Friday, December 12, 2014

Africa joins mass die-in as Lima talks end today

Atayi Babs, PAMACC Team, Lima
At the 2013 climate conference in Warsaw, Poland, civil society groups led by the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), Friends of the Earth, Global Campaign for Climate Justice, and others staged a massive and unprecedented “walkout” of the negotiations in protest of what they viewed as another year of failed negotiations that cannot guarantee just outcomes. As protesters left the conference halls in Poland, they chanted the phrase, “Volveremos!,” which in Spanish means, “we will return.”
After another year of still rising global warming emissions, diplomats and civil society observers have returned to COP20 in Lima, Peru, with an unrelenting call for justice, but a slightly different tone. With negotiations scheduled to conclude today, members of civil society performed a “die-in” with over 150 participants to reclaim the space and highlight the voices they say are being ignored by the U.N. process.

In unison, demonstrators fell to the ground outside of the plenary hall where a text to set a framework for a global climate “deal” next year in Paris is being negotiated. Speakers from the Philippines, Tanzania, the Dominican Republic, and Peru addressed the crowd of bodies.

“This is hypocrisy and duplicity on the part of developed country governments.” Said Fazal Issa of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) from Tanzania.

“Governments of developed countries are pressuring developing countries when they do not even own up to the inadequacy of their targets and constantly refuse to include climate finance as part of binding agreements. Climate finance for mitigation actions in the South is part of the obligations and fair share of the efforts of developed countries.” Issa told the crowd.

Images of mass die-in on COP 20 final day

No going back on legally binding climate agreement - African Groups

Mohamed Gharib Bilal
Atayi Babs, PAMACC Team, Lima
As the Lima climate talks grind to a close, African groups  have stressed the urgent need for a legally binding climate agreement to ensure safety for Africa and Africans.

Mohamed Gharib Bilal, Vice President of Tanzania and Coordinator of the Committee of the African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) disclosed this during the "Africa day event" at the sidelines of the LIma climate conference.

"Africa needs a legally binding climate agreement that places issues of adaptation, finance and technology transfer at the forefront," Vice President Bilal remarked.

Nagmeldin El Hassan, Chair, African Group, while briefing on some outstanding issues in the negotiations noted that the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) clearly identifies Africa’s climate-related vulnerabilities. He highlighted that gaps in parties’ current commitments are a source of concern as they fall far short of the requirement to “keep Africa safe” in a 2°C world. "Africa’s concerns have been enhanced by developed countries’ focus on mitigation and voluntary Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)" he said.

Scotland seeks partnership with African civil society on climate justice

Kofi Adu Domfeh, PAMACC Team, Lima

The Scottish Government has put itself up to work with African civil society to create synergies between climate vulnerable communities in Africa and Scotland.

A country delegation, led by Aileen McLeod, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, held talks with the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) on the sidelines of the climate change talks in Lima, Peru.

Building on a relationship which started in 2009, the two parties hope to explore mutually beneficial partnerships in recognition of the intricate challenge brought about by climate change on the planet.

Samson Ogallah, Programmes Manager at PACJA, shared the Alliance’s strategic plan to build the capacity of African civil society and media professionals in a bid to support governments on the continent to protect the livelihoods of local people.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Scottish environment minister fetes PACJA, pledges support for Africa

Activists tackle dirty energy funding at Lima talks

A commitment to decarbonize economies and transition to a 100% clean energy future by 2050 has been a vociferous subject at the climate change talks in Lima, Peru.

The decarbonization target is currently in the draft text of the climate agreement – close to 90 countries have voiced their support for the inclusion of a zero-emission target.

But there are fears fossil fuel companies and polluting countries will lobby furiously to get it removed before a deal is signed in Paris.

‘Dirty Energy’ campaigners believe burning any fossil fuel for economic expansion is bad for the climate.

LIMA TALKS: Africa considers strong political action

by Kofi Adu Domfeh, PAMACC Team, Lima

The Committee of the African Heads of States on Climate Change (CAHOSOCC) has given an ear to

The CSOs have observed that Africa is been forced to "retreat" from its strong negotiating positions held before the Copenhagen meeting, thus "narrowing" Africa's negotiating space and options and gradually dismantling the UNFCCC regime.

