PACJA: statement on the Bonn climate talks

We, the African civil society organisations participating in the Bonn Climate Change Conference, are gravely concerned about the progress of negotiations and wish to express our utmost disillusionment on the mistrust reigning the corridors of the new World Conference Centre here in Bonn.

One day to the close of official negotiations, and just 10 days of negotiations before COP21 in Paris, consensus on key elements of the new climate change package seems to be a mirage, leaving us the people at the frontline of climate change impacts in Africa – indigenous peoples, women, small-holder farmers, hunters and gatherers, fisherfolk, women and youth – at the mercy of nature which has become hostile due to the limitless pursuit of comfort by those who have caused the climate change crisis.

Are we staring at another Copenhagen debacle? Who should be held accountable for the imminent Paris disaster that has started beckoning? By this time we should be having a draft proposal that captures the spirit of science and responsive to the priorities/demands of vulnerable people, such as adaptation, loss and damage, finance, capacity building, transparency and accountability.

Rather, priority, whether in pre-2020, post-2020 or Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), is biased towards mitigation, repeating the same pattern that has been defined and determined by countries wielding the biggest power, and those which bear the biggest responsibility on climate crisis.

As we leave Bonn, we challenge the Parties to effectively utilize the remaining few hours to agree on something concrete that will illuminate some hope to millions of people waiting for signals that this will cease to be an endless game of musical chairs.

We join the rest of the civil society, from both the North and the South, in renewing our demands for Paris:

Address the urgency of climate change:

  • Developed countries must demonstrate their commitment to raise their 2020 pollution targets to the levels required by science and justice (approx. 50% on 1990 levels);
  • Developed countries should provide finance and avail technology to ensure that developing countries can complete and fulfil their current climate action plans;
  • The activation and further capitalisation of the Green Climate Fund should ensure it is a recipient-driven, community sensitive, publically funded and controlled body that is transformative and that provides no support to fossil fuel or other harmful energy projects.

Spark the global energy transformation:

  • All countries should adopt a global scheme to fund renewable energy systems
  • Parties should decide that no ‘climate finance’ can be directed to fossil fuel projects;
  • The New Climate Agreement should reinforce platforms and institutions that allow for the sharing between governments of technology, capacity building and best practice in the energy sector

Set science based targets based on justice:

  • Paris should confirm the need to limit warming to well below 1.5C in order to limit risks of crossing tipping points in the climate system and to avoid very dangerous impacts on food;
  • Parties should set an ’emissions budget’ that gives a low probability of breaching the 1.5C temperature targets;
  • The new agreement should ensure a system so that countries’ proposed targets are assessed against this budget and against principles of equity (historical responsibility, capacity, the right to sustainable development) before they are locked-in in 2020;
  • The new Agreement should create commitments for rich industrialised countries for the transfer of finance and technology to realise the necessary just transition in the South.

Introduce strict rules and regulations:

  • A system to ensure finance and technology are transferred in line with requirements and commitments;
  • A strong compliance system that builds on the existing mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol;
  • Loss and Damage must be recognised as a key issue in which developed countries compensate and commit to providing financial and technical support to implement solutions

The establishment of a Climate Justice Tribunal that:

  • Allows citizens to bring claims against their own and other governments;
  • Hears claims against corporations with great historical responsibility or climate-damaging future projects.


**  "African Civil Society: Disillusionment, Mistrust In Bonn" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial - ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


**  Bonn:  Key issues in climae finance (a PACJA policy brief)  

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) in collaboration with other Climate Justice groups present in the #SB42 / ADP2015 Climate talks in Bonn, Germany, have released a brief on the state of climate finance.  The brief addresses the following key questions:

  • How much money is needed, and in what form?
  • Should climate finance seek to “leverage” private finance?
  • What role should the Green Climate Fund play?
  • What needs to happen?
  • How much money is needed, and in what form?

Climate finance – the transfer of public funds from developed countries to developing countries to support action on climate change – is an obligation of rich countries as one part of their “climate debt”. It is not aid or charity; it is a moral and legal responsibility which, if done correctly, can catalyze the shift to alternative systems for energy, production and consumption that are compatible with the limits of the planet and are aimed at meeting the needs of people.
How much money is needed, and in what form?

Addressing climate change will require hundreds of billions of dollars every year for developing countries, and achieving true sustainable development will cost hundreds of billions more. Crucially, the less we do now, the more it will cost later.

In 2009 in Copenhagen countries agreed to “mobilize” an arbitrary, political figure of US$100 billion per year by 2020 to address those developing country needs, magnitudes less than was spent on bailing out the banks or launching new wars.

Hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars of reliable public grant money is needed, in addition to existing aid efforts if we are to tackle the climate crisis without adding to the debt burden of countries of the South.

For the full brief click here