..As Over 700 Groups Reject Net Zero At COP26
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) campaigning for climate justice in Africa have urged governments of Africa attending the ongoing COP26 in Glasgow to advance climate solutions that will build resilience of African communities with a view to demonstrate commitment for the continent’s fair share of global climate change action.
The African CSOs made the demands in a position paper made available to The New Diplomat by Director of Programmes, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, Mr Philip Jakpor, hours after Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari and members of his delegation had jetted out of Abuja to Glasgow, a UK city hosting the global summit on climate change.
Also, over 725 groups from nearly 100 countries including 130 African organisations had also issued a statement calling on governments and leading international institutions to end reliance on “Net Zero” promises and commit to specific, ambitious, and immediate actions to bring emissions and fossil fuel production down to Real Zero, consistent with science and equity.
The demands are coming as countries’ delegations and corporations arrive at COP26, touting Net Zero pledges premised on mid-century emissions targets, offset-based carbon accounting tricks, and illusory and dangerous technologies like carbon capture, blue hydrogen, and bioenergy. Such pledges, the statement says, mask climate inaction and provide cover for business-as-usual fossil fuel production that spells planetary destruction.
Proponents of the demands insist that so-called solution that enable Big Polluters to buy more room to continue to emit only binds people, especially in the poor regions like Africa, into decades of more devastation.
Ms. Hellen Neima, Corporate Accountability, Director of Climate Campaign for Africa said: “After weakening the Paris Agreement, polluting governments and corporations are burying real solutions that stop emissions at source in favor of empty promises disguised by the catchy ‘net zero’ slogan. Fortunately, this big con has been exposed for the scam that it is. Governments at COP26- especially Global North governments- need to stop condemning the world and heed the demands of the people by committing to real solutions and Real Zero right now”.
In his own remarks, Mr Nnimmo Bassey, Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation lamented that “the polluting rich countries and corporations are fully on ground in Glasgow to promote their Net zero scam which will only bolster corporate power and further delay the urgent actions needed to address the climate crisis.”
The African CSOs’ joint statement noted that Africa contributed and still contributes insignificantly to the current climate crisis yet is the most adversely affected by its consequences.
“It will only be strategic for the governments of the continent to project a harmonized position and engage the discussions with a ‘common language’ premised on uniform climate actions that won’t compromise each nation’s peculiarities,” the climate justice groups stated.
In their position paper, the groups made the following demands from African governments attending COP26 in Glasgow:.
Challenge and reject pledges made by polluting corporations and governments to achieve “net zero” emissions, which are being used to shift additional burdens onto the African region and avoid responsibility for their role in the global share of emissions to-date.
Commit to achieving Real Zero emissions reductions, embracing the concept of equity (each country does their fair share).
Reject industry-driven attempts to ram through rules enshrining market mechanisms into the center of Paris Agreement implementation, via the guidelines for Article 6.2 and 6.4 of the Paris Agreement.
Governments across the region must come up with real climate change plans (adaptation and mitigation) and reflect the same in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
Secure concrete outcomes advancing policies to implement real solutions via Article 6.8 of the Paris Agreement.
Advancing a strong argument to commit industrialized and wealthy countries to provide adequate climate financing for the implementation of its adaptation and mitigation plans.
Ensure that the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of African countries are independent of false solutions and corporations’ influences, but rather accommodates workable and home-grown climate solutions on mitigation and adaptations.