Civil society groups from Egypt, African countries and the Arab world have come together to call for a global mass mobilisation of people everywhere to address the root cause of the climate crisis and other injustice, to take place around the world during the COP27 global climate talks by November 2022.
On Thursday, September 15, 2022, they launched the “COP27 Coalition” with an invitation to civil society groups around the world to join them in demanding an end to climate and other injustices, and an urgent response from governments and leaders to climate and other multiple linked crises.
They are calling on citizens to join in a decentralised Global Day of Action on Saturday, November 12, during the COP, organised in cities and towns across the globe, and to help mobilise millions of people under a call for climate justice and bring movements together to build real power for systems change.
They are also calling on civil society to organise People’s Forums wherever they are throughout the duration of the COP to organise collective action and demand effective action by leaders and governments.
The COP27 Coalition demands a “reset” of the multilateral system to address the scale of the challenge, as part of a wider agenda to address climate change.
To achieve climate justice, the groups are calling for efforts to:
- Decolonise the economy and development
- Faced with multiple crises, developing countries must reframe and implement alternative models of development that move away from Northern models of economic growth, which have proven to be a failure and are the cause of many of the crises, including the climate crisis, today.
- Enable a just transition to 100% renewable energy through an equitable phase out of fossil fuels
- Prioritise public health, food sovereignty, agroecology and decent living conditions
- Restore nature and defend the rights of Mother Earth
- Have rich countries repay climate debts – Rich countries have historical responsibilities for the climate crisis and must fulfil their obligations and fair shares by reducing their emissions to zero and providing poorer nations the scale of financial support needed to address the crisis.
- Stop false solutions – Africa and other developing countries are fast becoming the dumping ground for false solutions, many of which are driven by corporations who see the climate crisis as a way of profiteering, and which have devastating consequences for frontline communities and must be stopped.
- Build global solidarity, peace and justice – We are facing an existential crisis as humanity. Social and climate injustices prevail, human rights are threatened, democracy is at risk and civil society space is rapidly shrinking. To achieve peace and justice, we will need to build massive global solidarity, especially with those most vulnerable and at risk from the impacts of these injustices.
They say the UN climate talks are dominated by rich countries and corporations, and will need a major overhaul to address the scale of the climate crisis and injustices in the current system.
They recognise that the climate negotiations are an important focus for climate campaigners, but not the only way. And so they are calling groups around the world to use the COP as a moment to build local solidarity and action and build power for real change.
Mohamed Adow, Director of the think tank Power Shift Africa, said: “For far too long, Africa has been controlled by outside interests – a resource pool for extraction and export, and a dumping ground for the practices and technologies no longer wanted elsewhere. The COP27 Coalition is a space for Africans to take back control of our collective future. Civil society representing hundreds of organisations and millions of people across the continent are stepping up to show what an Africa that puts communities and well-being at the centre of its priorities could look like.
“COP27 needs to be a reset moment where rich countries need to face up to their failures to both cut their emissions fast enough and deliver on the climate finance they have promised. A new vision is needed where urgency and action replace voluntary targets and broken promises. If that shift takes place then COP27 will have put us on a trajectory to a clean, safe and prosperous planet.”
Tasneem Essop, Executive Director, Climate Action Network International (CAN-I): “For the Climate Action Network (CAN), a global network of civil society working to address the climate crisis, COP27 being held on African soil represents a critical opportunity to secure climate justice for peoples and communities vulnerable to and least responsible for the climate catastrophe.
“Africans and peoples in the Global South are suffering from the devastating impacts of climate change, from flooding, heatwaves, drought resulting in food, water, and energy insecurity. Climate change impacts have a direct effect on how African countries can address their development needs.
“We believe that deep transformational change, that is just, equitable and people-centred, is necessary to address these multiple and compounding crises facing people today, including rising poverty and inequality.
“As CAN, we believe that these changes are only possible through the power and inclusion of the people. We are, therefore, joining hands with our sisters and brothers in the COP27 Coalition, representing movements from Africa, the Arab region, Egypt and globally to use our collective power to secure climate justice through the outcomes from COP27”.
