African CSOs challenges AU to rise to the urgency of the climate crisis in Africa

In a joint communique released Saturday afternoon, the CSOs want the voices of African communities to be heard during discussions during the 36th AU Heads of States and Governments Summit, taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Dr. Mithika Mwenda, Executive Director of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), emphasized the importance of prioritizing the voices of Africans and ensuring justice for all.

“We recommend the convening of an African Peoples’ Summit on Climate Action at the instance of the AU, the African Group of Negotiators, the Civil Society, and other Non-State Actors to reassess the utility of the UNFCCC process to Africa after two decades,” said Dr. Mithika.

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Sarah Ngoy, Coordinator of the Forum for Climate Change in Tanzania, called for collective action within African countries and urged leaders to make decisions that respond to the needs of communities at the frontline of the climate crisis.

“We need to strengthen collective action within African Countries, leaders must come up with decisions that respond to the needs of the communities at the frontline of the Climate Crisis,” said Ngoy.

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Yared Deme from the World Resources Institute called on the African leaders to support research and the African Group of Negotiators to advocate for African inputs into the newly created facility for the financing of loss and damage.

“We reiterate the importance of increasing the number of funds/investments that are channeled towards research on climate change, and climate action for Africa, especially to ensure that there is substantiated evidence that boosts negotiations for Africa,” said Yared.

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Dr. Augustine Njamnshi urged the AU, the United Nations, and other bodies to reject the appointment of Sultan al-Jaber, head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), as the President-designate of COP28.

“Addressing the climate crisis requires deep cuts in the production and use of fossil fuels. That course of action is squarely at variance with al-Jaber’s business interests. It is hard to see al-Jaber leading objective, science-backed negotiations in the interest of the most vulnerable,” said Dr. Augustine.

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Fidele Niyigaba, Communication and Knowledge Management Manager of PACJA, signed the press release, emphasizing the need for urgent climate action in Africa. 

Malawi President Dr. Lazarus MacCarthy Chakwera will not be part of the summit, instead he has delegated Minister of Foreign Affairs Nancy Tembo.

The 36th ordinary Session of the AU Assembly will be held in Addis Ababa under the theme, “Accelerating  African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Implementation” from February 18-19, 2023.

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