African Civil Society Organisations united under the Pan-African Climate Justice Coalition call on the African Union to respond to the urgency of Africa’s climate crisis as the 36th AU Heads of State and Governments Summit opens yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Dr. Mithika Mwenda, Executive Director of the Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), stressed that community viewpoints must be heard and that the summit’s debates should reflect this.
“PACJA has played an important role in boosting African Voices in the global conversations on climate change and galvanised climate action at the local, and national levels. “We will continue to highlight African voices and secure justice for all,” Dr. Mithika Mwenda remarked.
CSOs have urged African Presidents and Heads of State to convey a clear message to their Northern counterparts that the current geopolitical backdrop cannot be used to delay desperately needed climate action and forward misleading solutions.
“We propose holding an African Peoples’ Conference on Climate Action at the request of the AU, the African Group of Negotiators, Civil Society, and other Non-State Actors to reassess the UNFCCC’s value.”
The goals of such a Summit should include “developing homegrown strategies for dealing with the effects of climate change, announcing actions to force big polluters to take responsibility for their emissions and the impact of their pollution on African communities, and adopting a regional masterplan for accelerating a just transition of the continent’s development, industrialization, and overall economic transformation,” Dr. Mithika said.
According to Sarah Ngoy, the Coordinator of the Tanzania Forum on Climate Change, as African leaders gather at the AU Headquarters, there is adequate time for them to discuss and make decisions that bring hope to African communities facing unprecedented climatic tragedies.
“We need to increase collective action inside African countries, and leaders must make decisions that address the needs of communities on the frontlines of the Climate Disaster.” Ngoy, Sarah.
Yared Deme of the World Resources Institute urged African leaders to support Researchand the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) in order to advocate for the development of African inputs into the newly established facility for the financing of loss and damage, as well as to provide technical assistance to AGN representatives during the fund establishment process.
“We reaffirm the need of increasing the number of funds/investments funneled towards climate change research and climate action for Africa, particularly to ensuring that there is validated evidence that boosts African negotiations,” Yared said.
“Noting the implications of the recent events Dr. Augustine Njamnshi from urged the AU, the United Nations and other bodies to join the African civil society in rejecting the appointment \sof Sultan al-Jaber, head of oil giant Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), as the President of -designate of COP28.
“We Reiterate that tackling the climate catastrophe demands major reduction in the production and usage of fossil fuels. The line of action is diametrically opposed to al-business Jaber’s interests. “It’s difficult to imagine al-Jaber leading impartial, science-based negotiations in the interests of the most vulnerable,” Augustine remarked.