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COP29: Forces within SB60 scheming to divert attention on climate finance – PACJA

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) has said that there were forces within the 60th Sessions of the UN Climate Change Subsidiary Bodies (SB60) who schemed for an agenda different from the desire to see the 29th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP29) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as a climate finance COP. COP29 holds in Baku, Azerbaijan, in November 2024.

PACJA officials addressing a press conference at SB60 in Bonn, Germany

In a SB60 press statement issued in Bonn on Tuesday, June 11, PACJA officials alleged that the forces were scheming a different theme to divert attention on climate finance and relegate the subject to the periphery.

“The desire of all of us – parties and Non-Parties delegates – is to see COP29 as a climate finance COP, to reflect on the urgency in addressing the ever-elusive question of financing climate action. Could this be slipping away?

“We should emphatically say NO. Climate finance is the biggest elephant in the room, and however long it takes to deal with it, we should understand that it will never go away,” said the group at SB60, which formally comes to a close on Thursday, June 13 in Bonn, Germany.

The group decried negotiations on the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG), saying that discussions started on a wrong trajectory with Loss and Damage (L&D) being pushed out of the agenda, “justifying with lame excuse that it is not necessarily specified under article 9.1 of the Paris Agreement”.

“This assertion points to a deliberate effort by countries from the North to interpret Article 9 of the Paris Agreement in a manner that is convenient to them without referring to provisions of Article 4 of the UNFCCC convention, which is clear on the obligation of developed countries parties to provide adequate finance to the developing countries as opposed to the language of ‘mobilisation’ of resources,” PACJA officials declared.

They described “mobilisation of financial resources” new semantic that is merely privatisation of climate finance within NCQG, thus surrendering poor countries to climate-debt speculators, further impoverishing countries clutching from debts.

“This market-based approach helps developed countries to escape their obligations on the provision of climate finance as per the Convention and Paris Agreement,” stressed the campaigners.

They went further: “Similarly, the negotiations on the global goal on adaptation (GGA) are focusing more on the indicators while the main enabler of this agenda, which is the means of implementation, is being vehemently fought by the parties from the developed countries. Without clear indications on the means of implementation, GGA is an empty shell, and it is not fit for purpose. Adaptation must be funded from public resources and must not be seen as a business opportunity open to private sector players.

“We also wish to state that we will never relent in our demand for affirmation of Africa as ‘a special needs and circumstances for the region’. And we urge the AGN, despite frustrations, never to give us on this crucial status which differentiates us from others, backed by science and imperatives of climate justice.

“We express our deep concerns about the current negotiation on NAPs which features ‘special circumstances for least developed countries (LDC) and Small Island States’, attempting to amend the provisions of Article 4 1e of the UNFCCC convention. This, once again, is an injustice for Africa and its people.”

They called on all Parties to close ranks on NCQG, GGA and L&D.

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