Cop21 Paris Summit

COP21 Paris: Africa pessimistically hopeful of negotiation outcomes

6 December Dec 2015 1258 06 December 2015
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At the end of week one, negotiators representing nearly 200 nations at the UN Climate Change Talks have turned over a draft text for ministers to clean up for an expected deal to be signed by governments. But groups representing the African interest at COP21 in Paris are not enthused with the pace of negotiations. They have expressed pessimistic hope in the outcomes of the expected agreement. Report from our correspondent in Paris, Kofi Adu Domfeh.

“We hope for the best, but we’re very pessimistic”, Mithika Mwenda, Secretary-General of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), a civil society umbrella body, told Afronline.

Mithika particularly wants the issue of loss and damage addressed in the agreement as “the cry from the climate impacted people of Africa, especially women, children and smallholder farmers, is on the rise. The cries also indicate that they are losing their farmlands and animals to floods and drought which most of the time is all their live savings”.

“We could have been better, we could have been worse. The job is not done, we need to apply all intelligence, energy, willingness to compromise and all efforts to come to agreement. Nothing is decided until everything is decided”, said Laurence Tubiana, French climate ambassador.

We hope for the best, but we’re very pessimistic

Mithika Mwenda, Secretary-General of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA)

Inspite of the obstacles and the challenges, Seth Osafo, a leading member of the African Group of Negotiators (AGN), thinks there will be an outcome, but one that will not be strong.

“It will be weak, it will be the lowest common denominator; it will not solve the problem that the world is facing”, he observed. “Knowing the vulnerability of Africa; the continent that is most affected by the adverse impacts of climate change, definitely some of our concerns will be addressed but I don’t think we’ll get everything.”

Among the many loopholes in the 21page blueprint for the global climate deal is how much money developed countries will provide to developing countries in climate adaptation programmes, whilst cutting their greenhouse gas emissions.

The 2009 Copenhagen Accord was to provide short- and long-term ‘climate finance’ to help developing countries adapt to climate impacts. Developing nations pledged $10 billion a year from 2010-2012, ramping up to US$100 billion a year starting in 2020.

This was touted as a way to help developing countries avoid high-carbon pathways of development by adopting lower-emitting power sources such as solar or natural gas.

As at now, only $10.9billion has been pledged, out of which only $5.2billion has been delivered. And developing countries want promises fulfilled.

Continue reading on (media owned by VITA and focused on African issues).

Kofi Adu Domfeh is a Ghanaian journalist. He is the 2015 Winner of the African Press Organization (APO) Energy Media Awards. In 2014, he emerged Winner of the African Climate Change and Environment Reporting (ACCER) Awards. He was 3rd Best of the same Awards in 2013.

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