"If we sign any unfair climate agreement next year, and it's not in the interest of Africa, we would have succeeded in condemning our people," stated Robert Chimambo of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has two treaties under the Kyoto Protocol, which commits highly industrialized countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy to have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments. The ultimate objective is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Committee of African Heads of State on climate change meets with civil society

Images from the Peoples Climate March in Lima

Africa joins Global Day of Action for Climate Justice

Kofi Adu Domfeh, PAMACC Team, Lima
African civil society under the aegis of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) joined in the People's Climate March which recorded the biggest crowd in Central Lima in recent times – an estimated 15,000 participants.

Local communities and environmental activities from diverse countries and cultures took to the streets to demand climate justice from world leaders gathered for the United Nations climate change talks in Peru.

Images from side event on Post-2020 Agreement & Implications for Africa

Tuesday, December 9, 2014



Images from PACJA's Second Press Conference

LIMA doit être une réussite - société civile

Le rende vous de Lima touche presque à sa fin. La société civile semble être très tendue et préfère mettre en garde les grands décideurs : « Lima ne doit pas échouer » .

A travers un communique de presse sorti ce mardi, l'alliance panafricaine pour la justice climatique (PACJA), a  attiré l'attention des ministres Africains qui sont arrivés aujourd'hui en s'insurgeant contre  le changent radicale de la plateforme de Durban(2011)

Samson Malesi du PACJA a regretté au cours d'une conférence de presse animé que les pays industrialisés semblent vouloir fouler aux pieds  la plateforme mis en place au Durban par toutes les parties.

"A Durban, les  différentes parties s'étaient convenu à accroître l'action climatique dans la période  pré-2020 afin de conclure un nouvel accord sur le climat vertu de la Convention pour la période post-2020.Mais est ce les actes ont été jointes à la parole ?non.. ", a regretté Malesi.

Climate finance cannot be separated from development finance - Ban Ki-moon

by Kofi Adu Domfeh, PAMACC Team, Lima
Provision of adaptation support and resilient building for the most vulnerable and developing
countries must be prioritized at the ongoing climate change talks in Lima, Peru, says UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.

He therefore wants tangible progress made by the 20th session of the Conference of Parties (COP20) in solidifying the climate finance regime.

The Secretary-General describes the initial capitalization of nearly $10billion to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as a positive step but he is concerned that "our collective action does not match our common responsibilities".

"I call on countries that have not yet pledged to the Green Climate Fund to consider making an ambitious financial commitment in Lima," he said. "We must also clearly define a pathway for achieving the goal of $100billion by 2020 in support of developing countries".

`Our lives are not for sale` - Young people tell delegates at climate change talks in Lima

Lima, Peru, Dec. 9: Chipinge, a district in Zimbabwe is known for its magnificent scenery. It is believed to be part of the country with the highest rainfalls. That is where Joy Mlambo, a young professional working with an NGO in Zimbabwe, The development Reality Institute was born. She recollects how the hot climate and high rainfall used to be well suited to agriculture. But like in most parts of Africa, things are no longer the same. These are perilous times for her people.

`The rains are now erratic. My family members depend entirely on farming but they do not know when to plant anymore. We are starving. Rivers are drying up and when the rains come they are so intense that the village is flooded. The climate is turning against us` says Mlambo who is now 24. She fears for the future of young people like her who will live long enough to experience the disastrous consequences of the changing climate.  

Monday, December 8, 2014

COP 20 delegates react to new climate predictions


 by Zeynab Wandati, PAMACC team, Lima

2014 is on track to being the hottest year in history. This is according to preliminary reports by the World Meteorological Organisation, at the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru. The WMO says 2014 has had recorded the highest global sea surface temperatures, which are likely to remain high until the end of the year. 

As Zeynab Wandati reports, the effects of changes are visible around the world.

Typhon Hagupit: la societe civile africaine compatit

La société Civile présente a LIMA pour la cop 20 a observé deux minutes de silences en soutien du peuple philippine qui est toujours sous le choc du typhon Hagupit. 

Sous l'égide de l'alliance Panafricaine pour le changement climatique, la société civile a monté  le ton pour dire non à l'injustice climatique. Madame  Najua Burawui  de la Tunisie s'est entretenue avec Diane NININAHAZWE

Typhon Hagupit: la societe civile africaine compatit

Typhoon Hagupit: Africa stands in solidarity with Philippines

Atayi Babs, PAMACC Team, Lima
Over one hundred delegates from countries around the world including leading representvatives of the African civil society under the aegis of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) stood together for two minutes of silence to show solidarity with the people of the Philippines who are suffering under the lash of Typhoon Hagupit. 
The latest reports say at least 21 people have been killed by floodwaters caused by the storm, that is continuing its painfully slow path towards the capital Manilla - 1 million people have been evacuated from their homes.

