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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

COP27: Vulnerable nations devise six-point plan to successfully tackle climate crisis

Developing countries have set out their stall ahead of COP27 outlining the six key areas which need to be addressed at the climate talks in Egypt for the summit to be hailed a success in tackling the climate crisis.

Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt is hosting COP27

The six-point roadmap has been developed by delegations from across the vulnerable country blocs which negotiate at the UNFCCC.

With COP27 taking place in Sharm-el-Sheikh, it is the first time the meeting is happening on African soil in six years and negotiators from developing countries hope the outcome will better reflect the needs of the climate vulnerable compared to COP26 which took place in Glasgow in 2021.

African Group of Negotiators (AGN) Chair, Ephraim Mwepya Shitima, said: “Africa is the least contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions with less than 4% of total global emissions and yet the most adversely impacted region as reaffirmed by the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. Africa is already experiencing severe and widespread impacts of climate change causing devastation to lives, livelihoods and the continent’s development trajectory. And this is a clear manifestion of climate injustice.

“As COP27 takes place in Africa this November, there are high expectations that “the African COP” will deliver substantive progress and implementable climate actions on the priority issues for Africa and other developing countries, including on adaptation, loss and damage, delivering on the pledges on climate finance, with the ultimate aim of correcting the injustice and getting the world on a path to a secure and safe climate future.”

Chair of the LDCs group & the Head of the Climate Change Division in Senegal’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MEDD), Madeleine Diouf Sarr, said: “This is the year to bring the vital issue of climate loss and damage to life.

“Since 2013, rich countries have recognised the need for loss and damage of climate change to be addressed but have dragged their feet ever since.  But the momentum is building and it’s becoming clear that no one can stand in the way of this issue being properly addressed. An African COP is the ideal place to see the creation of a loss and damage fund so that the poorest and most vulnerable people can get the help they deserve.”

Lead Negotiator, COP27 Presidency and Director of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development Department, Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb Mohamed Nasr, said: “The world faces many challenges right now, not least food and energy crises. But the climate crisis cannot be ignored, it continues to devastate the lives and livelihoods of the poorest people and without swift and substantial action, things will only get worse. Covid-19, and this year’s geopolitical challenges have seen nations coming together to provide support for those in need. COP27 offers a chance to do the same for the victims on the front line of the climate emergency.”

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry, Soipan Tuya, said: “Kenya is suffering from its worst drought in 40 years. More than 3 million people live with food insecurity, and many have become displaced. Climate change is a global problem requiring global solutions, but developing countries are bearing the brunt of this crisis.  What we need is urgent finance to address these burdens.  The knowledge and technology of how we cut emissions and adapt to climate impacts is known, what we need is the political will to deliver the finance to allow them to happen. That is what needs to shift at COP27.”

Dr. Nemera Gebeyehu Mamo, Ethiopia State Minister at the Ministry of Planning and Development, said: “Drought is pushing people to the brink of famine in the Horn of Africa. The untold suffering that climate change is causing is all around us. Delegates at COP27 will be sharing the very ground with those suffering from terrible hunger and drought. It is vital that developed countries finally honour their promise to deliver the agreed climate finance that can pay for adaptation, a loss and damage fund and accelerate decarbonisation. That is the key that will unlock climate action and give those on the front lines of the climate crisis some hope.”

Amb Khadija, Mohamed Al Makhzoumi, Minister for Environment and Climate Change Federal Republic of Somalia, said: “The UN climate talks are often very complex but at its core the issues are pretty straightforward. The rich world has created the climate crisis, they have agreed they will pay to clean it up, but they have broken their promise and left those that have done the least to cause it to suffer and try and cope with the consequences. That is why climate change is an issue of injustice. Somalia is currently faced with unprecedented effects of climate change with prolonged drought and the associated famine situation with over 7 million people affected – a situation that is exacerbating conflict in our already fragile country.

“This six-point plan outlines the key priority issues for Africa. We call on COP27 delegates to take decisive actions especially on climate finance for adaptation and loss and damage to enable vulnerable developing countries like Somalia to implement its climate action plans and make a difference in the lives and livelihoods of our people.”

Alpha A.K Jallow, Head of Delegation of Gambia, said: “The science is clearer than ever – to keep temperature rise below 1.5C we need to see rapid emission cuts. The impacts of the climate crisis are being felt across the globe, never has there been a greater need for adaptation support to those facing droughts, storms, floods, pests and rising sea levels. We know the solutions, and the world has the resources, we just need political will from leaders to ensure fairness and prosperity.”