Omar Elmawi, Coordinator, StopEACOP Coalition: “Africa needs to be a little selfish and think about itself. We have faced myriad levels of colonialism, our resources are exploited each waking day for the benefit of wealthier nations as the resulting impacts to lives and livelihoods are left behind.
“The upcoming COP27 in Egypt is a time for Africa and African interest to rise, a time for a community-led renewable energy revolution, a time for real climate reparations for the climate crisis affecting all Africans when we have done little to nothing to cause it.
“This is the time for the historical emitters to own up to their mistakes and deliver a COP that looks at avoiding emissions as an opportunity for real development, and not continuing to prioritise the interests of fossil fuel corporations who care only of their profits and shareholders, as we endanger humanity and the future for the coming generations.”
Lorraine Chiponda, Coordinator, Africa Coal Network: “In the face of an overwhelming climate crisis, Africa sits at a critical tipping point: if we continue business as usual as the pawn of external and elite interests, we risk being shackled by old fashioned thinking and outdated technology. We will become the last resort for the dirty energy systems of the past.
“If, however, we embrace the leadership of African communities, and put their well-being at the centre of our priorities, we have an opportunity to fight the climate crisis by embracing our abundance of clean, cheap, renewable energy. We need leaders with a vision and boldness to reject the neo-colonialism of the fossil fuel industry.
“We need leaders to invest in communities to make the leap past the fossil fuels that are causing suffering to our people, and towards a future powered by clean, green power from the wind and sun. Africa is blessed with an abundance of this energy, but we need governments and business to help us harness it if we’re going to reach our true potential.”
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, President AFPAT and Co-chair Indigenous Peoples Caucus: “Today Africa lives on the edge of climate wars. People are fighting for the few resources left. It can be a pond, access to a river or to a source of freshwater. Or for a piece of fertile land. In a region where 70% of people depend on nature for farming, when nature is sick, people are going insane. Farmers and pastoralists had an old alliance that is now broken in the competition for nature.
“But, for me, Africa is still a land of hope. We have so many climate warriors, fighting back at home. In my community, women already implemented solutions to the changing climate. They use their indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge to identify crops that can resist drought and heatwave and support a resilient agriculture. In the memory of our grandmothers and grandfathers, we find the map of ancient sources, those who still give water in the middle of the dry season. Indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge not only gives us so many words to describe the rain but also offers us the tools to fight back and combat climate change.
“This COP27 must be an action COP for those who are the most impacted. Loss and damage, and climate adaptation should be guiding the discussion and the outcome should be as real for the people as direct access funding to adapt to and mitigate climate change. We, Indigenous Peoples, must be at the table and taking decisions as victims and also solutions to climate change.”
Charity Migwi, Africa Regional Campaigner, 350.org: “Developed nations have fallen short of their climate finance pledges to provide $100 billion a year by 2020 to facilitate developing nations to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Beyond this shortfall, the much needed finance to build resilience to the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change still remains lower than mitigation finance.
“This is why it is time for Africa to curb the fossil fuel reliance of developing nations that has rapidly led to one of the greatest moral challenges of our time. Not only is there no room for more fossil fuels in Africa, where developed nations are now turning their gaze, but there is also no room for them anywhere. African nations must reject this exploitation and extractivism which will further fuel climate breakdown and expose African nations to catastrophic impacts.
“As COP27 is being held in Africa, it’s time to build a different future: one based on renewable energy; one that is truly just and accessible; and one that focuses on accelerating Africa’s development by an economic systemic shift that leaves no one behind.”
Ubrei-Joe Maimoni Mariere, Climate Justice & Energy Project Coordinator, Friends of the Earth Africa: “As the world prepares for COP27, which will be hosted in Africa, we must use this opportunity to demand climate justice and solidarity for Africa and the global south.
“To stop the climate crisis and bring about energy justice to the world, we need a rapid phase out of fossil fuels and a just and feminist and equitable transition to community-based renewable energy systems. We demand public climate finance in the form of grants (not loans), and technology transfer to help support the transition for our peoples. COP27 must be used as a space to empower people-centred renewable energy solutions.
“We demand that African leaders stop all new gas exploration and fossil fuels projects on our continent, which is already being burned and facing the ravages of the climate crisis. We also demand an end to attacks on environmental human rights defenders and journalists, in Egypt, all across Africa and everywhere.”