At the UN conference centre in Lima civil society representatives called on Ministers arriving today and tomorrow at the climate negotiations to make progress towards a mechanism that effectively addresses loss and damage from climate impacts. Climate change is causing an increase in extreme rainfall and sea level rise is making the storm surges more deadly. Vulnerable countries like the Philippines are already counting the cost, last year Typhoon Haiyan left more than 7,000 dead or missing.
"We stand in solidarity with the Philipines today because we are one," Robert Chimambo of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) declared. "Africa is in the same vulnerable boat with Philippines and that is why we are calling on those with historical responsibility and capacity to act now or we sink together in this titanic" Chimambo added.

Climate adaptation costs could triple, UNEP warns

 by Kofi Adu Domfeh

A new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) shows climate adaptation costs for developing countries are likely to be two to three times the current estimates of $70 to100 billion per year.

The UNEP Adaptation Gap report says this will happen even if global emissions are cut drastically to meet the agreed goal of limiting warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.

The African Group of Negotiators (AGN) at the climate talks has acknowledged the $100 billion to be mobilized by developed countries by year 2020 is a starting point to climate adaptation. Their aim, according to the Chair, Nagmeldin El Hassan, is to see a 1.5oC or 2oC warming limit.

Martin Kaiser, Head of Climate Politics in Greenpeace, said “if the Paris treaty is to make a difference, countries must agree to phase out fossil-fuel emissions to zero and lead us to a renewable energy future”.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Africa demands climate treaty ratification at Lima talks

Nagmeldin G. Elhassan
by Atayi Babs, Lima
The African group of negotiators has urged developed countries to ratify an extension of the second phase of Kyoto Protocol. They say the developed nations must show leadership in tackling climate change effects by ratifying the binding treaty.

Nagmeldin G. Elhassan, the Chair of the African Negotiating Group says ratifying the second commitment period is the only way Africa and developing nations can take the developed countries seriously on commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Elhassan says by ratifying the agreement, the developed countries will build confidence among African countries suffering the brunt of Climate change that they are committed to reducing the suffering of the people due to climate change.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Meteorologists Warn of El Nino Over East Africa Region

Peter Labeja, Pamacc Team in Lima
Few days after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned of worst climate ahead, the East African Meteorologists have moved to issue El Nino alert over the region.
Uganda National Meteorology Authority is calling for preparation of the members of the public for the occurrence of the adverse weather event. According to the alert, El Nino is expected to occur between December 2014 and February 2015. El Niño is a weather condition characterized by unusually long rainfall conditions with the possibility of flooding and landslides. 
Jackson Rwakishaija, the Acting Executive Director Uganda National Meteorological Authority says there are adequate factors putting the probability of occurrence at up to 70 percent. He says the Pacific Ocean has shown renewed signs of El Nino development in recent weeks adding that, above average temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean typical of El Nino conditions have warmed further in the last fortnight. 

Lima, est-il un rendez-vous pour sauver le climat de l'Afrique ou l'enfoncer?

Par Diane Nininahazwe,
L'équipe de PAMACC à Lima

La société  civile présente à Lima, pour  la cop 20  estime que si la 20eme conférence des nations unies sur les changements climatique  ne plaide pas assez pour la cause des personnes les plus vulnérable et les plus touchés  par les changements climatiques, la 20 rencontre de Lima risque d'aggraver la situation.

"Les négociations sur un nouveau  accord sur le climat avance a pas de tortue  à cause de problèmes de confiance, mais nous ne serons pas trompés par des techniques ou de procédure artificiels," déclare  MithikaMwenda, le Secrétaire général de l'Alliance panafricaine pour la Justice climatique Pan (PACJA ), dont le siège est à Nairobi.

Images from Civil Society Visit to African Group

Africa warns countries cheating on climate finance

Africa warns countries cheating on climate finance


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Renewable energy partnership critical for African farmers

By Kofi Adu Domfeh

Photo by Arison Tamfu in Lima
African civil society at the climate talks in Lima, Peru, has identified renewable energy as key to stop deforestation and reduce poverty on the continent.
They therefore support the proposed Global Renewable Energy Partnership put forward by the African Group of Negotiators (AGN).
The proposal falls in line with the UN Secretary-General’s sustainable energy for all initiative, launched in 2011.

