Delegates attending the Africa Climate Week have been told to be wary of false solutions to the climate change phenomenon that fossil fuels industry trade associations promote to open Africa to the highest bidder.

Climate Justice Groups fear that with the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) funding the talks and the discussions narrowed down to carbon trading and offsets, real solutions that communities on the frontline of the climate crisis advocate may be shoved aside.

According to activists, regional and international level discussions on climate change have hitherto been hijacked by fossil fuels industry-backed trade groups that exploit the introduction of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement or market-based mechanisms to interfere and capture talks.

The Africa Climate Week – from March 18-22 – will focus on how engagement between State and non”State actors can be further strengthened in the key sectors for Africa including the role of future carbon markets to achieve enhanced climate action, towards the goals of sustainable development.

Participants will focus on how engagement between Parties and non-Party stakeholders can be further strengthened in key sectors for Africa, including energy, agriculture and human settlements.

It will also seek to facilitate implementation of countries’ nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement on climate change and SDG 13 (climate action), among other Goals.

The high-level segment on March 20 will bring together ministers and senior leaders – including UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa – and focus on areas such as visions for NDCs enhancement and implementation; carbon pricing and markets, as well as the operationalisation of the ambition cycle in the Africa region.

Civil society groups insist that the funding of climate talks by fossil fuels industry-aligned groups interfere in the arrival at meaningful solutions and create a conflict of interest within governments and the UN system, thereby stalling progress in tackling climate change.

Corporate Accountability is a group that wages strategic campaigns that compel transnational corporations and the governments that do their bidding to stop destroying health, human rights, democracy, and the planet.

Deputy Campaigns Director for Corporate Accountability, Sriram Madhusoodanan says, the fossil fuel industry drives and profits off of the climate crisis, so it should be nowhere near the rulemaking process.

“In order to advance real solutions, we need to kick Big Polluters and their trade associations out of the climate policymaking space and anywhere government decision-makers gather.”

Climate week

Head of Media and Campaigns at the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Philip Jakpor notes, “The array of fossil fuel industry-aligned groups attending the Africa Climate Week leaves little hope for the African continent which carries the heavy burden of climate change. The impacted peoples on the continent have said time and again that the global fight against climate change rests primarily on non-market mechanisms and not commodification of the environment.”

Programmes Director of the Vision for Alternative Development (VALD), Labram Musah, adds that African delegates must stand up for its people in a campaign to address what has become known as the climate chaos.

“Except African delegates stand up for their people and advance actions needed to address the climate chaos, Big Polluters and their allies will inject dangerous propositions in the Climate Week talks to set the stage for them to dictate the outcomes of COP25.”

The groups urged African delegates to stand with impacted peoples on the African continent and across the world that recommend the following to confront the climate change crisis:

Keeping fossil fuels in the ground

Rejection of false solutions that are displacing real, people-first solutions to the climate crisis

Advance real solutions that are just, feasible and essential

Honour climate finance obligations to developing countries

End corporate interference in and capture of the climate talks

Africa Climate Week (ACW) 2019 will convene in the lead-up to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in September 2019, bringing together diverse actors from the public and private sectors.

The event will be followed by Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia-Pacific Climate Weeks. Collectively, the Climate Weeks will serve as critical stepping stones in the lead-up to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit slated for September 2019 in New York.

Core partners of the week-long event include the Marrakech Partnership, World Bank Group, African Development Bank, West African Development Bank, and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), among others.

The events’ global partners are the UNFCCC, World Bank, UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), UNEP Partnership with the Technical University of Denmark (UNEP-DTU Partnership), Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) and International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). Regional partners include the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Africa, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in LAC and Asian Development Bank (ADB) and UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Asia-Pacific.