Monday 17th February 2020
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African negotiators to UN Summit: Climate change receiving continent’s priority attention

The African Group of Negotiators (AGN) has said that, because climate change poses a primary threat to sustainable development, it is receiving priority attention from countries on the continent.

African Group of Negotiators  African negotiators to UN Summit: Climate change receiving continent’s priority attention African Group of Negotiators
Some members of the African Group of Negotiators

In its Key Messages for the United Nations Secretary-General Climate Summit that held in New York on Monday, September 23, 2019, the AGN said that African governments are doing this through “bold actions and ambitious pledges of action relying on fulfilment of ambitious adequate and predictable provisions of support”.

The AGN laments that, while the world is celebrating 25 years of multilateral action under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the international community appears to be inadequately prepared to address the challenge of climate change and its impacts.

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“The African continent is under extreme pressure more than ever due to the extreme events of climate change, including flash floods, heavy rainfall displacing thousands of people and causing deaths in North Africa,  extreme drought, affecting livestock, water, crops, wildlife, and energy sector in East Africa, extreme event in the Western Africa region causing flash floods, resulting in loss of lives, displacing thousands and destroying infrastructure, and cyclones causing the deaths of thousands and destroying homes and properties in Southern Africa,” the AGN submits.

It adds that African countries affected by these extreme events are countries with less capacity and existing development challenges.

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The AGN appreciates African countries’ ambitious climate action under their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and calls for the implementation of climate actions by all Parties in accordance with the Convention and the Paris Agreement, guided by the principles of equity.

The group underlines the need to enhance the mobilisation and provision of finance, technology and capacity-building support by developed country Parties to enable enhanced ambitions and implementation of climate action by African countries. It called on participants at the UNSG Summit to channel resources through the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC.

While recognising the support provided by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the role envisaged for the GCF in providing support to African countries, AGN however cautions against changing the GCF to replicate other existing financial institutions through implementing policies that could limit access to the GCF resources or severe access to GCF support.

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The group stresses that adequate resources should be made available for Africa, through facilitated access to finance, and enhanced access to and transfer of environment friendly technologies on concessional and preferential terms.

It insists that the UNFCCC stays the main and only multilateral forum that guides, assesses and allows for the coordinated global response to the challenges of climate change, and that the UNSG summit and other initiatives would feed into the UNFCCC process.

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