Updated: March 7, 2021
The Committee of the African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) has met on the sidelines of the 33rd African Union General Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The meeting was presided over by the new CAHOSCC Coordinator, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa who took over from Ali Bongo Ondimba President of the Republic of Gabon.
The Deputy Chairperson of the AUC, Kwesi Quartey and AUC’s Rural Commissioner of Rural Economy and Agriculture, Amb. Josefa Sacko also graced the occasion.
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Adoption of draft decisions, key messages and recommendations for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 26 and the adoption of the CAHOSCC Report 2019 were among the agenda items deliberated on.
Among other issues, the meeting commended the role of the African Group of Negotiators in representing the interests of Africa in the UNFCCC negotiations, speaking with one voice to advance the interest of Africans.
The meeting further noted with concern that the total global emission had increased and parties with historical responsibility to act and the capacity to respond to climate change had not fulfilled their commitments, while the African continent, contributes only 4% of the total global emissions.
CAHOSCC reiterated the need to ensure a practical multilateral approach for addressing the global challenge of climate change through the UNFCCC, especially that the continent as a whole was facing unprecedented pressure owing to various extreme weather events brought about by climate change, including flash floods; heavy rainfall, water scarcity and drought.
Therefore, it is necessary that Africa’s special circumstances and needs are recognised, as well as the Continent’s necessity for sufficient development space and its need for a just transition, including through the global financial architecture.
The meeting noted that this is a critical period when the Paris Agreement under the UNFCCC will be coming into force. It is therefore critical to ensure that Africa’s positions and interests are advanced, so that we are able to transition our economies in a just manner towards a low-carbon future, and to lend our best efforts towards addressing the global climate crisis. The time for decisive actions on climate change is now.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has been set up to help mitigate the impact of climate change and currently has some USD 9.658 billion for the next four years. Funding is required to support clear global adaptation goals as well as Africa’s adaptation needs.
The meeting however cautioned that measures taken to combat climate change, including unilateral measures should not discriminate or restrict on exports from African countries, being cognizant of African trade initiatives and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, as a means to enhance trade among African countries.
CAHOSCC was established by the AU Assembly in July 2009 at its 13th ordinary session. Its mandate is to spearhead the African common position on climate change and ensure that Africa speaks with one voice in global climate change negotiations.