As COP28 began in Dubai on Thursday, November 30, 2023, the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) is seeking for transparent and just measures to address climate change challenges.
At a press conference organised by civil society actors, various speakers raised concerns on the credibility and trustworthiness of the different actors on the negotiation table.
“We need to amplify the voices of the vulnerable communities in this climate change talks, that of inclusiveness, transparency and justice. The developed countries and their leaders must show real commitment and honour their pledges,” Dr Mithika Mwenda, PACJA CEO, said at the press briefing.
The African Civil Society emphasises the importance of fairness, openness, and impartiality. They firmly urge all stakeholders to adhere to these principles to ensure that the decisions made during COP28 UAE align with the global commitment to combat climate change.
“We need a leadership that reflects these values and upholds the promise of a collective effort in addressing environmental challenges. The interest of the vulnerable communities, women, youths, indigenous population have to be protected,” notes Dr Augustine Njamnshi of PACJA and CEO of ACSEA.
Meanwhile, at a side event by PACJA prior to the official opening of COP28, civil society actors in a panel discussion called for greater and sustainable production of a variety of minerals that are central to decarbonisation in Africa.
“We have clear opportunities not only from the global green mineral boom but also from our domestic achievements, such as the African Continental Free-Trade Area to facilitate the development of regional value chains for our green economy products in Africa,” says Dr Linus Mofor, Senior Environmental Affairs Officer, African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), at the panel discussion session.
Africa experts say it is home to multiple minerals. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), for example, produces over 70% of the world’s cobalt. DRC and Zambia together supply 10% of global copper while Mozambique and South Africa hold significant reserves of graphite, platinum metals, lithium and more.
Mofor deplored the fact that about 70% of the Africa’s exports are unprocessed commodities, a situation that can change with the right policies that prioritise industrialisation and value-addition in mining and other resource sectors.
By Elias Ngalame