The United Nations 27th Climate Change Conference, known as COP27 lasted from the 6th –18th of November 2022. During this time, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) was on ground in Egypt as an official observer of the summit, to set the climate agenda for governments, negotiators and communities.
Throughout the two weeks the conference lasted, CAPPA helped to amplify the voices of vulnerable communities by organizing media events and discussions that interrogated key climate issues, leading iconic demonstrations and marches to demand climate justice, influencing negotiations at the conference by providing evidence-based information and technical support to national delegations from across Africa. In particular, CAPPA pushed for a people-centered and sustainable approach to managing climate change. We also campaigned for the speedy implementation of a loss and damage funding facility to provide support for vast communities in Africa and elsewhere around the world already suffering irreversible damage from climate change. Here are some of our engagements in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt:
Disseminating Solutions Documents
Armed with over 400 copies of evidence-based advocacy reports in English and French, the CAPPA team and allies distributed copies to delegations from Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Ghana, and strategic African governments especially those that were covered in the report. Copies also got to regional bodies such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Africa Union (AU). The team also exploited the on-ground process to build relationships with the various governments, gather intel that will guide future climate organizing, and share CAPPA and Corporate Accountability’s policy position, especially on Article 6 and Loss and damage.
CAPPA participated and took the lead in various side events including the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice at the COP where CAPPA made presentations at the opening press briefing and insisted that polluting corporations be made to bear liability and pay climate reparations for agelong ecological damage and environmental injustices to frontline communities in Africa.
1. Kick Big Polluters Out Action
On 10th November, CAPPA and partners numbering over 425 persons from all over the globe, represented millions of communities in a protest action at the COP that demanded polluters be kicked out of the COP process and policy space. The action exposed the registration and participation of 636 lobbyists and delegates of polluting corporations and governments. The action mobilised people from communities and countries around the world to call out the greedy, reckless, and deadly business practices of Big Polluters that are driving the world to the brink of extinction. Protesters called out the COP, and government authorities for opening policy spaces to big polluters thus failing to deliver climate equity and action to end the world’s fossil fuel addiction.
2. Remembering Ken Saro Wiwa and Martyrs of Extractivism
On 10th November 2022, CAPPA participated in a side event organised by the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF): Remembering Ken Saro-Wiwa and Martyrs of Extractivism at Sharm El Sheikh. CAPPA’s Director of Programmes, Philip Jakpor, delivered a talk that focused on the resistance struggles Ken Saro Wiwa and how it culminated in his murder on November 10, 1995.
3. Women and Gender Constituency’s Presentation of Demands
As part of the Women and Gender Constituency (WGC), CAPPA was involved in the presentation action of 27 key demands for a gender-transformative and responsive climate agenda.
4. Ending Colonial Extraction
On November 15, CAPPA was part of a panel discussion on Ending Colonial Extraction organised by Oilwatch. The panel addressed environmental concerns of extractivism such as climate change, soil depletion, deforestation, loss of food sovereignty, declining biodiversity, and contamination of freshwater. Philip Jakpor, CAPPA’s irector of Programmes spoke on oil extraction in Ogoniland as metaphor for colonialism.
5. Human Rights Action
Alongside other climate justice defenders, CAPPA held a cross-constituency action on November 10, 2022, for victims of climate injustices and human right abuses, prisoners of conscience and environmental activists held in detention and tortured all over the globe. The action, themed ‘’NO CLIMATE JUSTICE WITHOUT HUMAN RIGHTS’’! honored environmental defenders, human rights defenders and political prisoners, and reminded us that there is no climate justice without human rights.
6. Action to Demand Loss and Damage Finance
CAPPA, Corporate Accountability and ActionAid organised an action to demand climate reparations and mount pressure on decision-makers at COP27 to show seriousness in executing the loss and damage financing commitments made at COP26. Speaking during the action, CAPPA’s Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi emphasised that loss and damage finance must not be considered as handouts to Africa and other countries of the global south but payment due to nations on the forefront of the climate crisis from historically polluting nations and corporations of the global north.
7. “Flood the COP”
Flood the COP was an action to draw attention to the tragedies of sea-level rise and widespread flooding across the globe currently threatening to submerge the earth.
8. Solidarity Action for Murdered, Stolen and Missing Indigenous women
On November 15, 2022, CAPPA joined women of the indigenous communities in an action to raise awareness and speak against violence meted out to thousands of aboriginal women in the United States, Canada and Latin America who go missing or are murdered each year for speaking out against destructive earth practices. Speaking at the cross-constituency action, CAPPA’s representative, Aderonke Ige emphasised that what happens to the Earth happens to us all. Women and gender-diverse indigenous peoples are the first and most impacted by extractive industries across the globe.
