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African Civil Society Call for Urgent Ambitious Action on Climate Change In Warsaw

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SONY DSCBy: Robert Muthami

Civil society representatives from across the African continent urged Governments to take ambitious action against climate change. These are some of the position issued at a press conference during on-going UNFCCC Climate Change Negotiation at the COP19/CMP19 which runs from November 11 – 22 in Warsaw, Poland.

The African civil society joins the rest of the global community meeting in Warsaw to find the most practicable way to address the growing impacts of climate change.
“As we meet here in Warsaw, we want to remind leaders and government representatives that climate impacts are multiplying at unprecedented rate. As we speak, tens of thousands of Pilipino have perished in typhoons, while hundreds of thousands have been rendered homeless. How come this unfortunate incident is coinciding with COP19 conference? Is nature heralding a chilling message to us? We demand that developed countries fulfil and implement their commitments under the UN climate convention, in order to fairly share a necessary ‘emissions budget’, and avoid catastrophic climate change, says Mithika Mwenda, Secretary General of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).
Africa along with other poor countries – are at the most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change globally. We watch with horror what has happened in the Philippines, and know that similar impacts of climate change are ravaging Africa  with attendant loss of lives and properties and means of livelihood been eroded daily on the continent.
Will not the rich countries ignore these clear facts from Mother Nature, nor the yelling from world’s poor? The time has come for developed countries to cut deep their emissions that are causing climate change. We want to see signals of such action from this conference.
PACJA believes these negotiations are about the emissions budget, whether governments admit it or not, they either negotiate to share that budget fairly, or they plan to exceed it.
“Africans expect our governments to stand firm on setting an emissions budget, as recommended by the IPCCC. They must then share this budget fairly, based on historical responsibility and capacities.” Said Dr. Habtemariam Abate, from Ethiopian Civil Society Network on Climate Change.
We have strong and clear proposals on how to deliver energy to those who do not have, whilst avoiding the trappings of dirty fossil fuels and therefore allowing us to live within the emissions budget. Proposals include a globally funded feed in tariff – we expect such a measure to be adopted here in Warsaw. Warsaw can be the place and moment the world chooses clean over dirty energy and Africa will be championing this choice.
“The best agreement on Earth won’t make a difference without implementation in the real world. That’s why one of the clear outcomes in Warsaw must be the drastic scaling up of climate finance and technology transfer. Only if these commitments are met by Annex I parties can African governments really believe that the rich world plans to act in good faith on any future agreement.” The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, PACJA, released several briefs outlining their analysis, shared with other civil society observers several issues, including equity, markets and loss and damage.

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