COP28 Should Strengthen Africa’s Strategies

The Africa Group of Negotiators Experts Support (AGNES), together with continent-wide negotiators and stakeholders, convened in Nairobi to discuss Africa’s participation in COP28.

This crucial meeting empowered the negotiators to prepare and consolidate the continent’s voice and achieve a collective position with a unified voice.

COP28 is vital, considering the Global Stock Take (GST), which is set to conclude with African negotiators calling for comprehensive GST that addresses the diverse elements of the Paris Agreement.

A commitment to wide-ranging GST would mean reflecting the available best science, principles, and provisions of the convention and the Paris Agreement, both past and present, and looking to the way forward.

Another key segment to look into is the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capacities (CBDR & RC) which is crucial as it takes into consideration safeguarding interests and unique circumstances as a continent that contributes just about four percent to global emissions and yet suffers the most.

The climate crisis is impeding the long-time quest for development by the continent which will further offer opportunities for the youthful population in terms of clean jobs, as well as innovations in food production, clean energy, and transportation among others.

According to AGN, COP28 should deliver ambitious, balanced, fair, and just outcomes that should set the world on course to effectively address climate change on diverse fronts. These fronts for Africa would mean critically visualizing circumstances the continent is faced with that need enablement into policy spaces as well as support to achieve sustainable development.

Africa’s climate and development cause will be based on several fronts inclusive of adaptation, loss and damage, finance, and mitigation.

Principal Secretary State Department of Environment and Climate Change Eng. Festus Ng’eno commended Dr. George Wamukoya lead of the AGNES team for the commitment that enables great African minds strategies on matters that matter most to Africa. The role played by AGNES is a key step for negotiators to go to COP28 with facts and figures for engaging experts from other continents hence Africa’s voice can be heard, listened to, and respected.

Dr. George Wamukoya leads the AGNES team with the South Sudan Negotiator

According to PS Festus, droughts, floods, hurricanes, cyclones, and landslides are some key impacts that continue to erode our development efforts and push many communities to poverty while deepening our debt burden. Adding that for attainment of Africa’s position in the COP28 negotiations there will have to be international cooperation and climate education as a key element that will enable Africa’s capacity toward achieving climate goals.

“For effective climate action, we need to enhance Climate Empowerment and Education to empower populations across Africa to respond to this. Experts in this meeting therefore should put their minds to this to ensure that Africa gets the best deals on this ACE from the UNFCCC processes,” said PS Festus Ng’eno.

Some of the key issues raised that need proper deliberations around them are climate-related health issues, including malnutrition, hunger, and water access issues that are a growing concern across the continent, gender dimensions of climate change in our African context, cushioning of livelihoods of those migrating due to resource-related conflicts and how to engage in the Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue and the Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan to infuse the African voice and get the very best out of it.

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