December 4, Madrid, Spain
Africa is pushing harder to have it perceived and treated as a special case in relation to climate funding. Some of the suggestions coming up are a walk-out or boycott, if diplomacy refuses to work.
Speakers at a meeting between the African Group of Negotiators chair Mohamed Nasr and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) today said the continent had made the same calls over and over, but action has not been forthcoming.
Mr Nasr, who is also the appealed for help to push for recognition of Africa’s special needs and circumstances, citing extreme poverty, limited education as well as poor health as some of the indicators and some of the issues driving Africa to the edge.
The meeting Wednesday was at this year’s Conference of the Parties (COP25) Ifema venue in Madrid, Spain.
Already, 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.
Mr Nasr, in his address to the team, had emphasized the need for Africa to be heard, saying the calls for change of status for the whole continent were based on scientific research findings. 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.
It was not immediately clear by the time of Nasr’s meeting with the CSOs when the informal discussion to deliberate on Africa’s push for change of status would be.
Mithika Mwenda, a Kenyan negotiator, proposed change of tack if the world was not heeding to the cries of the continent.
“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.
Addressing the press earlier, the African Civil Society Organisations read out the continent’s position, stating clearly the different thematic areas they needed focus on in terms of financial aid, and what they needed done.
The press conference addressed by Augustine Njamnshi of the Africa Coalition for Sustainable Energy and Access (ACSEA), Mwanahamisi Hamadi of FEMNET, Fazal Issa of Sokoine (Tanzania), and Tracy Sonny of the Botswana Climate Change Network.
Kone Dognon, who chairs the Agriculture committee at the Pan African Parliament, also addressed the press.
The CSOs want enhanced emission reduction through ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that reflect the magnitude of the climate crisis, fulfilment of previous and scale-up of new climate finance commitments to fund adaptation, as well as development of robust social and environmental guidelines for all international corporations and carbon market mechanisms in respect to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
Besides, the CSOs, led by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, which is headquartered in Kenya, called for actions to implement the gender action plan and urgent review, financing and implementation of the loss and damage mechanism.
Also interested in the special case status is the Arab bloc and some Latin America countries.