PACJA Raises Concerns Over Deviations in COP28 Negotiations

The African civil society, represented by PACJA and the Non-State Actors Committee (NSA), in collaboration with partners, underscores its unwavering commitment to addressing the pressing climate challenges confronting Africa and the global community.

The purpose of their presence at the COP28 negotiations is to remind the Parties of their commitment, as articulated in their opening statements, to deliver an outcome that is both credible and impactful. This outcome should be responsive to the aspirations of all stakeholders, particularly those on the frontline of the climate crisis.

Nevertheless, the civil societies from Africa and PACJA remain cautiously optimistic about the prospects of such an outcome. They acknowledge the potential fragility of this outcome unless leaders from developed countries adhere faithfully to the spirit and letter of the Paris Agreement.

The ongoing negotiations have been characterized by frustrations, notably in securing progressive decisions on the Global Goal of Adaptation and its means of implementation.

“As COP28 progresses, we express disappointment with the slow adoption of decisions that are progressive and significantly relevant to Africa. We reiterate that negotiations on adaptation, pivotal in building Africa’s and the world’s resilience to climate change, are not on track,” states PACJA.

Echoing historical injustices, they emphasize the urgent need for the implementation of robust adaptation measures at the core of addressing historical and current climate injustice. They stress the importance of climate finance as vital for Africa in implementing adaptation measures.

PACJA calls for a COP28 decision that goes beyond the narrative of “doubling” adaptation finance. They emphasize the necessity of discussions moving toward more than doubling adaptation finance, with a time-bound roadmap consistent with the needs and urgency outlined in the Adaptation Gap Report.

The Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) framework should include metrics and indicators to measure progress towards the implementation of this goal, emphasizing the central role of agriculture in advancing adaptation for climate-vulnerable populations in Africa.

Agriculture is key for smallholder farmers

Calling out the perpetual workshop mode in discussions on agriculture as not inspiring hope for climate-stricken farmers in Africa. In regards to the message failing to demonstrate progress in safeguarding local vulnerable communities from food insecurity and climate-related challenges.

Despite the celebration of the adoption of the Loss and Damage Transition Committee and the pledges made by Parties, PACJA emphasizes that true celebrations will only be warranted when this funding reaches the communities most vulnerable to unprecedented impacts.

“We call on the Parties to UNFCCC to implement tighter measures ensuring sustained commitment to funding Loss and Damage, beyond the charitable actions seen at the opening of COP28. The process of establishing the protocols and procedures needed to make the loss and damage fund functional must be expedited; a four-year waiting time is excessively long for frontline communities grappling with challenges arising from catastrophic disasters caused by climate change,” urges PACJA.

African civil societies and PACJA insist that funding for loss and damage should be additional and incremental to existing streams of climate funding, including Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Based on intelligence obtained by PACJA, there are indications that rich and developed countries are merely rebranding existing climate and/or ODA funding commitments to showcase their philanthropy.

“The deceit characterizing these commitments must be addressed conclusively. We are keen to see new and additional measures secured in this COP to ensure transparency at the global level in securing pledges. The Global Stock Take cannot be a mere ritual. It holds significance, which must be demonstrated in COP28 through a renewed commitment to substantial emissions reduction by developed countries, efforts to address the trillions in climate financing gaps, and prioritization of the adaptation agenda. This remains our central commitment that the African civil society is eager to witness from COP28,” emphasizes the statement.

The special needs and circumstances outlined for Africa in the Paris Agreement must remain a guiding principle across all negotiation streams. As COP28 approaches its conclusion, civil societies remain steadfast in advocating for a just and equitable global response to the climate crisis.

“We urge all Parties to prioritize vulnerable populations, demonstrate genuine commitment to climate justice and a just transition, and collaborate for a sustainable future,” concludes the statement.

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