During a press conference on Tuesday the 2nd December in the Peruvian capital, the African Group of Negotiators on climate change committed to making every effort to ensure that the 20th Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP20) produces conclusions that are highly favourable to Africa.
Having started on Monday in the Peruvian capital, COP20, which is taking place at a crucial time for the joint efforts of different parties to respond to the challenges of climate change, is, according to Nagmeldin El Hassan, President of the African Group of Negotiators, a critical moment in the international climate change negotiations. The African countries, through their negotiators, intend to use this moment to build a system based on multilateral rules with global consequences to fight against the growing threat to the African continent.
“We have a mandate from science, from our people, from the African continent and from the United Nations itself to strive for enhanced global climate activities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen adaptation” declared Mr. El Hassan, underscoring that this is a priority for all the African negotiators.
El Hassan also alluded to the priority of the group in terms of the two principal objectives of the Lima Conference: increasing international climate action in the pre-2020 period, and the negotiation of a new agreement due to come into effect in 2020.
El Hassan also reaffirmed the statements made by the African Union Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) that a fair agreement in Paris for Africa would be one that includes all of the pillars of the Durban mandate, not just mitigation – that is to say mitigation, building adaptation capacity to finance technology development and transfer, and transparency in action and support.
It is not acceptable to put on the back burner the call of the group for the prioritization of adaptation and “political parity”; the group is looking for the tools for and legal parity between mitigation and adaptation. El Hassan added that funding, technology and capacity-building should not be considered to be peripheral to the agreement simply because they could be a nuisance for some of Africa’s negotiating partners.