A new report on Climate Change Commitment in Africa has recommended that African Governments drop false solutions to addressing climate change impact and mainstream human rights protection into climate change mitigation and adaptation actions.
The report tagged ‘Assessing Climate Change, COP26 Commitments in Africa: Case Studies of Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda’, was put together by Corporate Accountability and Public Participation, Africa (CAPPA) in Nigeria, African Institute for Energy Governance, (AFIEGO) in Uganda, and South African Climate Action Network, (SACAN) in South Africa.
Akinbode Oluwafemi, the Executive Director of CAPPA while speaking at the unveiling of the report explained that it was informed by the need to review the climate commitments of African countries ahead of COP27 billed for Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt between Nov 6 – 18, 2022.
Oluwafemi who noted that the commitments of the African Governments towards climate change mitigation and adaptation appear to be mere political promises stressed that it is important that the Just Energy Transition be adapted to the African context, such that it is equitable, inclusive, gender-sensitive and respect the culture and religious rights of all.
He tasked African Governments and Global community leaders to stop financing heavy carbon projects in Africa, which according to him would lock Africa into fossil-fuel dependency.
Corroborating him, Olamide Martins, Programme Manager at CAPPA who shared that there are a lot of inconsistencies in the policies and frameworks put together to mitigate climate change impact said “we have a government that wants to transition into just energy but also wants to grow on the wings of gas. Just transition is not a destination, it is a process, and our governments should know that.”
Martins who explained that Nigeria is the first country in West Africa to have a climate change Act said beyond the policy, a lot of efforts need to be put in place to ensure climate crises are mitigated.
Philip Jakpor, Director of Programmes at CAPPA said it is pathetic that as conversations are tilting towards transiting, governments are commissioning fossil fuel infrastructure, which he described as contradictory.
Jakpor said “governments always talk about low carbon, but we want it to be no carbon. The solution to climate change is to cut emissions and the first thing the Nigerian government needs to do is to cut gas flaring. As leaders go to COP 27, African governments should get their priorities right.”
Sharing country-specific insights, Dickens Kamugisha from AFIEGO in Uganda who thinks the commitments of the Ugandan government to mitigating climate impacts are not genuine said “the government is not showing commitments regarding Just Energy Transition in Uganda. You cannot be addressing climate crisis and be expanding oil production and building pipelines, we think commitments are not genuine.”
Thando Lukoko from SACAN in South Africa also noted that as African Governments go to COP 27, there is a need to ensure they go beyond mere commitments, and ensure there are policy and legal frameworks to drive the commitments.
The published report, according to Zikorah Ibeh of CAPPA is an in-depth research that featured interviews from climate experts in the three countries, and from communities that are affected by climate change-induced actions.