Climate justice experts convening on the sidelines of CHOGM in Kigali have called for a strong financial mechanism for loss and damage compensation to African countries being affected by climate change.
The climate experts were convened by the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), a leading organiser of climate dialogues across Africa and beyond.
The proposed loss and damage compensation fund seeks to see developed countries compensate developing countries for the loss and damages brought about by climate change as it is mainly caused by the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases.
The IPCC 6th Assessment Report, which was presented at the first meeting of the Glasgow Dialogue at COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland, indicates that the excess mortality rate due to sub-optimal temperatures in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be nearly double the global average.
Unfortunately, rich countries who are responsible for global emissions continue to turn a blind eye to the miseries they are causing to Africa and other climate change vulnerable countries.
African environmental activists have identified the political commitment of African heads of state and government as the missing cog in pushing climate summit-COP27 in November, 2022, Egypt to discuss issues that are a priority for Africa.
The climate justice experts are in Kigali to initiate steps to solicit the support of the African heads of state who are members of the Commonwealth as well as to seek north-south solidarity for action in advancing issues that are priorities to Africans in the discussions at the 27th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate change.
“We are here to engage and find some common ground upon which we may seek the support of not just the Commonwealth but all people and institutions of goodwill to have COP27 that carries the hope and aspirations of the African continent,” said Charles Mwangi, the Acting Executive Director of PACJA.
There is growing opposition on the agenda for Africa in the UNFCCC process as demonstrated in the recent conference dubbed “SB56” in Germany, and occurring at a time when the impacts of climate change on the continent are real.
The reality of climate change in Africa has, in previous sessions of the African Group of Negotiators, led to dubbing COP27 a ‘Climate Impact COP’ to enable strategic positioning of demands on loss and damage.
“Africa must be at the heart of climate negotiations but how this is to be achieved is neither straightforward nor immediately clear,” says Mamadou Gueye, Legal Advisor Africa Group of Negotiators.
This casts a dark cloud over the negotiations and the need for Africa to arise and rethink its strategies while recasting its priorities, Mamadou said.