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Call for bold action at COP28 amidst concerns over conference credibility

As the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) opens in Dubai, the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), emphasizes its unwavering commitment to advocating measures that effectively address the urgent climate challenges faced by the African continent and the rest of the world.

PACJA says it is deeply concerned about the credibility of COP28, given the alarming ties between the COP President-Designate Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber and the fossil fuel industry, despite the global attention on climate issues.

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Recent allegations of the COP President-Designate leveraging the conference to cut oil and gas deals around the world have cast a dark shadow over the proceedings.

PACJA maintains its rejection of the suitability of Sultan al Jaber to lead COP28 proceedings andnurges all parties to uphold the principles of transparency, accountability, and impartiality, ensuring that the outcome of COP28 truly reflects the global commitment to combat climate change.

Africa, with its negligible contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, continues to suffer disproportionate impacts of climate change.

According to PACJA Executive Director Mithika Mwenda is calling for immediate and substantial action to address the glaring lack of sufficient adaptation measures for the continent emphasizing that any credible COP decision must recognize and rectify the historical injustice faced by African nations.

“PACJA is also deeply concerned about the decision to host the loss and damage fund under the auspices of the World Bank, an institution laced with a history of presiding over policies that have led to the catastrophic economic decline of countries in the South.” Said Mithika.

Whereas Loss and Damage is not within the remit of the Bank, its history of burdening loans to African countries raises serious doubts about its ability to manage the fund effectively.

Additionally, the control exerted by the United States, which opposes compensation for loss and damage, further jeopardizes the fund’s integrity. We insist on a more neutral and accountable body that is proximate to communities experiencing the vagaries of climate-triggered disasters to oversee the loss and damage fund, ensuring fair and just compensation for affected nations.

Further, PACJA asserts funding for losses and damages cannot be voluntary in character, and thus developed countries must commit to ensuring adequate funding for this facility.

The Alliance underscores the urgent need to operationalize the global goal on adaptation at COP28, emphasizing that adaptation efforts should be scaled up to meet the special needs and circumstances faced by African nations.

PACJA calls for a significant increase in climate finance to Africa, with a focus on adaptation. At COP28 must more than double current levels of funding for adaptation to strengthen resilience building, protection of vulnerable communities, and ensuring sustainable development across the continent.

This COP, as a departure from its tradition, must deliberately pursue grant-based climate
financing, in line with keeping the global commitment by developed countries to deliver climate finance and in grant form.

In addition to our concerns about the credibility of COP28 and the pressing issues related to adaptation and finance, PACJA emphasizes the critical importance of a comprehensive and transparent Global Stock Take as a mechanism to assess collective progress towards achieving the agreement’s goals.

Global Stock Take is an essential component of the Paris Agreement that is fundamental to ensuring accountability and driving ambitious climate action globally. PACJA calls on COP28 to prioritize the enhancement of the Global Stock Take mechanism, fostering a comprehensive and fair evaluation of global efforts to tackle the climate crisis.

At these final stages, PACJA urge all parties to actively engage in an inclusive and equitable Global Stock Take process that reflects the perspectives and experiences of all nations, particularly those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as African countries. It is imperative that the Stock Take results in a recommitment by developed countries to emission reduction and in the provision of adequate support to developing nations to enhance their resilience through adaptation measures.

Moreover, PACJA unequivocally rejects any false solutions and delay tactics that threaten to undermine genuine progress in the fight against climate change. As COP28 unfolds, PACJA urges all parties to dismiss approaches that merely pay lip service to environmental concerns without delivering tangible, equitable, and sustainable outcomes.

False solutions, such as carbon offset schemes that divert attention from actual emissions
reduction efforts, geoengineering and delay tactics that perpetuate inaction, only serve to
exacerbate the climate crisis, injustices and human rights violations.

PACJA calls for a collective commitment to substantive and immediate action, rooted in science, justice, and the principles of the Paris Agreement. The Alliance emphasizes the need for transparent and accountable measures that genuinely address the root causes of climate change, safeguarding the health of the planet and its inhabitants. COP28 must be a turning point, free from the influence of deceptive strategies, and marked by authentic, transformative solutions.

PACJA remains committed to fostering a just and equitable global response to the climate crisis, and calls on all parties at COP28 to prioritize the needs of vulnerable people not only in Africa but globally, demonstrate genuine commitment to climate justice, and work collaboratively to secure a sustainable future for all.

KBC Digital
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