitment in the implementation of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage and need a predictable a financing approach for Loss and Damage in Africa. Africa continues to suffer enormous economic losses in billions of dollars as a result of climate change impacts, coupled with un-costed social losses due to climate-induced displacement of persons, thus triggering conflicts. In Mozambique, 3 million people are affected, with estimated USD 1.4 billion in total damage, and USD 1.4 billion in losses. The recovery and reconstruction is estimated to be 2.9 billion USD. In Malawi, the president has declared a state of national disaster due to devastating floods, where more than the lives of 870,000 people are affected. A post-disaster assessment done by World Bank and UNDP indicate around USD 222 million is needed for the recovery. In addition, in Zimbabwe El Nino induced drought has affected 5.3 million and 234 million is required to avert hunger. It is worrying to keep hearing the answer for loss and damage as insurance, this might be possible in developed countries but NOT in developing countries especially in Africa, this is a far-fetched dream.
We expect climate finance to continue to be a critical issue of negotiations. We expect a clear roadmap for fulfilment of climate finance commitment of USD 100 billion per year by 2020 should be agreed, the commitment should include towards an ambitious Green Climate Fund (GCF) replenishment. Parties should also agree to discuss a new post-2025 quantified climate finance goal from the floor of USD 100 billion. Unless there is a direct and explicit linkage between Article 9.5 and 9.7 and Article 13, much of this exercise will be a cosmetic display without any meaningful assessment of support provided. As the African Civil Society, we believe that the accounting modalities to be used by developed country Parties on financial resources provided and mobilized through public interventions via the transparency framework must reflect the information provided in the biennial indicative communication of support.
Adaptation is a core element of the Paris Agreement, there is a need to have clear outcome that allows for operationalization of Adaptation component of the agreement that allows for enhancing flows of support to adaptation actions of developing countries. There is a need for a clear outcome that will enable the operationalization of the adaptation communication with clear and consistent information that will enable assessment of overall progress towards the achievement of the global goal for adaptation.
We should reach clear options on issues pertaining scope of NDC’s mitigation, further action on information on clarity and understanding without leading to diluting the clear flexibility and differentiation in the NDCs between developed and developing countries as per article 4.3 with clear outcomes with developed countries to take the lead on mitigation actions, and developing countries using the enhanced means of implementation to raise their ambition.
Agriculture is a key economic driver in Africa. We welcome the progress achieved to date by adoption of decision 4/CP.23 on the Konrovia Joint Work Programme (KJWA) representing a major step forward in the negotiations on agriculture under the UNFCCC. Its implementation will require joint efforts from both subsidiary bodies, as well as from constituted bodies under the Convention and other relevant stakeholders. We recognise the importance of the Koronivia joint work on agriculture to provide recommendations on building the resilience of agricultural and food production systems, and sustainable and predictable access to adequate means of implementation, in particular technology transfer and financing that is predictable and adequate.
Capacity Building: We emphasise that there is need to build long-term capacity among developing countries which includes strengthening capacity of climate change institutions.; capacity building should at all times be focused on the needs of countries and driven by countries. Further, capacity building should adopt a multi-stakeholder approach, including all stakeholders and supportive legislation to facilitate this. We call for provision of support to the Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT), setting aside of additional resources and meeting of existing voluntary contributions pledges. We further call for provision of financial resources to support country driven capacity building initiatives.
Gender: We note the importance of gender considerations in policies that supports activities on adaptation, mitigation, finance, technology development and transfer, including capacity building, and we acknowledge the progress made in implementing decisions on gender under the Convention. We call for Parties to increase their efforts in ensuring that women are represented in all aspects of the Convention process, and gender mainstreaming is achieved in all processes, and activities of the Convention.
Finally, we are calling on parties here in Bonn, Germany to fresh energy and push the negotiations towards concrete outcomes that will address this grave concern to Africa. The world is watching our ambition in implementation of the Paris Agreement as it will determine whether we are serious in addressing the climate change problem or it’s a mere rhetoric.
Nairobi to host first International Conference on Agroecology Transforming Agriculture and Food Systems in AfricaWritten by Mike
Leading world agricultural experts, scientists, value chain actors, farmers and policymakers arrive in Nairobi next week to chart the way forward on how to substantially and sustainably reduce the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers in the African continent. The PanAfrican Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) is an interested party in anything biodiversity because of their interconnectedness with climate change and all the issues around it.
PACJA representatives therefore attended a meeting today in Nairobi, for the Press and partners’ briefing on the conference that will also discuss the dangers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and define strategies for increasing the uptake of agroecological programmes and initiatives at the 1st International Conference on Agroecology Transforming Agriculture & Food Systems in Africa.
The event will be hosted by the World Food Preservation Centre (WFPC), IFOAM Organics International (IFOAM) and Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) and their local and international partners.
The partners aim to facilitate the establishment of truly sustainable food and agriculture systems in Africa. The three-day conference, will take place at the Safari Park Hotel from June 18th to 21st, 2019. The official opening ceremony will take place on June 18th, 2019 from 8.30am – 1pm.
The theme is: “Reducing Synthetic Fertilizers and Pesticides by Scaling up Agroecology and Promoting Ecological Organic Trade.”
The other purpose of the conference is to facilitate the establishment of truly sustainable food and agriculture systems in Africa and sharing of the FAO Scaling up Agroecology Initiative for introduction in Eastern Africa. The conference will also showcase opportunities to scale up Ecological Organic domestic and regional trade in East Africa.
The Conference will bring together over 500 participants and 30 exhibitors from various countries who have a strong interest in the growth and development of the agroecological sector. These include policy makers, representatives from various Ministries and counties, leaders of civil society organisations, practitioners, development partners and the academia. Key value chain actors including local producers & smallholder farmers have also confirmed participation. Further, the Conference has confirmed attendance of internationally renowned high-profile speakers including; Dr Josefa Sacko (AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture), Prof Gilles Eric Seralini from France, Prof. Hans Herren from USA, Prof. Tyrone Hayes from USA, Dr. Judith Carmen from Australia, Prof Ratemo Michieka from Kenya, Dr Million Belay from Ethiopia and Dr Darcy Ogada from Kenya.
“We are humbled and honoured to host this important event which is coming at a time when there is a growing interest in agroecological initiatives because they are increasingly seen as part of an innovative and sustainable response to the challenges facing our food and agriculture systems,” Dr David Amudavi, Executive Director, Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT), said at the event.
“IFOAM is delighted to be partner in this conference. As global change agent for true sustainability in agriculture we aim for a board adoption of agroecological practices in line with the principles of organic agriculture. This conference sets out the important landmarks for transformation of agriculture so that it serves people and planet, instead of the chemical input industry, said Louise Luttikholt, Executive Director, IFOAM Organics International.
From a Kenya country perspective, this conference will provide an opportunity for learning and sharing of experiences amongst various actors in the sector with a view to stimulating, promoting and advocating for increased systematic achievements of the Big Four Agenda, especially Agenda 4 on food security.
The overall aim of the event is to facilitate the establishment of truly sustainable food and agriculture systems in the continent.
The media and partners’ briefing meeting was held at a Nairobi hotel today.
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