9. Real Solutions Side Event
At the “Build a Future of Real Solutions, Not a Fossil Fuel House of Cards” event held on November 12, 2022, and co-convened by CAPPA, CA, CEO, FOEI, HOMEF, the Indigenous Environmental Network, and other partners at COP27 in Sharm-El-Sheikh, there were rich, insightful conversations on corporate abuse and gas grab in Africa, Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, climate finance, exposé of the greenwashing and false solutions championed by corporations and global north governments, and amplification of real solutions including real zero, agro-ecology and community-based energy transition mechanisms.
The session minced no words in calling out false solutions and greenwashing paraded as a panacea for climate crises including technofixes and geoengineering.
10. False Solutions Action
The Action, held on 16th November 2022, at the COP action ground was focused on calling out the greenwashing by the governments of the global north and polluting corporations backed by international financial institutions who resource them to continue to greenwash. Speakers at the action insisted among other facts that:
“Almost all of the carbon market projects in its earlier avatar of Clean Development Mechanism have resulted in further displacement and marginalisation of already impacted communities in southern countries, where these projects were implemented while enriching the polluting corporates and letting them and high emitting countries off obligations for real emissions reductions…”
The action further reiterated that ‘’Geoengineering and its testing is unsafe, theoretical, diverts billions in resources from real solutions, and is in direct conflict with indigenous values whose lands and ecosystems on which we depend on to live will be most impacted’’.
11. Stemming the Tide of Climate Chaos
On November 16, 2022, the CAPPA team was part of the Oilwatch’s meeting on Stemming the Tide of Climate Chaos which had over 40 activists from Africa and Latin America in attendance. The meeting which also had Nnimmo Bassey and Tom Goldtooth, a native American in attendance, sought to chart the path of climate activism post-COP27 and how climate activists can work more collaboratively in resisting new oil.
12. People’s Plenary & Declaration
At the people’s plenary, CAPPA alongside other Civil society groups, labour unions and climate champions took over the plenary to raise our collective demands for all constituencies of people, ranging from women and sexual minority groups to persons with disabilities to young people and indigenous peoples, to demand system change as opposed to quick fixes and reactionary interventions to climate change. The plenary climaxed in a walk out of the plenary room to a sit-out, where the peoples’ declarations were read out.
13. Tagamo- Convergence of the Peoples
As a closing action at the COP, while negotiators struggled with deadlocks, CAPPA alongside other partners of the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice (GCDCJ) held a convergence of the peoples on Friday 18th, November 2022 in an evening ‘’vigil’’ tagged TAGAMOA / تجمع – CONVERGENCE OF THE PEOPLES. The gathering reinforced collective solidarity amid candlelights, chanting, storytelling, assembly and grounding moments. Highlights of the convergence included:
- Chanting and singing for a collective expression of peoples’ power
- Storytelling to establish an order of resistance-building in frontline struggles
- Solidarity moments in honour and defence of comrades, friends and prisoners of conscience, whose human rights are being abused on our soils
- Holding the space and one another, to bring the power of movements from COP27 back to our communities across the globe, especially the Global south.
Confronting the Industry at COP27
Squaring Up to BP’s Former CEO
As part of a strategy of exposing the climate atrocities of fossil fuels corporations headquartered in the Global North, CAPPA tracked down John Browne, former chief executive of British Petroleum between 1995 and 2007, a period that is described as the company’s “golden period of expansion and diversification. The CAPPA team confronted him with reports showing how the activities of the fossil fuel industry including the corporation he led have led to devastating climate impacts in Africa. Though he claimed to have read the reports (which at the time had not even been shared with anyone), he refused to collect a copy.
Veolia Director on the Hot Seat
During the week of water at the COP, CAPPA took the opportunity to confront and engage the Deputy Director of Veolia on Sustainable Development, Mathieu Tolian, challenging the corporate capture of water the company has embarked on in Africa. Specifically, the CAPPA team pointed out the action of Veolia in Mozambique, where the company took advantage of a natural disaster such as Cyclone Idai to sweep into the water sector, negotiating the privatisation of the public water system. The team chided the company for acting in such a manner which showed no regard for human rights or fairness, describing the action as disaster capitalism!
Engaging African Delegates
The CAPPA team attended the COP27 armed with three critical reports – Policy Brief on Climate Change COP27 and Beyond; Impact of Climate Change in Frontline Communities in Africa: Case Studies of Nigeria, Togo, Cameroon, and South Africa, as well as Assessing Climate Change COP26 Commitments in Africa: Case Studies of Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda. The CAPPA team ensured the government delegates in countries captured in the reports got copies as well as the Africa Group of Negotiators. The reports were also shared at the pavilions of countries of Africa that attended the COP. See images below: