African Civil Society Engages the 6th Special Session of AMCEN

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Natural Justice joined the ‘Pre-AMCEN African Post Paris/UNEP MGSF Consultative Workshop’ held in Cairo, 15th April 2016. The workshop was organised and hosted by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), and CSO representatives from across Africa met to deliberate on key issues on the agenda of the 6thAfrican Ministers Conference on the Environment (AMCEN). The aim of the workshop was to reflect on the COP21 outcomes, the Sustainable Development goals and plan for the 2nd United Nations Environmental Assembly scheduled for 23-27th May 2016, Nairobi, Kenya.
The UNFCCC Paris Climate Agreement was analysed and Natural Justice’s Dr. Cath Traynor joined a panel presentation on the agreement and discussed the implications of the mitigation decisions for Africa, other issues covered included adaptation, finance, gender, and technology transfer.
The following day a consultative workshop was held on ‘Energy Transformation and Access’, participants discussed the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), which aims to enable the installation of large-scale renewable energy capacity on the African continent by 2020. Speakers shared post-Paris discussions on renewable energy, and what the initiative could mean in practical terms for Africa, breakout groups discussed how energy transformation and access could be accelerated in Africa.
Ms. Hindou Oumarou (PACJA Executive Committee), Representative for Hon. Dr. Khaled Fahmy (AMCEN Chair/Minister for Environment, Egypt), & Mr. Mithika Mwenda (PACJA Secretary General)
Representatives from both workshops drafted key messages for AMCEN, these included calling on their governments to play a leading role in the forthcoming April 22 UN Paris Agreement Signing in New York, to compel developed countries to sign and ratify the Agreement, to fulfill their commitments and indeed to raise their Nationally Determined Contributions ambition so that the collective goal of limiting temperature increases to 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels can be achieved. They also called for their governments to translate the provisions of the Agreement and other AU resolutions into domestic laws, policies, structures and development strategies. Regards to AREI, they called for comprehensive safeguards, the involvement of local communities in the energy transition, and for decentralized energy. Mr. Mithika Mwenda, Secretary General of PACJA presented the collective message on the first day of AMCEN.

During AMCEN Ministers reaffirmed that adaptation to climate change is a priority for Africa, they highlighted the need for adequate support for implementation of adaptation measures, and that developed countries must adhere to their pre-2020 commitments in the Paris Agreement.

Natural Justice has produced a Working Paper ‘The Binding Nature of the 2015 Paris Agreement and Outcomes for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities’ – please email cath.at.naturaljustice.org.za for a copy.

20 April 2016

Programme

Climate Change
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