As UN climate talks reach their final stretch with Ministers arriving, African civil society warned against current proposals that drastically shift the talks away from their initial purpose, as agreed in Durban in 2011. The group under the auspices of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) also expressed concern about the draft decision and the scope of its contents.
“Wealthy industrialized countries are dishonoring the agreement reached by all parties in Durban on the Africa soil in 2011.” Samson Malesi of KEWASNET/CCN, Kenya and PACJA member said at press conference of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance.
Responding to the latest version of a ‘draft decision text’ released at the talks, Malesi said:
“In Durban countries launched new negotiations to increase climate action pre-2020 and to conclude a new climate agreement under the Convention for the post-2020 period. Where is the increase in pre-2020 action that people and the planet so clearly demand?” Malesi added.
“In Durban we agreed that the new agreement was not only about reducing emissions. It is also supposed to address Africa’s main concern, which is adapting to the warming we did not cause, but is destroying our continent. And it is about ensuring the finance; technology and capacity building that Africa and other developing countries need to adapt to and mitigate climate change. If Lima decides that countries do not mandatorily, binding under international law, need to bring finance, technology and adaptation commitments to the Paris climate deal then it’s hardly a climate deal at all. African Ministers must stand firm in Lima.” Samson, Samuel Ogallah, Programme Manager, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance said.
The Alliance said that it saw rich developed countries deconstructing the international climate regime – at a time when they should be strengthening it.
“They want a narrow agreement in Paris centered on emission cuts only. They want an agreement that shifts new burdens to Africa, while they end the Kyoto Protocol and weaken the UN climate convention, backtracking on current standards and rules.” Dr. Arig Gaffer Bakhiet of Sudanese Environmental Conservation (SECS), and member of PACJA said.
Reflecting on earlier developments in the conference that showed a lack of rules on ‘climate finance’ Arig added:
“This new text shifts the obligation of providing finance to developing countries, while risking that the money raised goes to transnational corporations. If the recent past is any guide those transnational corporations might be dirty energy companies to boot.”
PACJA released a simple test for African Ministers – they must defend the Durban Deal.
The Alliance said that unless the Lima decision achieves the following it should be rejected by Africa:
o Developed countries must increase their climate action in the pre-2020 period (as well as the post-2020 Paris agreement) by revisiting their Kyoto Protocol and Convention targets, and scaling up finance. The promise of USD2.4billion per year to the GCF is grossly inadequate when the 2020 figure promised $100 billion per year (and that figure itself is far too small).
o Honor the Durban Deal to ensure that the Paris Agreement covers all the elements of confronting the climate crisis – mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology, capacity and transparency. It cannot be a narrow mitigation agreement that puts new mitigation obligations on developing countries, while the rich countries weaken their own ones. The scope of intended contributions is a key metric for this.
o Ensure that adaptation gets legal parity in the Paris agreement with new and stronger obligations on the developed countries, who have caused climate change, to deliver on their existing commitments and provide new and additional compensation to developing countries.
o Ensure that “intended nationally determined contributions” from the developed countries due next year cover all the issues, and are not merely mitigation. As this would prejudge the outcome of the Paris negotiations about the scope of the agreement.
“Rich countries cannot come to our continent, make promises and then walk away. They must be held to account in Lima to fulfill their promises in Durban for a comprehensive climate deal that works for the people of Africa.” Chakri Said, Morocco Climate Change Network and member of PACJA said.
Negotiations will continue throughout the week with a final ‘decision’ expected to be adopted late on Friday night local time.