PRESS RELEASE: Cop28 Negotiations are Off-Track

The African civil society, in collaboration with PACJA and the Non-State Actors Committee (NSA), alongside our partners, reaffirms our resolute commitment to addressing the pressing climate challenges confronting Africa and the global community. Our presence at COP28 serves as a reminder to the participating Parties of their commitment, expressed in their opening statements, to deliver an outcome that is both credible and impactful, responsive to the aspirations of all, especially those on the frontlines of the climate crisis.

While cautiously optimistic, we recognize that this outcome may prove elusive unless leaders from developed countries uphold the spirit and letter of the Paris Agreement. The ongoing negotiations, particularly on the Global Goal on Adaptation and its means of implementation, have been frustrating, lacking the progressive decisions needed for the benefit of Africa.

As COP28 progresses, our disappointment grows with the slow adoption of decisions that are progressive and particularly relevant to Africa. We emphasize that negotiations on adaptation, crucial for building Africa’s resilience to climate change, are not on track.

The implementation of robust adaptation measures is essential to addressing historical and current climate injustices, requiring complementation with adequate means of implementation, specifically climate finance. Africa demands immediate and substantial action to rectify the insufficient adaptation measures for the continent, acknowledging historical injustices.

Our call to governments remains unwavering: agree on a robust, ambitious, and solutions-oriented outcome for the operationalization of the Global Goal on Adaptation, complete with metrics and indicators to measure progress.

Furthermore, we call for a COP28 decision that goes beyond the narrative of “doubling” adaptation finance, recognizing the absence of a clear baseline for such doubling. Discussions should move towards more than doubling adaptation finance, accompanied by a time-bound roadmap consistent with the urgency highlighted in the Adaptation Gap Report.

We underscore the pivotal role of agriculture in advancing the adaptation imperative for climate-vulnerable people in Africa. The perpetual workshop mode in discussions on agriculture offers little hope to climate-stricken farmers in Africa, and we must convey a more optimistic message back home.

While acknowledging the adoption of the Loss and Damage Transition Committee and the pledges made by Parties, we emphasize that true celebration will only occur when this money reaches the communities we represent. The historical pattern of pledges leading to disappointment must be addressed, and tighter measures are needed to secure sustained commitment to funding loss and damage.

We call on the Parties to the UNFCCC to implement stricter measures ensuring continuous funding for loss and damage, beyond the initial charitable actions seen at the opening of COP28. The protocols and procedures for making the loss and damage fund functional should be expedited, as waiting for four years is too long for frontline communities facing challenges from climate change-induced disasters.

Insisting that funding for loss and damage must be additional and incremental to existing streams of climate funding and official development assistance (ODA), we highlight intelligence suggesting that rich and developed countries may be repackaging existing commitments as philanthropy.

The deceit in these commitments must be addressed definitively, and we advocate for new and additional measures to secure transparency at the global level in securing pledges.

The Global Stock Take holds significant importance that should be evident in COP28 through a demonstrated recommitment by developed countries to deep emissions cuts, efforts to bridge the climate financing gap, currently in trillions, and prioritization of the adaptation agenda. This remains our central commitment, one that the African civil society ardently desires from COP28.

As COP28 approaches its conclusion, our steadfast commitment to advocating for a just and equitable global response to the climate crisis remains unwavering. We call on all Parties to prioritize vulnerable populations, demonstrate genuine commitment to climate justice, advocate for a just transition, and collaborate for a sustainable future.

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