Renewable energy will create more jobs - WWEA

The World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) has said renewable energy will not only mitigate the impacts of climate change but also create jobs substantially.

`If you promote renewable energy in your region, you be able to avoid spending a lot of money on energy. One economic benefit is new jobs and higher income` said Heinz Kopetz, member of WWEA who doubles as the President of World Bioenergy Association.

Climate Finance is flowing, but it isn't enough - Figueres

by Wambi Michael, PAMACC Team, Lima

Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary
Climate financing across the globe has hit record high to about $650 billion dollars in the last two years but the UN Climate chief, Christiana Figureres says it is not enough to meet the growing financial needs to tackle global warming.  

A new financial assessment report presented to at the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru puts  the lower range of global total climate flows at $340 billion a year for the period between 2011-2012.

The assessment compiled the UNFCCC standing committee on finance is the first to put together information and data on financial flows supporting emission reductions and adaptation within the countries and through international support.

Support from developed countries according the assessment amounted to about $35 billion dollars and $50 billion annually, within the multilateral development banks

Africa Chases US$600 Billion to Address Climate Disasters Annually

Peter Labeja, PAMACC Team, Lima

Seyni Nafo
Seyni Nafo, the African Group spokesperson says recent pledges to the Green Climate Fund are a small step. Funding around US$ 2.4 billion per year is not close to the actual need, and is a far cry from the $100 billion pledged for each year to 2020.              
Africa requires up to US$ 600 billion annually to be able to cope with climate change disasters over the next five years, negotiators at the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Summit in Lima, Peru have announced.
Seyni Nafo, the African Group spokesperson says recent pledges to the Green Climate Fund are a small step. Funding around US$ 2.4 billion per year is not close to the actual need, and is a far cry from the $100 billion pledged for each year to 2020.
The group wants the Lima conference to provide a clear road-map of how adequate finance contributions will increase step-by-step to 2020. On a global level, US$1 trillion is required to support developing nations to prevent temperature rise from the current 0.8 Degrees Celsius to 1.5 Celsius degrees.

Africa expresses concerns over $100billion climate fund

Nagmeldin El Hassan, Chair of the African Group
By Arison TAMFU

Peru, Lima Dec. 3: Developed countries have committed to mobilising $100 billion in climate finance. "Recent pledges to the Green Climate Fund are a small first step, but funding around $2.4 billion per year is not close to the actual need, and is a far cry from the $100 billion pledged for 2020. Lima should provide a clear roadmap for how finance contributions will increase step-by-step to 2020" said Seyni Nafo, African Group spokesperson.

The money is expected to come from a wide variety of sources and depends on meaningful mitigation action and transparency on implementation by developing countries. It is intended to bridge differences between richer and poorer states that hobbled prior talks. African Group at the Lima conference has made it clear though the money is important, Africa is more interested in limiting the impacts of climate change

Extreme heat signals possible failure of Lima climate talks

by Atayi Babs, PAMACC Team, Lima

Delegates from over 190 countries at the ongoing Lima climate talks have come under
serious pressure from the climate with extreme heat trailing the negotiations. As negotiations opened on Monday morning, delegates immediately found themselves on the hot seat as IPCC Rajendra Pachauri challenged delegates to "come to terms" with the fact that staying below the 2°C target requires zero or negative emissions, relative to 2010 levels, by 2100. 

The literal heat of the venue prompted one delegate to exclaim "this is just like a greenhouse and this is exactly what's happening to our planet." "Last October, those of us who were at the Convention for Biological Diversity COP in Pyeongchang, South Korea, were subjected to cold temperature extremes; now we're being tried by fire," complained another.

2014 will likely be the hottest on record, WMO warns

By Wambi Michael, PAMACC Team, Lima

IPCC Chair, Rajendra Pachauri
World Meteorological Organization says the year 2014 is on track for being one of the hottest, if not the hottest, on record, according to preliminary results issued at the side lines of the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru.

The changes according to the estimates are largely due to record WMO high global sea surface temperatures, which are predicted to likely remain above normal until the end of the year.

The report says High sea temperatures, together with other factors, contributed to exceptionally heavy rainfall and floods in many countries and extreme drought in others.

