The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), the leading coalition of African CSOs advancing a just, inclusive and people-centred global climate regime, has called on the US President, Joe Biden, to rally the West to raise their carbon reduction ambitions, honour pledges on the Green Climate Fund and foster an equitable post-COVID-19 pandemic global recovery plan that fully integrates climate change.
In the Statement, PACJA makes wide ranging observations on the urgency of deep emission cuts, especially by industrialised countries, the troubling shortage of climate finance going into adaptation, the failure of the international community to acknowledge Africa’s unique circumstances and needs, the procedural justice problems virtual negotiations pose to Africa, and several other burning questions. It came as a Leaders on Climate Summit convened by President Biden went underway, in part to rally ambitious emission reductions under the Paris Agreement but also to establish US leadership in addressing the climate crisis after decades of failure to do so.
PACJA noted the US’s historical lack of leadership in driving global climate action and urged Joe Biden to use the current optimism from climate stakeholders that he currently enjoys to:
Key demands by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance include:
- Drive emission reduction ambition under the Paris Agreement – particularly by “the original members of the Major Economies Forum on Climate and Energy, which together represent 80 per cent of global emissions and 80 per cent of global GDP”. Combined, current emission reduction pledges only amount to a one per cent drop in emissions between 2010 and 2030 – way off the 45 per cent mark projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as needed to keep global warming at 1.50 C this century. The United States must show leadership by announcing and delivering deep emission cuts in its new NDC and take steps to protect them from domestics political and economic interests.
- Marshal the support of the global community for a COP26 outcome that is desirable to the African people, and that is consistent with the continent’s realities. After the failure of COP25 to deliver meaningful progress, Africa now counts on COP26 for a global climate policy and action framework that responds to their unique circumstances created by the injustices of disproportionate vulnerability, exposures to risks and incapacity to protect itself without help – despite its insignificant contribution to climate change.
- Avail resources to support African nations meet their NDC targets which are largely conditional on external funding. To do so, the US must start by increasing its financial contributions to the Green Climate Fund, by first restoring its initial $3 billion pledge and leading other industrialised countries to substantially increase climate finance flow to Africa. The US equally has both the means and the influence to change the course of the disproportionally small flow of desperately needed adaptation finance to Africa, which today stands at only 25%, despite the global commitment to raise it to at least 50%, at par with mitigation spending.
- Foster a low-carbon, just and equitable pandemic recovery that fully integrates climate change and the need to strengthen the resilience of African countries and other developing regions to minimize the adverse impact of major disruptions.
- Facilitate meaningful technology transfer and capacity building targeting the developing nations especially in renewable energy to address the energy needs of the African people by harnessing the already abundant natural resources like solar and wind resources.
- Push for physical negations and COP to increase the participation of African governments and peoples, who would be otherwise cut off because of technological limitations. In a recent letter to Parties, The Rt Hon Alok Sharma, the COP26 President-Designate, observed that conversations he has had with countries and negotiating groups reinforce “the necessity of arriving in Glasgow in person.”
Releasing the statement, the Executive Director of PACJA Dr Mithika Mwenda said:Anything short of these demands is nothing else but “a perpetuation of the endless and boring talking soap operas developing countries have been entertained to, but which are not needed at such a time as this”.
Dr Mithika said at stake is the relevance of the America’s leadership position on climate change discourse after four years of abdication of its responsibility to the global community. President Biden must lead the US to drive emission reduction ambition under the Paris Agreement – particularly by “the original members of the Major Economies Forum on Climate and Energy, which together represent 80 per cent of global emissions and 80 per cent of global GDP”, said the PACJA Statement.
Dr Augustine Njamnshi, Political and Technical Affairs Chair at PACJA said:“It begins by the US raising its financial contributions to the Green Climate Fund, by first restoring its initial $3 billion pledge and leading other industrialised countries to substantially increase climate finance flow to Africa,” said Dr Augustine Njamnshi, the Political and Technical Affairs Chair of PACJA.
Dr Njamnshi said the US equally has both the means and the influence to change the course of the disproportionally small flow of desperately needed adaptation finance to Africa, which today stands at only 25%, despite the global commitment to raise it to at least 50%, at par with mitigation spending.
Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) is African CSO’s platform that jointly coordinates engagement with African governments and other relevant stakeholders, and advocates for fair, and justice international climate change and sustainable development regimes and processes that safeguard human rights and pro-poor development.