Thursday, December 17, 2015

Africa maintains the Issue of Differentiation is Important on COP 21

 Aaron kaahYancho (PAMACC TEAM PARIS)

“The debate on differentiation is a red line for Africa and has to continue on Cop 21 because Africa is looking at it from a historic perspective”. Tosi MpanuMpanu the former chair of the Africa Group of Negotiator (AGN) reiterated during a focused working session of the Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) that aimed at reflecting on the potential outcomes of Cop21 and its adaptation needs for Africa. While insisting that it was necessary for the debate to ensue, Mpanu called on the Annex II countries to pay their debt. “It is not charity- it is an obligation” Mpanu demanded.
According to Mpanu, developed countries hold historical responsibility for climate change.  Referring to the Kyoto Protocol he recounted how the Annex II countries owe a “climate debt” to developing countries. While digging up issues of Finance, adaptation, technology transfer which the former chair termed primordial for Africa, he enveloped the support of the developed countries to Africa as an ultimate test of good will. On this score, Mpanu said there was no clarity about the climate finance donations for a post-2020 prospects. He frown that   the proposed US$100 billion of climate finance was merely a paper tiger.  Comparing and contrasting Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), which are likely to become legally binding instrument at the end of cop21, without   a legally binding financial framework challenged Africa to strengthen its climate action. 
Expressing hope that  COP 21  can redynamize confidence in multilateral processes following the failure of  Copenhagen, Hon AminataNiang, Member, Pan African Parliament who represented the president of the Pan African Parliamentary group on climate change confirmed like the UN Secretary general that there was no time to waste in tackling climate change . Hon. Aminata said the hopes for Africa was for temperature to stay below 1.5*C.  “And to achieve this we needed an equitable agreement on Paris to rise to the challenge” She added.
While explaining the genesis of the negotiations earlier on, Seth Osafo former Senior Legal Advisor, UNFCCC had thrown more light on the Kyoto Protocol. Seth pinpointed that Africa needed only a legal binding document that was applicable to
all parties.  Examining the Kyoto and it legal implementations Seth decried why the issue of differentiation as contained in Article 3 of the UNFCCC was being pushed aside by the developed countries on Cop21. “Paris seems to be talking more about an agreement and this agreement might contain anything or nothing at all.” He said. He went further to classify issues of historical responsibility, differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) and equity as the only game changers for Africa.  Extending the solidarity of the Asian civil society groups with their Africa Peers, LidyNacpil, Regional Coordinator, and Jubilee South commented the Africa Group of Negotiators at the UNFCCC. Lidy shamed the divide and rule tactic of the wealthy countries to weaken the coalition of the developing countries . .” Developing countries have the moral authority to call rich governments to account for delivering pledges that are not even half of their fair share.” She lamented. Lidy Urged the African negotiators to insist on scaling up of the financing targets.
Maria Phiri, Gender and Climate Change Expert, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) called for a gender sensitive agreement on Cop21. While insisting that specific guidelines must be laid down Maria maintained that the issue of gender at COP 21 was also anchored on historical responsibility and equity principles.
Moderating the session MithikaMwenda Secretary General, of PACJA had questioned the outcome from COP 21 drafted text which stood at 50. “We must question why many options exist in the text and why we do not yet see a ray of light as we face out in the first week of these deliberations.” Mithika cried.

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