23th August 2022

IPACC Briefing Note on COP 27

Introduction

The 27th session of the Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will take place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. From 7th to 18th November 2022.  Heads of States and Government have been invited to attend. It will therefore be highly political.

Considering that the COP is taking place in Africa, IPACC prepares this briefing note with the objective of sharing information about the COP with its member organizations and indigenous peoples from Africa generally.

Purpose
The purpose of this briefing note is threefold: –

  • To inform indigenous peoples of Africa the key issues that will be discussed at the COP.
  • To mobilize indigenous peoples from Africa to take leadership at the COP by organizing themselves to follow up on each of the issues and contribute effectively.

Key topics  
The key issues for African IPs at the COP include: 

1. Implementation of National Determined Contributions

Though all countries have submitted their Nationally Determined Contributions, the latest report by the IPCC indicates that the combined NDC’s ambitions is low and will not lower global warming to below 1.5 degrees as aspired under the Paris Agreement. Consequently, Africa is in a trajectory to suffer the most impacts of climate change. African negotiators will therefore be pushing hard for implementation of commitments made by developed States in their NDCs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In their NDCs, Africa States reiterate that 85% of their commitments under the Paris Agreement will be conditional on support by developed countries. The support is in the form of access to enhanced financial resources, technology transfer and technical cooperation, and capacity-building support, availability of market-based mechanisms, and absorptive capacity of forests, and other ecosystems. Developed countries must therefore support Africa meet its climate commitments while they also ensure they take active measures to reduce further greenhouse gas emissions.

Key questions for IPs.

Did we participate in the processes towards developing the NDCs?

  1. How are our rights and interests reflected in the NDCs?
  2. What are our contributions towards our respective countries NDCs?
  3. Have we accessed enhanced financial resources, technology transfer and capacity-building support through market-based mechanisms or non-market mechanisms to enhance the absorptive capacity of our forests and other ecosystems? What are some of the challenges? How can this challenges be addressed?
  4. What are our messages for COP 27?

2. Operationalization of the Global Goal on Adaptation

Though all countries have submitted their Nationally Determined Contributions, the latest report by the IPCC indicates that the combined NDC’s ambitions is low and will not lower global warming to below 1.5 degrees as aspired under the Paris Agreement. Consequently, Africa is in a trajectory to suffer the most impacts of climate change. African negotiators will therefore be pushing hard for implementation of commitments made by developed States in their NDCs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In their NDCs, Africa States reiterate that 85% of their commitments under the Paris Agreement will be conditional on support by developed countries. The support is in the form of access to enhanced financial resources, technology transfer and technical cooperation, and capacity-building support, availability of market-based mechanisms, and absorptive capacity of forests, and other ecosystems. Developed countries must therefore support Africa meet its climate commitments while they also ensure they take active measures to reduce further greenhouse gas emissions.

Key questions for IPs.

Did we participate in the processes towards developing the NDCs?

  1. How are our rights and interests reflected in the NDCs?
  2. What are our contributions towards our respective countries NDCs?
  3. Have we accessed enhanced financial resources, technology transfer and capacity-building support through market-based mechanisms or non-market mechanisms to enhance the absorptive capacity of our forests and other ecosystems? What are some of the challenges? How can this challenges be addressed?
  4. What are our messages for COP 27?

3. Loss and damage

In the climate negotiations, loss and damage refers to impacts of climate change which are not avoided by mitigation, adaptation and other measures such as disaster risk management. It plainly refers to

  • The losses and damages we have suffered because of climate change that go beyond what we can mitigate or adapt to, or
  • when options to mitigate or adapt exist but we don’t have the resources to access the options.

Projected economic cost of loss and damage by 2030 alone has been estimated to be USD 400 to 580 billion in developing countries alone. By 2050 the economic cost of loss and damage in developing countries is estimated to be between USD 1 to 1.8 trillion. Africa is hot spot for loss and damage.

 Indigenous communities across Africa are experiencing losses and damages because of climate change. We experience loss and damage through extreme weather events like droughts, and floods and slow changes for example desertification, salinization of lakes, and drying of rivers among others. Through this changes, we are experiencing both economic and non-economic consequences. If loss and damage is not addressed, it will be worse for indigenous peoples going forward.

Article 8 of the Paris Agreement requires that “parties recognize the importance of averting, minimizing, and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including extreme weather events and slow onset events, and the role of sustainable development in reducing the risk of loss and damage. However, not a single penny has been made available to address loss and damage.

However, at COP 26, countries established a two-year Glasgow Dialogue to discuss possible arrangements for loss and damage funding. They also agreed to operationalize and fund the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage, which aims to provide developing countries with technical assistance on how to address loss and damage in a robust and effective manner.

At COP 27, developing countries including the Africa group will be pursuing the establishment of a mechanism for high-quality finance for addressing loss and damage.

Key issues for IPs

  • How are we experiencing loss and damage in our territories?
  • How do we support developing countries in their pursuit of a mechanism for high-quality finance for addressing loss and damage?
  • How will this mechanism safeguard rights and interests of IPs?

