Faith Actors Ask for Stronger, Africa-Responsive Climate Ambition at COP27
From the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC). Statement issued during the Faith and Climate Justice Session of a Pre-Conference of the UNFCCC Africa Climate Week (ACW) on 28 August 2022. Originally posted here.
“The Welfare of the Earth is our Welfare”
At the invitation of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and several partners, the Africa Faith Actors Network on Climate Justice (AFAN-CJ), under the auspices of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), met at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Libreville, Gabon on 28 August 2022 ahead of the Africa Climate Week. The theme of the meeting was “The Welfare of the Earth is our Welfare”.
The conference aimed to consolidate the Faith Actors’ voices on adaptation, Loss and Damage, Climate Finance and mitigation, ultimately to influence discussions, debates and resolutions at Africa Climate Week, Africa Ministerial Conference of Environment (AMCEN) and the 27th UN Climate Change Summit (COP27) and other critical spaces, post-COP27.
The conference focused specifically on:
- Establishing a common understanding of the extent of loss and damages, the scope of past climate-related damages and issues at stake in climate negotiations as correlated by professionals, and model anticipated damages.
- Solidifying and strengthening the role of Faith Actors on mitigation, adaptation, climate finance, especially for loss and damage.
During the consultation, participants discussed the worsening impacts of climate change, the regrettable lack of sufficient commitment from global political leaders, and slow progress in climate change negotiations, especially on loss and damage and climate finance agenda items. After thorough reflections on the different views in the room and online, participants issued the following statement:
Cognizant of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 1.50C Report of 2018 noting that “residual risks” will rise as temperatures increase and that the report ranks Africa as the most vulnerable continent, with foreseeable catastrophes like those seen in Malawi, South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya and Horn of Africa countries and Chad and the Sahel region, amongst other African nations.
Deeply concerned about the politicization of the climate change discourse leading to continued loss of lives; and the serious moral implications of lack of urgency in addressing the climate crisis evidenced in the non-fulfilment of some milestone commitments by those responsible for polluting the environment.
Noting the role of Faith Actors as the first respondents of those affected by climate change.
Appreciating the role of Faith Actors as stewards of God’s creation and committing to do all in our capacity to contribute to the efforts of addressing the effects of climate change.
Welcoming the Glasgow Pact on Loss and Damage but further uncertain about the time needed to translate it into action as extreme events devastate livelihoods and economies in Africa.
Reflecting and premising our hope on the outcomes of the Glasgow Climate Dialogues, the upcoming AMCEN and COP27 convenings to provide unique policy spaces for key decisions on loss and damage and climate finance.
Welcoming the decision of the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC to include financing loss and damage on the agenda of COP 27 in Sharm el Sheikh.
Reiterating that “The Welfare the Earth is our Welfare” and that the issue of climate change, is a matter of life and death beyond political discourse, hence requiring urgent attention by stakeholders.
Committing as Faith Actors to engage and expand the space to unify all Faith Actors in the entire African continent, political leaders and African citizens in their own formation and play a critical role in informing policy and programme actions in advancing climate justice.
In so committing, the Faith Actors demand:
- On loss and damage:
- Urgent and frank negotiations on loss and damage, given the evidence already provided by the AR6 report of the IPCC, majorly on the African Continent.
- Strongly denounce market-based mechanisms and other false solutions propagated as solutions for loss and damage. We further caution all stakeholders – and especially the global north and the private sector – against any form of thought on applying market mechanisms on loss and damage response. In addition, encouraging parties to advance dialogue on advancement of non-market and pro-poor solutions to loss and damage as a result of climate change including from slow onset events.
- Urgent operationalization of the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage (SNLD) with a clear coordination and management structure having clear mandates and report and review procedures, and with an independent advisory body detached from the Excom, considering the magnitude of loss and damage in Africa no later than COP27.
- A clear distinction between loss and damage and disaster risk reduction as provided in the evidence of AR6.
- The establishment of a special finance facility for loss and damage response in line with article 8 of the Paris Agreement. These finances for loss and damage should be predictable in quantity and quality and should be separate from the Adaptation Fund, the GCF and any other already existing multilateral funds established under the UNFCCC.
- That loss and damage become a permanent priority agenda in climate negotiation processes right from SBSTAs to COPs.
- A greater commitment from Parties in following the direction already set by the Scottish government at COP26 in financing loss and damage not later than COP27.
- Call parties to be alive to the differentiated impacts of losses and damages to men, women, youth and the disabled and act following the established evidence.
- Greater consideration by Parties of the role and capacity of the Faith Actors in loss and damage response and fast track mechanisms for easing access to climate finance to CSOs and Faith Actors and their institutions.
- Stronger support to national and regional research and academic institutions to deepen research on loss and damage in order to fast-track generation of evidence to foster rapid action on loss and damage
- On Climate Finance:
- A new and additional short and long-term finance, based on the needs of the peoples of the Global South, balanced between mitigation and adaptation (with an immediate step of fixing the broken commitment of delivering the inadequate $100 billion in public finance by 2020).
- A comprehensive definition of Climate finance no later than COP27 as provided in Article 9 of the Paris Agreement without further procrastination.
- That GCF, the Adaptation Fund, and other fund mechanisms conform to evidence on gender and accessibility and embed Locally Led Adaptation Principles in all its processes.
- Recognition of the pivotal and leadership role that African governments should play in consolidating African voices and experiences on loss and damage and strong demand for predictable and verifiable new and additional climate finance support.
 Youth organizations, women farmers, People with disabilities, Faith Leaders, Pastoralists