Climate Negotiations in Lima: Africa needs to speak with one voice to defend its priorities and interests

10/12/2014
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The African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) convened a high-level ministerial briefing meeting on the negotiations taking place in the UN Climate Change Conference (COP20). The representatives of the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) presented the status of the negotiations and Africa’s key messages were conveyed. The outcomes of the negotiations will feed into the new global climate change agreement which should be signed next year in Paris and should enter into effect by 2020.

The meeting was chaired by the President of AMCEN, Binilith Mahenge, Tanzanian Minister of State. Together with the representative of the African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Olushola Olayide, and the Chair of the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change, Nagmeldin Goutbi Elhassan, they commended the sustained efforts by the negotiators and Africa’s leadership to develop a coherent African common position to address the challenge of climate change and its adverse effects in Africa.

The African position during the negotiations is the following: finance should be allocated based on the country capacity, the needs and the geographical representation. The scale of provided finance shall be reviewed periodically based on the assessments reports of the developing countries. The delivery of adaptation finance should be reviewed on an annual basis and necessary measures should be taken by developed countries to ensure delivery to developing countries. Therefore, the financial resources should be provided based on quantified targets. It should be predictable, sustainable, adequate, new and additional (i.e. not counted in the current development finance flows) and on clear allocation criteria. This would mean that each continent would get its share in line with the challenges it is facing.

The panel and the African Ministers all agreed on the importance of adaptation for Africa and actual funds are not sufficient to meet the large needs. Adaptation finance is a cornerstone in any future agreement and should be part of the legal agreement with same legal parity to mitigation. Different institutional options were presented to enhance the capacity of the most vulnerable countries to receive the funds from the Adaptation Fund, the Least Developed Country Fund of the Global Environment Facility and the Green Climate Fund. Concerns were expressed about the assessment of country needs related to climate change and the related costs. Readiness support should be considered for African countries to enable them to access the available sources of climate finance.

On the mitigation front, the experts prepared a pre-2020 action agenda with identified opportunities with high potential. New initiatives by the African Group of Negotiators were proposed such as the establishment of the Global Renewable Energy Support Programme that could enter into action after 2015.

Since 2011, multilateral development banks (MDBs) have provided over US $75 billion in climate finance to developing and emerging economies for adaptation and mitigation. The African Development Bank has demonstrated its commitment to low-carbon and climate resilient development and mobilized US $770 million for climate mitigation and US $430 million for adaptation in 2013 according to the MDBs joint report on climate finance. The AfDB has made a commitment to invest US $9.6 billion from 2011-2015 to finance climate-smart activities. Between 2011-2013, US $5.2 billion were financed, so the AfDB is on target to meet, if not surpass, its commitments.  

The African Development Bank has supported the African Group of Negotiators technically and financially to participate in the negotiations and to ensure that Africa’s positions are taken on board in the new climate change agreement.