By Sophie Mbugua – The much-awaited Paris draft text is out and it has raised serious concerns. Leading climate change activist Mithika Mwenda who coordinates the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) termed the text as unacceptable and reiterated the need for African countries to articulate their objections.
“Particularly there is no mention of climate justice, in addition to other demands from civil society.” Mwenda says. “The mention of Africa in acknowledgement of its vulnerability has been replaced by Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States where countries like Kenya does not fall under”
Mwenda also noted that many areas earlier considered as “Red Line by the African countries such as the adaption finance are currently missing on the text
“There is no reference to Alternative sources in the agreement as well as reference to a timeframe to the alternative sources in COP decision is missing and they have not only weakened the reference to phasing out fossil fuels and but also moved
to decision” Mwenda argues.
On finance that has been critical to the African group, he noted that some brackets remain but said that there are still open options on the most complex issues of differentiation, finance and ambition.
“Examine the document with a ‘new perspective,’ keeping the final agreement in mind as we are extremely close to the finish line” he advised the African Delegations.
While reacting to the released text, Tasneem Essop the WWF’s head of delegation to the UN climate talks in Paris was of the opinion that the current draft could be stronger, but said that the door is still open to increase ambition over time.
“We could be closer to an agreement on a review of country pledges before 2020, but the current 2019 timeframe leaves very little time for countries to enhance those pledges. They need to do it earlier” Essop says
On loss and damage which has been referred back to the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, she say no hope for the poor most vulnerable who will suffer most damage “There is a huge problem with the options for loss and damage in the current text. The current options provide no hope for people who will suffer the impacts of climate change the hardest” she said
At COP19 in Warsaw, Poland, the COP established the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts to address loss and damage associated with impacts of climate change, including extreme events and slow onset events, in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.
Of interest is that the negotiating text now includes a goal of keeping the world well below 2°C of warming, and a reference to a 1.5°C temperature limit.
Sam Ogalla the prograames coordinator at PACJA says that the draft ”is encouraging because it signals a stronger intention to cut emissions although countries still need to outline how they’ll achieve these goals and developed countries needs to meet their fair shares”
Essop also reiterates the civil society’s calls to the negotiating parties of the developed countries. “We note with concern that the estimated aggregate greenhouse gas emission levels resulting from the intended nationally determined contributions in 2025 and 2030 do not fall within least-cost 2 ˚C scenarios, and that much greater emission reduction efforts than those associated with the intended nationally determined contributions will be required in the period after 2025 and 2030 in order to hold the temperature rise to below 2 ˚C or 1.5 ˚C above pre-industrial levels” Essop says.
The ministerial second drafts decided to convene a facilitative dialogue among Parties to take stock of the collective efforts of Parties in 2019 in relation to progress towards the long-term goal of the temperatures objectives.
The INDC’s will be reviewed by 2018 and every 5 years bridging the emission gap with the ministerial text inviting the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to provide a technical paper in 2018 on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways.