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At COP 25, African CSOs Demand Ambitious Decisions that Reflect Africa’s Special Circumstances and Needs and is Commensurate with Climate Crisis

Madrid, 3rd Dec. 2019--African civil society organizations (CSOs) representing more than 40 counties, under Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), are demanding r an accelerated process and ambitious decisions at UNFCCC COP25. The decisions should reflect Africa as a region with special needs and circumstances. The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report shows that if the current trajectory continues, Africa will warm 1.5 times more than the global mean average temperature; with parts of Africa already experiencing 2ºC-warming, way higher than the indicated 1.5º C. Parties should, therefore, take a decision recognizing these special circumstances and needs for Africa that go with the urgent need for finance, emergency response and technology development.

Africa civil society therefore specifically demands the following:

1.    Enhanced Emission Reduction through Ambitious NDCs that reflect Climate Crisis
Call for immediate enhanced efforts in greenhouse gas emission reductions as per the best available science. Developed country Parties should use the obligation of reviewing the NDCs in 2020 to ambitiously enhance their mitigation commitments to reach the required target of reducing half of the current emission levels by 2030 to cap global average warming at 1.5º C as stipulated in the recently published UNEP Emission Gap Report 2019.  Further stress that the NDCs should include all elements and not just mitigation-centric and have a five years’ timeframe that is aligned with the global stock-take.

2.    Fulfil previous and scale-up new Climate Finance Commitments to fund adaptation
Africa civil society reiterates that adaptation financing remains a priority for African countries. Developed country Parties shall provide enhanced, predictable, adequate and grant-based climate finance to developing country Parties to adapt to adverse climate change impacts. Currently, adaptation is only taking a quarter of global climate finance from developed to developing countries while mitigation taking over 60 percent. African CSOs emphasize the urgency of a reliable source of finance for the Adaptation Fund, which will provide decent financial resources and be sustainable. Also, maintain the current number and composition of the Fund Board taking into account fair and balanced representation among identified groups.

Further emphasize that the process to initiate setting of a new collective quantified climate finance goal from a floor of USD 100 billion per year in 2020 to consider the needs and priorities of developing countries, be science-informed and draw lessons from the experience of pre-2020 commitments. Developed country Parties should continue to fulfil their pre-2020 climate finance commitment of USD 100 billion per year during the period.

3.    Urgent Review, Financing and Implementation of the Loss and Damage Mechanism
The Africa civil society stresses the urgency to develop a clear means of implementation and operationalize the Warsaw International Mechanism on loss and damage. This include financing for ongoing and incurred loss and damage, and adequate financing to implement the work plan of the Warsaw International Mechanism for loss and damage Executive Committee. Loss and damage represents an outstanding economic and political challenge and a great concern; therefore, there is urgent need to avert, minimize and address these impacts through comprehensive risk management approaches – early warning systems, measures to enhance recovery and rehabilitation and build back and forward better, social protection instruments, including social safety nets, and transformational approaches.

4.    Develop robust social and environmental guidelines for all International Corporations and carbon market mechanisms in respect to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement
African civil society organizations call for robust social and environmental guidelines for all carbon market mechanisms to ensure that they do not create or lead to adverse conditions that impact the livelihoods of African local communities or prevent the communities from becoming climate resilient. Parties must advance the human rights guidelines from the element to promote sustainable development and ensure environmental integrity and transparency. This should be done in line with the Paris Agreement’s preamble that states all climate actions shall, inter alia, respect and promote human rights – the right to health, gender equality and women’s empowerment, indigenous people and development.

5.    Actions to Implement the Gender Action Plan
The Africa civil society calls upon Parties to take action to implement the activities under the Gender Action Plan in order to strengthen consideration of gender aspects in climate-related activities. African women and young people are most at risk from impacts of extreme weather. We need to be fully aware of traditional roles women and men, and recognize that women are impacted most by climate change yet they are usually underrepresented in climate change negotiations and decision making. Therefore, there should be allocation of adequate financial and human resources to build the needed capacity on gender dimensions of climate policy and action at national level and to comply with the requirements on gender under the Paris Agreement implementation guidelines.

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