Photo credit: The Climate Club

As the global climate change talks start in Egypt, there are already signals that the recognition of the African continent as a special needs and circumstances region stands the risk of being dropped at the agenda stage.

Intelligence gathered by the African civil society, under the auspices of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), indicates the agenda which carries the hope and aspirations of Africa, will not be prioritized as happened during the COP26 in Glasgow.

“This will not only be a disappointment, but injustice of disproportionate magnitude for the people at the frontline of climate change impacts, who expected the conversations happening in Africa to resolve contentious issues that have remained an obstacle to a deal that assures our people of survival,” said a statement by PACJA.

Parties are settling for the two-week negotiations at UNFCCC-COP27.

Millions of African people are already facing severe drought, starvation, loss of livelihoods and deaths. In the horn of Africa alone, over 38 million people including nursing mothers and young children are staring at starvation as the region experiences the worst climate-fueled drought in 40 years.

In the last few years, Africa has suffered from close to seven episodes of cyclones; the Horn of Africa countries are in their sixth successive year of climate-triggered droughts as cities and villages in Nigeria and Chad are currently immersed under water.

In Ghana, the rains have been incessant with the attendant flooding of communities in cities and towns as well as destruction of infrastructure, including roads and bridges.

This year alone, the Southern region has experienced close to three episodes of rain bombs that have caused unsurmountable losses and damages.

This reality underlines the need for urgent measures for scaling adaptation efforts coupled by implementation of the special needs and circumstances considerations across all response streams.

“We are sympathetic to the challenge African governments are facing in ensuring the African agenda on Special Needs and Circumstances, as well as upholding the Global Goal for adaptation and adaptation finance form the central pillar of this COP. While successive assessment reports of IPCC confirmed the sad reality of the impacts of climate change on the continent, those responsible for climate change problems have consistently blocked critical agenda items that can pull our people from the quagmire of the crisis they have little to do with. Action at global level is not corresponding to the urgent need as required by science and climate justice,” said PACJA.

According to the Alliance, Sharm-El-Sheikh presents a unique opportunity, post-Glasgow, for the Parties to urgently address the massive and mostly ignored adverse impacts of climate change.

“We urge that the double-speak by the rich countries should cease and be replaced by good faith and trust-building,” their statement said.

“The long-held mentality that meeting their commitments on deep emissions and provision of adequate finance is charity to Africa should change. We need efforts from everyone, both from the North and the South, the rich and the poor, the young and the old, men and women; for we have no planet B. In this context, we reiterate our collective and African peoples demand that Africa’s recognition as the special needs and circumstances should be boldly upheld in the Agenda of COP27,” it added. 

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.