Civil Society demands shift in private sector investment at Lima talks

By Kofi Domfeh, PAMACC Team, Lima

Solving the problem of global climate change is impossible without huge shift in private
sector investments, since this sector represents trillions of dollars with vast majority of economic activities around the world.

This is the view of Civil Society in contributing to a discussion at the ongoing climate change talks in Lima, Peru.

According to Dr. Thomas Jallah of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), what is needed most is policy changes and regulations particularly in developed countries "to shift private investments from brown to green".

"National governments could do far more to shift incentives so that trillions of dollars of private investments will flow to sustainable climate-friendly activities," he said.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

African Group solicits media cooperation at Lima talks

By PAMACC Team, Lima
The African Group of Negotiators at the ongoing Lima climate talks have expressed their willingness to work with the media torwards ensuring a better deal for Africa as 2015 beckons.

Highlighting the imperatives of a constructive engagement of the African media in the ongoing talks, Nagmeldin El Hassan, Chair of the African Group at a meeting with a delegation of the Pan-African Media Alliance for Climate (PAMACC) today called for far-reaching dissemination of the key issues and developments as they relate to Africa at the conference in order to facilitate shared understanding of the negotiations and its impact on the continent of Africa.

"We are happy with the representation of African media in this conference and we sollicit your cooperation in putting the issues in right perspective" Elhassan said. Atayi Babs, West African Regional Coordinator of PAMACC commended the AGN for the meeting and reiterated PAMACC's focal commitment to providing an effective vehicle for knowledge sharing and information dissemination on the African continent and beyond.

Images from African civil society stand at Lima talks

African Civil Society Groups Race to Make the Most from COP20

African Civil Society groups at the ongoing United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are racing to make the most of this year's conference of parties (COP20).
The groups attending the annual conference now underway in Peru's capital Lima want to see additional commitment from the developed countries in providing US$ 100 Billion by the year 2020 among other crucial objectives.

"With fresh momentum and better organization, the conference should provide us better opportunity to push the developed countries to honour and deliver on its commitment. The industrialized countries must scale up their Commitments to fulfilling their obligation to providing adequate, new and additional funds as this amount is far from all estimates of climate finance needed by developing countries", Samuel Samson Ogallah of the African Civil Society Umbrella group, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) told a pre-COP consultative meeting in Peru November 30th. 

African Fish industry in Peril as global warming intensifies

 By Arison TAMFU, PAMACC Team in Lima
Peru, Lima, and Dec. 2:
Ana Faustor, a middle-aged Peruvian lady takes a passionate bite of grilled fish as she
follows proceedings at the UN Climate change talks in Lima just outside the hall where deliberations are taking place. Inside the hall, officials reflect on how dangerous climate change has become to mankind and insist that the time to act is now but Ana`s thoughts are buried in nostalgia of the days of abundant fish and how she used to go fishing with her father in Chimbote, in the north of South American country, Peru.
“Things have changed now. Fishing is becoming difficult and fishes are disappearing” she says regretting how good fish is becoming rare in Peru, a country that holds second place in the worldwide production of aquatic species. As the UN Climate change conference opens this Dec. 1 in Peru, Ana hopes for an outcome that will mitigate the impacts of climate change across the globe.

COP 20: We must prepare to count the cost Of delay - IPCC

“The window of opportunity to act on climate change is soon closing. Science offers clear
Rajendra Pachauri
rationale for climate action now” says Dr. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri the chairperson of the  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) during the opening ceremony of the twentieth Conference of Parties, also known as COP20 in Lima, the capital of Peru this morning.

According to Rajendra, any further delay will make response to Climate Change too late and too expensive for humanity. He stressed that nearly a quadrupling of low-carbon energy is required by 2050, to address the impact of Climate Change. So, what do we really need to reverse the rising warming of the globe observed in 2014, the hottest year according to IPCC?

Act now. Act with urgency. Failure will condemn developing countries and the extremely poor African peasant farmers to another unchecked generation of suffering extreme weather, frequent floods, droughts and crop failures. Already, little actions taken after COP19 has been greeted with widespread deaths brought about by typhoons and increasing floods on the African continent. According to Oxfam International, 6,000 people were killed and another 4.1 million displaced.

Monday, December 1, 2014

COP 20: Opening Ceremony in Pictures

Chair of the African Group of Negotiators addressing the plenary
COP 20 President & Peruvian Environment Minister: Manuel Pulgar-Vidal

Rajendra K Pachauri, IPCC Chair