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Africa Group of Negotiators list COP27 priorities for the continent

Ephraim Mwepya Shitima of Zambia, the current Chair of African Group of Negotiators. [Caroline Kimutai, Standard]

Africa will be pushing for a decision to recognise its special needs and circumstances during COP27. This will be a critical step as the continent is currently experiencing adverse effects of climate change despite being the least contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. 

On Thursday, November 3, the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) announced they had agreed on priority areas that will guide their negotiations and help address the climate crisis that is threatening the lives of more than 1.4 billion people in the continent.  

The 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP27) will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt from 6 to 18 November 2022. 

The ‘African COP’

This year’s COP has been described as the ‘African COP’ because of the high expectations that the conference will deliver substantive progress and implementable climate actions on the priority issues for Africa and other developing countries. 

Ephraim Mwepya Shitima of Zambia, the current Chair of AGN on climate change, said the five priorities for Africa will be:

  1. Recognition of Africa’s special needs and special circumstances
  2. Transformative agenda for adaptation
  3. Enhanced financing for loss and damage and the coordination of the funding to be led by the UNFCCC
  4. Delivering on robust financing for climate action and the need for a just transition to low emissions
  5. Resilient climate development pathways in the context of sustainable development and eradicating poverty
Ephraim Mwepya Shitima of Zambia, the current Chair of the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) met Kenyan Minister of Environment and Forestry, Rosalinda Soipan Tuya, ahead of COP27 next week. They discussed key priorities for Africa and the need to speak with one voice. Kenya is the current Chair of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change. [Caroline Kimutai, Standard]

Adaptation costs

According to findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Six Assessment Report (AR6), Africa will be impacted more than any other continent despite contributing less than four per cent of the world’s total emissions.

The IPCC estimates that adaptation costs in developing countries will reach $127 billion, and Africa will need up to $86.5 billion for adaptation annually by 2030.

“The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) has daunting findings, in particular on the African continent. It found that based on these scientific findings, decisions reached should recognise the Special needs and circumstances of Africa,” said Shitima.

Over 30,000 delegates from around the world are expected at COP27 to discuss action on climate change.

COP which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’ is an annual global climate change summit convened by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

All eyes will be on developed nations which are the biggest contributors of CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions. To date, the world has emitted over 1.5 trillion tonnes of CO2 (carbon dioxide) emitted since 1751. The emissions have seen average global temperatures rise leading to drastic changes in weather patterns leading to floods and droughts.

During COP21 held in Paris, France in 2015, countries agreed to work together to limit global warming to two degrees and aim for 1.5 degrees and to avail money to deliver on these promises. This is what is famously known as the Paris Agreement.   

Hopefully, during COP27, developed nations will update the world on progress under the Paris Agreement where they committed to bring forward national plans setting out how much they would reduce their emissions – known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).