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AMCEN 19: Negotiators Highlight Africa’s Priorities for COP28

The African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN) has highlighted the continent’s priorities for COP28 at the ongoing 19th ordinary session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment and Natural Resources (AMCEN).

Reporting to the AMCEN technical experts’ session, Chair of AGN, Ephraim Mwepya Shitima, highlighted Africa’s priorities for COP28 and reiterated the importance of continued unity and speaking with one voice.

Mr. Shitima pledged AGN’s commitment to safeguarding Africa’s interests in the climate negotiation processes.

“We remain steadfast in our quest for fair and just outcomes from these processes. Our call is that COP 28 should deliver ambitious, balanced, fair, and just outcomes that should set the world on a course to effectively address climate change on several fronts including adaptation, loss and damage, finance, and mitigation.

“COP28 is also about the Global Stocktake; we expect the outcome of the GST to reflect and take into consideration Africa’s special development circumstances and provide the policy space necessary for Africa to achieve sustainable development and just transition to low emission and resilient development pathways,” he said.

Earlier, during a meeting held for major groups and stakeholders held from August 12 to 13, 2023, the African civil society organisations under the umbrella of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) called for African leaders to remain united for climate justice.

“We are outraged and appalled by the current state of the global climate negotiations and developed countries’ lack of ambition and commitment to fulfill their historical responsibilities and legal obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement,” reads the CSOs statement.

“We are therefore deeply concerned about the change in the stance of some African leaders regarding climate justice. For many years, Africa has stood firmly behind the principle of common but differentiated responsibility and capabilities. However, we have observed a shift towards a principle of shared responsibility, which is worrying,” he said.

During the official opening, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Africa Regional Director, Rose Mwebaza, committed to continued collaboration with member states and other relevant African institutions to address environmental challenges facing the continent.

Ms. Mwebaza singled out the collaboration that has over the years existed between UNEP and the AGN, which has led to effective participation of the continent in climate negotiations.

She particularly highlighted the historic loss and damage outcome at COP27 as one of the positives of consistent collaboration and the need to speak with a unified voice.

According to her “It is worth noting that this 19th session comes at a time when the Africa region has continued to play pivotal roles in the global environmental arena.

“Towards the end of last year, for instance, we witnessed a historic establishment of the ‘Loss and Damage Fund’ from the United Nations Climate Conference (COP27) that was pleasantly hosted here on the African soil in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

“It is critical for the region – and you in particular as experts, to continually engage in getting this fund off the ground – in the spirit of ‘Siezing Opportunities’, as this first step marks significant progress towards a promising future for the African countries that are most vulnerable and impacted by the effects of climate change, she added.

The session, usually held for African countries to discuss and strengthen environmental governance, takes place from August 14 to 18, 2023, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the theme: “Seizing opportunities and enhancing collaboration to address environmental challenges in Africa”.

The session is aimed at strengthening collaboration among the various institutions and enhancing the implementation of regional and global environmental frameworks in order to address the environmental challenges facing the continent.

This entails building on existing initiatives, including strengthening the role of those institutions that support the implementation of regional and global outcomes.

The session is also providing a platform for strengthening Africa’s collective engagement in the global environmental agenda, including in the various conference of the parties of environmental agreements, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), and other multilateral processes related to combating climate change.

By Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun is a dynamic media innovator, strategic communication professional, and seasoned climate and environmental sustainability journalist with over 10 years of influential contributions to the media industry.

He Currently serving as the Head of Digital Media, Senior News Editor, and a presenter at Sobi FM 101.9, a leading radio station in Ilorin, Nigeria.

Dare is on a mission to leverage his media innovation expertise and project management skills to produce high-quality, accurate, and engaging content, while advocating for reduced fossil fuel consumption, especially coal, to combat effect of global warming.

He has covered comprehensively environmental issues and COP conferences, including COP28 in Dubai last year , COP 27 in Egypt, and the United Nations Least Developed Countries conference in Doha, in 2023.

He is a recipient of fellowship to be part of a 15 team of journalists selected worldwide to cover the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2024.

He has a Master's Degree in Mass Communication, from the University of Lagos, a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Lagos State University and also a
Certification in Business Administration and Management, from the Babson College, Massachusetts, United States of America.

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