Namibia’s National Focal Point, Petrus Muteyauli, said: COP21 told us what to do, COP26 told us how to do it and COP27 calls us to go to the battlefield and implement what we decided over the past 27 years. The issues of geopolitical conflicts shall not be used to stall the milestones achieved in the past 27 years. Therefore, we need to be innovative, pragmatic, reasonable and strategic in our approach to implement the UNFCCC. Actions speak louder than words.”

M. Baba Dramé, Director & UNFCCC focal point, Senegal, said: “Senegal, as chair of the African Union, expects from COP27 an ambitious outcome that will recognize the special needs and particular circumstances of Africa in the context of the negotiations under the Paris Agreement. This is no more and no less than a just claim already recognized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is the mother of all multilateral climate agreements.”

Mohamed Adow, Director of Power Shift Africa, said: “Last year was a COP hosted in the global North and the result reflected global North interests at the expense of the climate vulnerable. Coming out of Glasgow, rich countries failed to keep their promise on climate finance, there was little progress on creating a fund for loss and damage and there was a lack of binding emissions reductions. This year we have a chance to put things right and get the world back on track. We need to see the victims of the climate crisis put front and centre, with their needs prioritised and those that are most responsible taking real action to address the climate emergency.”

Tasneem Essop, Executive Director, CAN International, said: “COP27 is happening on the frontlines of the climate crisis- on the African continent which contributes less than 4% of global emissions yet suffers disproportionate climate impacts. This COP must prioritise issues critical to communities in Africa and centre African voices.

“We recognise the Egyptian COP27 Presidency has put loss and damage, climate finance and adaptation at the forefront of this climate summit and now all governments must deliver on this. This moment- at the crossroads of multiple intersecting crises- calls for multilateral solidarity and an approach based on equity and justice.”

The six-point plan includes the following key objectives:

1: Delivery of climate finance and other support to Africa and other developing countries

Success at COP27 ultimately rests on its ability to get money flowing from wealthy countries to those most in need – at the pace and scale required to match the climate crisis. One of the biggest points of tension at COP27 will be the developed world’s failure so far to fulfil its promise to mobilise $100 billion per year in finance by 2020. As well as meeting that sum, developed countries need to set out how they will increase it from 2025.

2: Strengthening adaptation support

Developed countries under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement are required to assist developing countries meet the costs of adapting to the adverse effects of climate change. Adaptation is good for the economy as investing $1.8 trillion in adaptation between 2020 and 2030 could generate $7.1 trillion in benefits. At COP26, developed countries agreed to double financial support for adaptation to $40 billion per year, but they have not yet done this. COP27 can be where we finally close the adaptation gap.

3: Addressing climate-induced loss and damage

There are certain climate change impacts that can no longer be adapted to, resulting in unavoidable losses and damages to some of the world’s poorest people. However, the current financial and institutional arrangements under the UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement are not sufficient to enable African and other developing countries to address such losses and damages fully and effectively. COP27 needs to see the creation of a Loss and Damage Fund.

4: Enhancing ambition on mitigation towards 1.5C

The COP26 Glasgow Climate Pact stressed that national emission reduction plans need to be aligned with a 1.5C temperature limit. Many countries, both developed and developing, have committed to reach net zero emissions by mid-century. But emissions have yet to fall, as global emissions returned to pre-pandemic levels. It is therefore critical that all countries, in particular developed countries, submit concrete and ambitious NDCs and long-term low emission strategies in line with keeping temperature rise below 1.5C.

5: Supporting African just transition to clean energy

Africa has an abundance of renewable energy. It has enough wind and solar to become a clean energy superpower. For this to be harnessed, it needs investment and plans for sustainable development that would see new jobs and industries created. If this potential could be unlocked, huge advances could be made to tackle poverty, improve healthcare and boost prosperity. Africa is the youngest continent and it’s on the cusp of sweeping economic development. If this is powered by fossil fuels, the whole world will suffer, but if it’s powered by renewables there will be benefits for everyone.

Targeted investment is needed and doing so will help accelerate the energy transition away from fossil fuel dependence in African and other developing countries, support energy independence, foster increased economic activity, and support sustainable development.

6: Using the UN’s “Global Stocktake” to put fairness at the heart of the climate negotiations

The Global Stocktake (GST) is a key element of the Paris Agreement. The first GST was launched at COP26 in Glasgow, with the first session of its Technical Dialogue held in Bonn at the June 2022 session. We need this to be a rigorous process that accurately captures the collective progress, or lack thereof, on mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage and means of implementation towards delivering the goals of the Paris Agreement so we know what still needs to be done to tackle the climate emergency.

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