African Environment Ministers have established a common position to drive and negotiate for loss and damage, just energy transition, food security, climate finance, land degradation, and biodiversity conservation as the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) enters its final week, which will see tense negotiations and significant decisions being made.
A high-level consultative meeting of African environment ministers was held in Sharm El-Sheikh to reinforce the African position, hear from African negotiators, and set a single route for harmonisation before the final round of negotiations. This is when the reiterated appeal for a unified African position was made.
The head of the Nigerian delegation at COP27, the Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, reiterated that Nigeria will take a position in line with the rest of Africa. He stated that Nigeria was seeking resolutions on loss and damage, climate finance, and biodiversity conservation.
“We are not going to take a new position and that is why we are here at the level of African ministers of environment to meet and harmonise our position especially focusing on loss and damage.
“You are quite aware of the devastating flood in Nigeria and other parts of the world, basically Nigeria remains focused on loss and damage, climate finance, and biodiversity conservation. We are on course in our position.
“We are also putting pressure on developed countries to ensure that commitments are firmed and implementable,” Abdullahi stated.
Also speaking to the issue, Zambia’s Minister of Green Economy and Environment, Collins Nzovu, who also leads the African Group of Negotiators, said that: “Our presidents have been engaging my president, President Hakainde Hichilema, and he has been engaging the other world leaders.
“President Macky Sall of Senegal has been chairing the various engagements they engage at the highest level. So we believe that the presidents have been doing their part. Remember, it’s economic diplomacy, it’s development, diplomacy – climate diplomacy! What value do you extract from everybody else? How do you make them account for mitigation as well?
This story was produced as part of the 2022 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organized by Internews’ Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security.
“What we’ve been basically telling them is, can you increase your ambition? Because we are experiencing these devastating effects, how do you increase on ambition? Again, that’s a topic which our leaders at the presidential level have been taking on adaptation.
“I’m sure you know that our demand has been that adaptation finances be increased, actually, that is doubled. And that they come through with $100 billion.
“We’ve also been pushing the agenda on loss and damage. So for us, when we see all of this, the movement there, we are happy.
“However, we can only be happier when the funds start flowing.”