The Africa Group Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN) met in Durban to discuss the African Position for COP17/CMP7
11 Aug 2011The Africa Group Negotiators on Climate Change (AGN) met in Durban at the International Convention Centre, the venue for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change to be held in November/December 2011, COP17/CMP7.
The AGN is a structure of all African Member States’ senior officials, experts and negotiators in the UNFCCC negotiations, with the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) providing political oversight on the group.
The group met in Sandton in March to prepare for the first UNFCCC meeting of 2011 in Bangkok, as well as in Cape Town in preparation for the Bonn meeting held in June. The Durban meeting was held in preparation for the resumed session of the Bonn negotiations to be held in Panama on 1-7 October 2011. The Group is chaired by Mr Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The meeting of the negotiators was preceded by a meeting of the Bureau held from 6 to 7 August 2011. The Bureau of the AGN Bureau, was established in June in response to a decision of the African Union requesting the AGN to form a Bureau as part of enhancing Africa’s engagement with ‘one voice’ in the climate negotiations. The Bureau deliberated on several strategic issues of Africa’s engagement as part of the preparations for COP17/CMP7 including, updating the Africa Common Position on Climate Change, entitled “African Climate Platform for Durban”, for consideration by the AMCEN Ministers scheduled for the 15th - 16th of September 2011 in Bamako, Mali.
The meeting further deliberated on a strategy being developed by the African Union Commission for the implementation and governance of climate response by the continent in concrete implementation of adaptation and mitigation actions as well as enhancing coordination structures in the negotiations.
Following the Bureau meeting, the full African Group convened on 8 -10 August. The meeting worked on developing the ‘African Climate Platform for Durban’, which is the African position for CoP17/CMP7. This position paper is to be presented to the meeting of African Ministers of the Environment (AMCEN) meeting for adoption at the Bamako Conference. The meeting addressed issues arising under the two tracks of negotiations under the UN Climate Convention. On the Kyoto Protocol the AGN emphasised the need for leadership on the question of the Kyoto Protocol, and urged developed countries to provide leadership by ensuring that there is no gap between the first and second commitment periods of the Kyoto Protocol.
The Chair of the AGN, Mr Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu stated in his opening statement that “Our priority is to keep Africa safe through ambitious progress in the climate talks to implement the UN Climate Convention and its Kyoto Protocol, and an outcome in Durban that is science-based and fair”.
The AGN emphasised the need for a balanced and ambitious outcome in UN climate negotiations going to CoP 17/CMP7 in Durban citing that:
1. Maintaining the integrity of Africa’s socio-economic development is an essential goal of all African countries participating in the negotiations through ambitious outcomes on both tracks of the climate negotiations to implement the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol:
a. Ensuring the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention through the multilateral process is an essential outcome, by ensuring that progress on the unresolved issues agreed to in Bali in 2007 is achieved, whilst ensuring that the decisions made in Cancun are operationalised.
b. Protection of the global climate for present and future generations is a priority for Africa hence a solution for securing the second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol, as well as comparable emission reductions for non-Kyoto Parties, is central to the outcome of the Durban Conference.
2. In terms of mitigation developed countries are called upon to undertake ambitious mitigation commitments from 2013 to 2017 of at least 40 percent and to reduce their emissions by at least 95 per cent by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. Africa will showcase its ambitious mitigation and adaptation actions at an African Climate Pavilion in Durban.
3. Adaptation should be at the center of the deal by ensuring a process for concrete implementation of adaptation activities, and recognizing that adaptation needs and financing depend on emission reduction ambition of all Parties. Durban is expected to finalise an ambitious Adaptation Framework, develop guidelines and support for our National Adaptation Plans and build momentum towards a mechanism to compensate for climate-related losses and damage.
4. Technology will be addressed through operationalisation of the Technology Mechanism agreed in Cancun to enable enhanced action on technology development and transfer to support developing countries to adapt and mitigate climate change; and
5. Finance discussions offer the opportunity for an enhanced common reporting framework for short-term finance, clarity about the long-term sources and scale of finance for developing countries, as well as operationalization of the Green Climate Fund and Finance Committee agreed in Cancun. Africa is looking forward to a significant enhancement of funds pledged by the developed countries to assist developing countries meet the challenges of climate change.
The AGN reaffirmed its support for the South Africa COP Presidency in the build-up, during and after the Durban Conference of Parties on Climate Change. The next meeting of the AGN will be held in Panama immediately before UN climate negotiation begins on 1 October 2011.
Close to 200 people attended the meeting and the following Member states and organisations participated in the meeting: Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Benin, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Chad, Cote D’voire, Congo, DRC, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Lesotho, Liberia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, AMCEN, AU Commission, AfDB, Pan African Parliament, UNECA and SADC.
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Issued by: Department of Environmental Affairs
11 Aug 2011
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