4. Climate Finance

The contribution of countries to climate change and their capacity to prevent and/or cope with its consequences vary enormously. In accordance with the principle of “common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities” set out in the Convention, developed country Parties are to provide financial resources to assist developing country Parties in implementing the objectives of the UNFCCC. The Paris Agreement reaffirms the obligations of developed countries, while for the first time also encouraging voluntary contributions by other Parties. Developed country Parties should also continue to take the lead in mobilizing climate finance from a wide variety of sources, instruments and channels, noting the significant role of public funds, through a variety of actions, including supporting country-driven strategies, and taking into account the needs and priorities of developing country Parties. Such mobilization of climate finance should represent a progression beyond previous efforts.

The Convention operationalizes a financial mechanism entrusted to one or more existing international entities.  Global Environment Facility (GEF) has served as an operating entity of the financial mechanism since in 1994. At COP 16, in 2010, Parties established the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and in 2011 also designated it as an operating entity of the financial mechanism. The financial mechanism is accountable to the COP, which decides on its policies, programme priorities and eligibility criteria for funding.

The Climate Policy Initiative provides that 51 out of 53 African countries that submitted Nationally determined contributions have provided data on the costs of implementing their NDCs. Collectively, the cost represents more than 93% of Africa’s GDP. Based on this data, it will cost around USD 2.8 trillion between 2020 and 2030 to implement Africa’s NDCs.

African governments have committed that 15 % of the total costs will confirm from domestic public resources and insist that 85% or about USD 2.5 trillion must come from international public sources and the domestic and international private sectors. This means that Africa requires about US$ 250 billion annually between 2020 and 2030. However, total annual domestic and international climate finance flows in Africa were only USD 30 billion (12% of the amount needed).  Consequently, African governments will keep insisting for implementation of climate finance commitments by developed countries especially towards adaptation.

Key issues for IPs.

  • Are Africa IPs assessing climate financing to enable them spearhead climate solutions in their territories?
  • What are some of the challenges and what solutions/recommendations do we bring on the table?
  • Do we have any examples of best practices that we can share?

5. Agriculture

COP 23, held in Bonn in 2017, adopted decision 4/CP.23 on the “Koronivia joint work on agriculture“, to address issues related to climate change and agriculture. The issues include methods and approaches for assessing adaptation, adaptation co-benefits and resilience; improved soil carbon, soil health and soil fertility under grassland and cropland as well as integrated systems, including water management; improved nutrient use and manure management towards sustainable and resilient agricultural systems; improved livestock management systems and socio-economic and food security dimensions of climate change in the agricultural sector.

SBSTA and SBI have been considering the above issues and will present a draft decision for consideration and adoption at COP 27. As agriculture is an integral component of indigenous peoples food security, livelihoods, and cultures, IPs need to participate strongly on discussions on the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture.  

Key issues for IPs.

  • How are our voices included in the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture including in the Informal note by the co-facilitators that will serve as a basis for moving the discussions forward at COP 27 ?
  • What TK based solutions do we bring on the table in terms of soil management and livestock management to safeguard our food and nutrition security, livelihoods, sustainability, nutrient cycling and carbon management;
  • What support to we need and are the financial mechanisms prioritizing issues related to agriculture in their existing mandates and work plans?

6. Traditional Knowledge

Indigenous Peoples are holders of traditional knowledge that can contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation. In recognition of this knowledge, a Local  Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform (LCIPP) was established at the UNFCCC to

  • Promotes exchange of experiences and good practices for addressing climate change in a holistic way
  • Build capacity for engagement
  • Bring together diverse ways of knowing for designing and implementing climate policies and actions

A Facilitative Working Group (FWG) of the LCIPP was established at COP 24 in Katowice, Poland in December 2018 to further operationalize the LCIPP and facilitate the implementation of its three functions related to knowledge, capacity for engagement, and climate change policies and actions. At COP 26 in the LCIP proposed a second three-year workplan for the period of 2022-2024. The workplan activities are grouped according to the three functions of the platform  and include (i) knowledge, (ii) capacity for engagement, and (iii) climate change policies and actions.

Key issue for IPs. 

  • How best can African IPs participate in and support the activities of the LCIPP including the 2022-2024 work plan and beyond?
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PETITION TO AFRICAN GOVERNMENTS:

Indigenous Environment Defenders.

Africa’s hunter-gatherer and nomadic pastoralist peoples have lived symbiotically and sustainably within Africa’s ecosystems for millenia. Their Traditional Knowledge Systems are treasure houses of indigenous knowledge.

Under colonialism, African hunters and nomads suffered land dispossession and cultural oppression. In the post-colonial era, they’ve advocated for their land, cultural and human rights.

Now, in this Age of Climate Change, Africa’s hunter-gatherer and nomadic pastoralist peoples are recognised as frontline guardians and managers of African biodiversity, and provide early warning for climate change trends.

We appeal to African governments to formally recognise the Traditional Knowledge Systems and practices of hunters and nomads.

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