Climate Change Conference fails to deliver, says CSOs

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Climate Change Conference fails to deliver, says CSOs

Climate and Sustainable Development Network of Nigeria (CSDevNet) and Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) have expressed disappointment that Climate Change Conference (COP25) fails to deliver for Nigeria and Africa.

COP25 is the 25th Conference of Parties (COP25) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that held from Dec. 2 to Dec. 13 in Madrid.

A statement signed by Dr Ibrahim Choji, Chairman, Board of Trustees, CSDevNet and Dr Mithika Mwenda, Executive Director, PACJA, expressed the disappointment in Abuja on Tuesday.

Mwenda said COP25 essentially failed to deliver ambitious decisions that reflect the special circumstances and needs of Nigeria and Africa’s unfolding climate emergency.

He noted that Nigeria and some parts of Africa were the hardest hit by the adverse effects of climate change.

Mwenda said industrialised countries in their discussions, focused on nitty-gritty and postponed firm commitments to deep emission cuts, which were central to keeping global rise in temperature at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

He added that parties focused on technicalities such as reporting, timelines and scope of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which were important, but fail to deliver any real progress on the substance of emission reduction levels.

Mwenda denounced the lack of firm commitments to deep emission cuts from industrialised countries that reflect the scale and urgency of the unfolding climate crisis.

“In this regard, CSDevNet reiterates its call to Developed-Country-Parties to use the obligation of reviewing the NDCs in 2020 to ambitiously enhance their mitigation commitments to reach the required target of reducing half of the current emission levels by 2030.

“This will cap global average warming at 1.5º C as stipulated in the recently published UNEP Emission Gap Report 2019,” he said.

Choji said that the group was also disappointed with the lack of any clear commitment to previously pledge and new scale-up climate finance, particularly to fund gender-responsive adaptation, loss and damage.

According to him, Developed-country-Parties have consistently avoided or side-lined any discussion related to providing support, notably finance.

He added that there had also been a visible lack of commitment to a post-2020 or long-term climate finance regime.

“Moreover, it is quite distressing that at COP25 there is still disagreement on a universal definition for climate finance, which risks further delaying badly needed financial support to developing countries and ensuring accurate climate finance reporting.

“Developed country parties must, therefore, must continue to fulfil their pre-2020 climate finance commitment of 100 billion dollars per year during the period,” he said.

In view of the above, the CSOs declared that the failure of COP25 made it imperative for the government, private sector and civil society in Nigeria to lay strong foundations for a climate-resilient future.

Choji said this would be done by ensuring that contributions were effectively harnessed through the engagement of non-state actors in the implementation of Nigeria’s NDCs, the SDGs and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

He said such engagements must be anchored on a genuine global sustainability and low carbon development pathway, and must reflect the integrated link on social, economic, cultural and environmental dimensions of development.

“That any implementation plan that fails to integrate these dimensions in a balanced way is not feasible for addressing present and future development challenges in Nigeria.

“In the light of increasing rate of gas flaring, upsurge in soot and importation of generators across the country, Nigeria’s NDCs should be reviewed to address the issues of ambition in the country’s NDCs with regards to emission reduction targets from 2020,” he said.

Choji added that a strong Nigerian voice was needed to “ensure that climate change dialogue process truly reflects Africa’s priorities and needs.

“The time for the Nigerian government to forge alliances and constructively engage the private sector and civil society in the implementation of Nigeria’s NDCs of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs in Nigeria is now,’’ he said.

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