In this blog post, first published in (and created for) The Elders, Earthlife Africa Director Makoma Lekalakala writes:
Many Africans are thrilled that this year’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC/COP) is taking place in Africa, with hopes that African issues will be prioritised. But this is not the first time that COP is being held on the continent. In fact, this is the fifth time – the first being Nairobi Kenya, then Durban South Africa and twice in Morocco. However, we are yet to see a clear focus on addressing the climate change legacy created by the industrialised nations of the north. And while Egypt dubs this COP as ‘Africa’s COP’, unfortunately it does not yet look like they are hosting the COP on behalf of Africa. These proceedings are still too dominated by the northern countries, and, from my perspective, negotiations do not appear to be balanced.
Africa has, for a long time, called for climate justice. We are yet to see it materialise. The issues of loss and damage particularly, have now made it more evident that the climate debt owed to southern countries has not been paid. While climate financing might seem like a sensible approach, it is not a just solution, not while there are many strings attached.
But I am still hopeful that this COP may be different. Maybe this so-called ‘African COP’ will acknowledge the plight of those who have been impacted most negatively by climate change.
Read the full post here, which includes an introduction from Gro Harlem Brundtland, the first woman Prime Minister of Norway, who had this to say: “Makoma’s call for COP27 to prioritise African issues should be heard by everyone: she reminds us that it is industrialised nations that have contributed most to climate change.”