As the 56th session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) progressed in Bonn, Germany from 6 – 16 June 2022, the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa organized an interactive roundtable session with the media on June 10, 2022, to engage proceedings from the Bonn Climate Change Conference, an intersessional conference halfway to COP27 scheduled to hold in November 2022, in Egypt.[spacer height=”25px”]
The Bonn intersessional meeting is the first time all countries under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have gathered since COP26 where parties agreed to the Glasgow Climate Pact which boasts of a wide range of climate solutions including, limiting global warming to 1.5C by drastically reducing carbon emissions by 45% before 2030, the commitment to financing vulnerable countries and communities around the world that are struggling to ‘‘avert, minimize and address loss and damage’’ associated with the impacts of climate change among others.[spacer height=”25px”]
Discussions at the media roundtable session interrogated the BONN climate discourse on global mitigation and adaptation workplan, the Glasgow dialogue on loss and damage among other deliberations. Whereas climate change mitigation in the context of the UNFCCC is focused on curbing greenhouse gas emissions, and adaptation concentrates on pre-emptive actions and systems that boost human resilience and environments to withstand the impacts of climate change, loss and damage are the costs associated with climate change that adaptation and mitigation cannot resolve. At present, vast populations especially in the Global South not only lack access to resources for adaptation and mitigation but are already suffering irreversible loss of human lives, psychological trauma, territorial, ecological and economic displacements which are all serious consequences of climate change that stretch beyond what adaptation or mitigation can offer protection from.[spacer height=”25px”]
At COP26, CAPPA alongside partners, allies and other representatives of vulnerable communities from the Global South had pushed for the setup of a facility structure under the UNFCCC that frames explicit financial arrangements to address climate change losses and damages, especially because vulnerable communities in the Global South contribute the least to global emissions yet suffer the most from its consequences. Although countries were unable to reach a consensus on the discourse at COP26, they agreed to consider it as an item on the agenda of the BONN climate change conference. Yet as discussions at the BONN intersessional meeting progressed, there was an unwillingness to engage in talks on the prospects of a loss and damage facility. The seeming attempt to backtrack on some of those COP 26 commitments, particularly to Africa and the rest of the Global South necessitated an immediate intervention, part of which was the media roundtable to spotlight the development in Bonn.[spacer height=”25px”]
Whilst speaking in reaction to the developments at the BONN intersessional, Phillip Jakpor, Director of Programmes, CAPPA, noted that the deliberate disregard of the Global North and their corporate interests in the ongoing climate crises in Africa is just as bad as the greenwashing, such as ‘’Net-zero’’ being paraded as ‘’solutions’’ to climate change.[spacer height=”25px”]
Aderonke Ige, Associate Director, CAPPA, called for a fair share and equity in countries’ obligations to the loss and damage financing as well as adaptation and mitigation workplan, including expedited actions to activate the release of funds to suffering communities in the global south.
Olamide Martins, Programme Manager, CAPPA, decried the contradictions in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and other national policies on climate change and called on African governments to ensure that NDCs not only reflect the concerns of the most affected frontline communities but are also purged of false solutions and the influence of big polluters and corporations.[spacer height=”25px”]
Akinbode Oluwafemi, Executive Director, CAPPA, said that the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) report which warned that the world is set to reach the 1.5C level within the next two decades, is a strong indictment on the Global North and a caution against the ineptitude of the Global South governments. He added that the Bonn intersessional presents another opportunity for countries to review climate change commitments, especially as they relate to Africa.[spacer height=”25px”]
In similar vein, Hellen Neima, Africa Climate Director, Corporate Accountability emphasized that Africa must take full advantage of COP27 to shape decisions in its favor by demanding Loss & Damage finance, a global goal on adaptation, and a workable non-market mechanism for real solutions.[spacer height=”25px”]
The meeting ended with calls for African governments attending the SB56 to set a stable foundation for an efficient loss and damage finance facility to be established at COP27, advance strong arguments to compel industrialized and wealthy countries to provide adequate loss and damage finance; and adopt effective non-market mechanisms to attain real zero as opposed to the false net-zero.