The African Group is committed to the success of the Lima conference, taking place at a crucial moment in our common efforts to address the challenges of Climate Change.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Lima, Peru from 1st to 12th December 2014 represents a critical moment in the international climate change negotiations.
African countries, united in the talks as the African Group, intend to use this opportunity to build the multilateral rules-based system through a comprehensive outcome to curb the growing threat posed to the African continent.
"We have a mandate from science, from our people, from the continent of Africa, and from the United Nations itself to push for enhanced global climate action to cut Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as well as strengthen adaptation; this will be a priority for us," said Nagmeldin El Hassan, Chair of the African Group.
He further alluded on the group's priority on the two key objectives of the Lima Conference: raising international climate action in the pre-2020 period, and negotiation of a new agreement coming to effect in 2020.
Science indicates that without a drastic increase in climate action pre-2020, the goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C or 2°C is at risk.
Seyni Nafo, African Group spokesperson, expressed concern about action pre-2020 and said that only climate finance will propel action on the ground.
"Recent pledges to the Green Climate Fund are a small first step, but funding around $2.4 billion per year is not close to the actual need, and is a far cry from the $100 billion pledged for 2020. Lima should provide a clear roadmap for how finance contributions will increase step-by-step to 2020," he said.
Xolisa Ngwadla, Africa's lead negotiator on the new legal agreement, emphasised the single mandate from Durban for negotiation of agreement to be concluded in 2015 in Paris and applied from 2020 onward.
He noted the African Group's concern - expressed earlier in the negotiations in October - that some parties are 'pushing back' on understandings in Duban and Doha by proposing an asymmetric 2015 agreement that focuses on one element (mitigation) to the exclusion of others.
"The 2C global goal poses a lot of risks for Africa. The IPCC has showed that 2C of warming means substantial adaptation measures are needed in Africa to ensure food security and support sustainable development," Ngwadla said.
He added, given those risks, adaptation must be central to the post-2020 agreement and we need far greater transfers of finance and technology to countries who are particularly vulnerable to adverse effects yet have little historical responsibility for climate change.
Seyni Nafo responded to the recent announcements by the EU, US and China of 2030 emission targets. He commended them for proactivity in announcing the targets, while noting they fall well short of what science requires.
He also challenged the EU and US to match stronger mitigation targets with intended contributions on finance, adaptation, technology transfer and capacity building, in accordance with their international law obligations. He stressed that Lima must clarify requirements for national mitigation contributions, and their assessment for adequacy and equity.
El Hassan also reaffirmed assertions by the African Union Committee of African Heads of State on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) that a fair agreement in Paris for Africa is one that includes all of the pillars of the Durban mandate, not merely mitigation - that is mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, capacity-building and transparency of action and support.
It is not acceptable to relegate the group's call for prioritisation of adaptation, to "political parity", as the group is looking for material and legal parity between mitigation and adaptation.
He said that finance, technology and capacity building should not be seen as peripheral to the agreement just because it may be inconvenient to some of our negotiating partners.
The original article is published on the Africa Green Media website and can be found at: http://africagreenmedia.co.za/african-group-demands-action-at-lima-climate-conference/