Focus the AU Summit on COP27 planning, PACJA urges African leaders  

Last Updated on: 7th February 2022, 03:23 pm

“Africa is already seeing the impacts of climate change – it is not an issue of the future. “We pray that the African Union leaders recognize that COP27 is not about the world; it is about Africa..”

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 5, 2022: The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance has urged the African Heads of State and Government meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to center their agenda this year around climate change given that the continent shall play host to the 27th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change (COP27). COP 27 is set for Egypt later in the year.

In a statement released on the sidelines of the 35th African Union Summit, Dr. Mithika Mwenda, the Executive Director of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), said this year’s Summit takes place at a time when Africa is poised to host COP27 in Cairo, Egypt.

The 35th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union under the theme; Building resilience in nutrition on the African continent: Accelerate the human capital, social and economic development takes place against the global context where countries are facing multiple social, political, economic and environmental upheavals exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For the African continent, these development crises have been compounded by the climate crisis and debt burdens, constraining governments’ ability to respond, thus heightening inequality and imperiling human rights. 

Further, besides COVID-19, Coup de tats, loss of lives of the countless youths who are daily drowning in the Atlantic and Mediterranean seas, unemployment, economic downtowns, to mention a few. ‘But all these cast pale shadows when compared to the broad development challenge climate change pose to Africa,” said Mithika.

He added that this Summit is one of those meetings that take place when Africa has a rare opportunity to host the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Egypt later in the year. “It is an opportunity; we cannot just let it go,” said Mithika.

Nyaguthii Chege of the Natural Justice said Africa is already seeing the impacts of climate change – it is not an issue of the future. “We pray that the African Union leaders recognize that COP27 is not about the world; it is about Africa. As a continent that suffers the most despite contributing the least, the story and narratives on climate change should be told from the lens of communities experiencing the climate crisis in Africa,” she said.

Imali Ngusale from FEMNET said amidst all the competing priorities; there is the tendency to leave women behind in the discussions around climate change. She said the movement to COP27 must be inclusive.

Zambe Mobanda from the Pan African Network of Parliamentarians for Climate Change said Africa is being left behind as a result of too much talk too many resolutions, but it is time for African leaders need to put more push lead in taking actions.


Yonas Gebru, the Ethiopia PACJA national chapter, hopes that his government and host of the AU Summit will spearhead concrete plans of ensuring the implementation of National Determined Contributions that speak into Ethiopia effectively participating at the COP 27 in neighboring Egypt.  

Augustine Ndjamnshi, Co-Founder and Chair, Technical and Political Committee at PACJA said the AU Summit of 2022 comes at a time when the need for common positions on the UNFCCC process is urgently needed. “We are here to encourage our leaders and offer them our moral support so that leaders do not drift from the Climate change commitments actions,” he said.

Concerns have been raised on the deteriorating relationship among African negotiators, whose efforts have deliberately been fragmented over the years based on language, geographical and identity.   

PACJA calls have remained louder on Africa’s need to stay unified, with the Committee of Heads of States and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) providing political leadership. 

The African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) should step in and always offer guidance to the technical experts under the African Group of Negotiators (AGN).  

Calls by the Africans for the financing of the historical loss and damage, adaptation, and deep emissions cuts from the developed countries in Glasgow’s COP26, went unheeded; only a few of these demands were featured selectively in the final Glasgow Pact/

Alok Sharma, the COP26 President, announced that $100 billion would be availed by 2025, however, it leaves a massive shortfall against the $1.3 trillion that the African negotiators wanted.

The African Platform for COP 27 CSOs Forum will, among others, aim to extend outreach and interact with the delegates and political leaders in ways that reinforce African CSOs’ collective role in shaping and influencing the AU on climate action. 

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