Call for a Win-Win Framework at COP24

Developing countries, especially those from Africa, want the
elements of the Paris rulebook to be as unambiguous as possible to
avoid past deliberate oversights that have rendered impotent
previous pacts aimed at addressing climate change. Anne Holmes/
GraziaNeri – Italy/IPS

By Mithika Mwenda
NAIROBI, Dec 5 2018 (IPS)

An African delegation is in the Polish city of Katowice to join
30,000 delegates and thousands others from almost 200 countries
attending the 4th edition of what has come to be known as annual
climate change negotiation conferences organised under the auspices
of the United Nations.

This year’s conference comes 24 years after the establishment
of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, and it is the
fourth since countries inked a deal in 2015 in France where after
years of disagreements, adopted the Paris Agreement on climate
change.

The two-week conference takes place at the backdrop of the alarm
sounded by scientists working under the auspices of U.N.-mandated
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC)
, whose special report released in October
warned of dire consequences if the global community fails to put in
place drastic measures to arrest the accumulation of
climate-polluting emissions which cause global warming.

In its “state of the climate” report released few days ago,
the World Metrological Organisation
(WMO)
indicates that the 20 warmest years on record have been
in the past 22 years the global average temperature, and if the
trend continues, the temperatures may rise by 3 to 5
degrees Celsius by 2100.

This spells doom for communities at the frontline of climate
change impacts, but which may not be aware that the shifting
seasons which are making it impossible for them to plant crops as
they used to, the erratic rainfall which appears late and ends even
before they plant, and are characterised by floods that wreck havoc
in villages and cities, recurrent droughts which wipes their
livestock and crops, are all manifestation of the changing climate
which they should learn to live with in the foreseeable future.

Mithika Mwenda is the Executive Director for the Pan African
Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).

The negotiations taking place in Katowice are aimed at
discussing the best way possible to defeat challenges posed by
climate change. Over years, discussions have centred on the efforts
to reduce the green house gases believed to accelerate global
warming, and how to live with the damage already caused while
helping those who are unable to absorb the shocks emanating from
climate change impacts.

At stake is the so-called “Paris Rulebook”, a framework of
the Paris Agreement implementation which has already resulted into
fissures between delegations from developed countries and poor
countries. Developing countries, especially those from Africa, want
the elements of the Paris rulebook to be as unambiguous as possible
to avoid past deliberate oversights that have rendered impotent
previous Pacts aimed at addressing climate change. On their part,
industrialised countries are fighting to ensure the framework helps
them escape their historical responsibility, which they
successfully achieved under the Paris Agreement that seemingly has
watered down the principle of common but differentiated
responsibilities and respective capabilities.

Whether Katowice will deliver a balanced rulebook or an eschewed
framework favouring the powerful countries due to their
manipulative, intimidating and/or carrot-dangling strategies will
be judged in the two weeks. Throughout 2018, the Fiji Presidency
has facilitated over a series of trust-building conversations meant
to agree on contentious issues, including emission reduction levels
by countries, support for poor countries and sources of money for
such efforts.

The Fiji-facilitated interactions, known as Talanoa Dialogue,
have been characterised by mistrust and normal rituals witnessed in
all negotiations, and sceptics see no credible success in breaking
the persistent North-South divide. Though Fiji has tried its level
best to apply the spirit of “Talanoa”, which means,
trust-building, the good intentions of the Pacific Island State
have not helped to move the process forward.

Indeed, the president will be handing over the baton to his
Polish counterpart with his only achievement being process-based
“ where are we…where do we want to…how do we want to go
there” ritual, which avoided to tackle the hard questions
threatening to endanger the gains so far made in international
climate governance system.

For African countries, any framework for the implementation of
Paris Agreement that does not define the source of money and
technology is hopelessly barren. Rich countries have turned the
negotiations into market places to expand markets for their goods
and services. In their effort to turn climate change into business
opportunities, the industrialised countries and those in transition
such as China, India and Brazil have encouraged their major
transnational corporations to train their eyes on the emerging
opportunities in the “climate sector”, where sectors such as
“climate-smart agriculture”, “forest as Carbon sinks,
“clean coal”, “climate finance, “low-carbon”, “climate
resilient growth”, are gradually overtaking normal development
discourse.

There is nothing wrong in turning the challenge of climate
change into opportunities as the industrialised countries have
vouched in the ensuing transformation where even international
development assistance is conditioned. What is curious though is
the fact that these conditionalities may disadvantage people
already suffering the impacts of climate change. In addition, many
donors are only interested in projects that are mitigation in
nature, such as energy and major infrastructure projects which
assure them on bigger profit margins. Adaptation, which does not
have return for investment, is not attractive to many donor
partners nor private sector investors.

A win-win framework in Katowice which considers the interest of
industrialised countries and their businesses, as well as
developing countries and their vulnerable communities to enable
them transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient development
trajectories without jeopardising the livelihoods of the present
and future generations is thus the most suitable outcome.

The post Call
for a Win-Win Framework at COP24
appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Excerpt:

Mithika Mwenda is the Executive Director for the Pan African
Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).

The post Call
for a Win-Win Framework at COP24
appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News
Call for a Win-Win Framework at COP24