Pan African Climate Justice Alliance huolissaan ilmastoneuvottelujen kunnianhimottomuudesta, maatalouden asemasta ja kansalaisten tiedonsaantimahdollisuuksista

Nearly a week after the commencement of current climate negotiations at Doha, we the representatives of civil society in Africa, under the auspices of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) are worried with the slow pace and also express the following key concerns:

1.       Prioritising real emission cuts by increasing the level of ambition: PACJA notes with concern that despite the fact that some pledges have finally come through on Quantified Emission Limitations and Reduction Objectives (QELROs), there is an apparent lack of ambition necessary to keep temperature increases below 1.5oC. For example Australia has nominated a provisional QELRO of 99.5%, Kazakhstan has pledged 90% while Liechtenstein pledged between 78-84%, compared to 1990 levels. The conditioning of these reductions on actions of other countries continues to hamper the reductionsessential to start affecting the levels of GHG concentration in the atmosphere.Furthermore, we demand that Annex I Parties as a group should reduce their GHG emissions by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2017 for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and at least 100% below 1990 levels by 2050.

To achieve this, there is need to reverse the current situation where the pace of negotiations lacks urgency and limited in progress. In addition, the principles of common but differentiated responsibility, comparable effort and equity must be at the heart of all actions for both developed and developing countries.

2.       Regarding the Kyoto Protocol (KP), countries that are not Partyto the Protocol must ratify it at COP 18. Meanwhile, countries that have expressed intentions of opting out of the Protocol, must not be allowed to benefit from flexible mechanisms such as the clean development mechanisms (CDM). Moreover, we observe that the current loophole in the system which will allow some Annex 1 countries to carry over huge assigned amount units (AAUs) into the second commitment period will only work to reduce the amount of emission reductions which these countries should undertake. Furthermore, most of the units gained were not as a result of direct emissions reduction, but a product of carbon trading offsets.

3.       Putting Agriculture firmly and correctly on the agenda:It is a well-known fact that agriculture and pastoralism is the mainstay of most African economies and support livelihoods of the inhabitants of the continent. It is also widely recognised that the impacts of climate change will be more severe on the fragile and rain-fed agriculture and pasture of Africa. As such, the manner in which agriculture is being discussed at the Doha negotiationsneeds to change from being treated as an area of emissions reductions for LDCs (i.e. mitigation), to a sector that is in urgent need of resilience-building from the impacts of climate change (i.e. adaptation). Whereas we recognise the importance of developing countries pursuing sustainable development pathways, we state this position in view of the millions of farmers and pastoralists who will need to build their resilience to the impacts of climate change and continue to support their communities’ livelihoods and maintain food security.

4.       Making the process of negotiation more transparent and effective:We urge our developing country delegates to resist attempts within the negotiations to treat the pertinent outstanding issues under the AWG-LCA to technical matters that will be transferred to the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI). This is because doing so is equivalent to ensuring that no decision is taken on these aspects, as they will continue to rotate from one body to another without meaningful and desirable conclusion.

Also, we are worried that space for Civil Society participation in the UNFCCC-facilitated negotiations is progressively dwindling. For example, most of the meetings, particularly the ones that are most strategic and promise to raise controversy, are closed to Civil Society. This systematic exclusion of Civil Society from the decision talks is not only unfortunate and uncalled for, but also places the integrity of the entire process of the multilateral negotiations under the United Nations into disrepute.

We therefore call for:

1.       Developed countries to recognise the urgency of concrete, legally binding actions in favour of saving Mother Earth. Time is running out. More ambition is essential in the area of mitigation targets by Annex 1 countries in order to avoid catastrophic consequences of climate change which science has clearly indicated.
2.       Parties to ensure that agriculture and pastoralism are firmly established in the negotiations as part of the adaptation agenda.
3.    Increased space for Civil Society participation in the negotiations so that they effectively and accurately inform citizens in their home countries and also engage their leaders.

Pan African Climate Justice Alliance on afrikkalaisten kansalaisjärjestöjen kattojärjestö.