Lobby complains of exclusion of civil society, accreditation delays

Augustine Njamnshi from PACJA addresses the media over humiliation, accreditation delays and being tossed from KICC to Environment ministry for attendance approvals. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Claims of accreditation delays and exclusion of civil society emerged yesterday as some organisations raised concerns over poor organisation of the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi.

Ahead of the summit, which begins today, non-state actors under the umbrella of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) complained of slow pace of accreditation of delegates and exclusion of civil society.

The organisations claimed Western interests seem dominate the agenda of the meeting.

“The hallmark of the organisational confusion and inertia manifests in the accreditation  process where exhausted delegates are tossed from the accreditation venue to the Ministry of Environment for clearance,” read the joint statement presented by PACJA chairperson of political and technical affairs Augustine Njamnshi.

He accused organisers of deliberately failing to ensure adequate participation and consultation of non-state actors, especially those from the most vulnerable and marginalised communities, in the planning and implementation of the Summit.

Njamnshi claimed that the move by event organisers to ignore African legislatures in preparations sheds light on misrepresentation of Africa in the Summit.

“African parliamentarians are conspicuously missing in the consultation process, yet their representation, legislation and oversight role is apparent in processes such as the Africa Climate Summit,” said Njamnshi.

According to Njamshi, the summit has majored on promoting market-based solutions and transnational corporations’ involvement at the expense of the needs of the African people.

“African citizens have waited too long to have such a gathering, and we urge the organisers to ensure that the summit is genuinely inclusive, transparent and accountable. We do not wish this Summit to be a missed opportunity to address Africa’s climate crisis and amplify African people’s voices and solutions,” said Njamnshi.

The group called on African leaders to stand by the principles of climate justice, human rights, gender equality, and intergenerational equity in all climate policies and actions.

At the same time, PACJA criticised the involvement of developed countries in the summit, claiming they are the main contributors to the climate challenges in Africa and should take responsibility.

“We demand that developed countries fulfil their historical responsibility and provide adequate finance, technology transfer, and capacity building to support adaptation, mitigation, and loss and damage in Africa,” said the alliance in the joint statement.

The non-state actors maintained they are against promotion of carbon markets as it is not part of the climate justice agenda for Africa.

“We reject the false solutions undermining African communities’ rights, interests and sovereignty, such as carbon markets, geoengineering, nuclear energy, and shared responsibility principles.”