• African civil society have called for a COP28 decision that looks at adaptation finance beyond the narrative of doubling.
• They emphasized the central role of agriculture in advancing adaptation imperative for climate-vulnerable people of Africa.
African civil society have underscored the unwavering commitment to addressing the urgent climate challenges faced by Africa and the global community.
The civil society group under the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and the Non-State Actors Committee (NSA) noted that the climate negotiations in Dubai have so far been frustrating to say the least.
“As COP28 progresses, we are disappointed by slow progress in the adoption of decisions that are progressive and of more relevant significance to Africa,” the lobby group said.
Mithika Mwenda, the Executive Director of PACJA, reminded Parties in COP28 of their commitment to deliver an outcome that is credible and impactful.
“An outcome that is responsive to the aspirations of all of us, particularly people at the frontline of the climate crisis. We however remain cautiously optimistic on the possibilities of such an outcome, alive to the fact that this outcome may be a mirage unless leaders from developed countries remain faithful to the spirit and letter of the Paris Agreement,” he said.
Mwenda reiterated that negotiations on adaptation remain pivotal in building Africa’s and indeed world's resilience to climate change are not on track.
“Implementing strong adaptation measures remains at the heart of addressing historical and current climate injustice and this must be complemented with sufficient means of implementation, to be precise climate finance,” he said.
The lobbyist said Africa demands immediate and substantial action to address the lack of sufficient adaptation measures for the continent, recognizing historical injustices.
“We remain unrelenting in our call to governments to agree on a robust, ambitious, and solutions-oriented outcome on the operationalization of the Global Goal on Adaptation to help accelerate adaptation action globally,” they said.
They called for a COP28 decision that looks at adaptation finance beyond the narrative of doubling.
They emphasized the central role of agriculture in advancing adaptation imperative for climate-vulnerable people of Africa.
“Dishearteningly, the perpetual workshop mode in discussions on agriculture does not give hope to climate-stricken farmers in Africa, and this should not be the message we should relay back home,” said the lobby group.
“We want to see more pledges, as the amount being thrown into the basket cannot even address the needs of an African country. We call on the Parties to UNFCCC to put tighter measures that secure sustained commitment to funding Loss and damage, beyond the charitable actions seen at the opening of COP28,” they added.
Mwenda said they remain steadfast in advocating for a just and equitable global response to the climate crisis, as COP28 enters its homestretch.
“We urge all Parties to prioritize vulnerable populations, demonstrate genuine commitment to climate justice, and just transition, and collaborate for a sustainable future,” he said.
Meanwhile, climate activists want big polluters to be kicked out.
The activists have warned that 2023 is set to be the hottest year in history.
Thomas Hardy Joseph, a climate activist said it is not just the environment that is dying, but people too.
“We all share one planet and these big polluters do not seem to understand that,” he said.
Casey Camp, an environmental activist, raised concern that traditional food sources will cease to exist if it keeps warming.
She said 1.2 billion people have been displaced because of the actions of big polluters.
“ 99 percent of the world has to speak out against the one percent that is oppressing us. We need to understand that it's time to take to the streets. They are not the United Nations, we are the United Nations,” she said, adding that fossil fuel is leading the talks and negotiations in this space.
“When will our politicians wake up and feel the smoke in their throats and the fire on their backs? What must be done has to be done. What we must do has never been done before. Our work begins at tearing up the fossil fuel industry and its troops,” said Danielle Frank, a climate activist.