African demands for ‘’loss and damage’’
As the negotiations at the 19th session of the Conference of Parties (COP19) under the United Nation Framework Convection on Climate Change entered the fifth day, the African Civil Society Organisations under the umbrella of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) have handed over their position to the Chair of the African Group of Negotiators (AGN).
Speaking during the handover at the Warsaw National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland, the Chairperson of AGN, Dlamini Emmanuel assured the civil society that though the negotiation process is a slow and gradual process, he is hopeful that there will be a solution by the end of the day.
Top on their list, the civil society is prioritising the safety of the African continent. “We support the acceptance of ‘loss and damage’ as a key area of discussion for the new climate agreement,” said Mithika Mwenda, the Secretary General of PACJA.
However, the African Civil Society was quick to point out that as the negotiations advance to the next level, the African negotiators must be careful so that the ‘loss and damage’ agenda is not reduced into a disaster response agenda.
“This is beyond disasters. The ocean is already absorbing a lot of heat and this has a direct effect to climatic conditions,” said Mwenda.
Other demands by the African Civil Society organisations touched on finances, where they want the developed countries to commit at least 1.5 percent of their GDP to climate change adaptation and technology transfer for the developing countries.
They also want the previous commitment of ensuring the rise of the global temperatures do not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius to be reinstated instead of the new commitment of limiting the rise to 2 degrees Celsius. “A goal of less than 2 degrees Celsius is no longer ambitious, and accepting it would be condemning Africa to incineration and to no modern development,” said Mwenda.
Meanwhile, PACJA and other African civil society organisations have issued a strong condemnation of Japan’s goalpost-shifting tactics.