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Experts launch consortium to elevate vulnerable voices in COP26 climate negotiations

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Okereke


List gains of Biden’s leaders’ summit

Ahead of the United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow, this November, a consortium of thought leaders has committed to addressing, informing and influencing negotiations in the summit.

The experts spoke at the virtual launch of Allied for Climate Transformation by 2025 (ACT2025), which aims at fostering collaboration, a renewed sense of solidarity and trust as well as amplify and leverage the voices of the vulnerable to effectively influence decisions.

An official of the World Resources Institute (Global), Yamide Dagnet, said the new body would promote negotiated outcomes at the UN climate summits that are clear, ambitious, equitable and balanced, while holding countries accountable for their climate commitments under the Paris Agreement.

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The consortium will also enhance awareness and mobilise capacity on ways to pursue the implementation of the Paris Agreement and relevant Conference of Parties (COP) decisions as well as identify areas of convergence and facilitate negotiating breakthroughs.

Similarly, the group intends to strengthen existing coalitions, and empower new and emerging ones that gather progressive countries and stakeholders; promote a shared prosperity narrative and a vision for a collective future that is ultimately safer, flourishing, low-carbon and climate resilient.

Dagnet said the consortium will convene key stakeholders to identify and agree on how to design just and ambitious outcomes at these negotiations — particularly at COP26 and COP27 — that will rebuild trust, foster solidarity and drive greater climate action on the ground, saying “doing so will promote a prosperous, low-carbon and climate-resilient future for all.”

The Centre for Climate Change and Development at Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike (AEFUNAI), led by Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke is representing Africa in the consortium drawn mostly from developing countries. Members include, World Resources Institute, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (Bangladesh) and PowerShift Africa (Kenya).

Others are Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (Belize), Transforma (Latin America) and Manila Observatory (Philippines).

“2020 was a trying year for climate action. At a time when distrust between developed and developing countries was already high, the COVID-19 pandemic further challenged diplomatic approaches and brought climate cooperation among countries to an all-time low.

“Yet, there are a growing number of untapped opportunities for climate action that would greatly benefit from building bridges, enhancing trust and improving understanding among countries,” Dagnet added.

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MEANWHILE, Prof. Okereke told The Guardian that the Biden summit that brought together 40 world leaders to accelerate global response to the climate crisis will have significant impact on Nigeria and the rest of Africa.

President Joe Biden announced that US was increasing its climate ambition, pledging to cut emission by 52 per cent by 2030 compared to 2005 level. “With that, Biden has also put pressure on other countries to increase their climate ambition,” he said.

Nigeria and other African countries have been calling on developed countries to increase their climate action to help limit impact of climate change, which is being felt mostly in poor countries around the world. “The Biden summit has helped to limit global warming, which would be great for African environment and economic growth.

“But the Biden’s climate ambition and diplomacy could also pose difficulties for Nigeria and other African countries in that the new increased ambition could lead to reduction or flight in fossil fuel investment in Africa. A situation, if not well managed, it will create severe economic difficulties for African countries.

“Africa must therefore engage Biden and other developed countries to ensure that they secure support that need to make a smooth transition to the green economy,” Okereke said.

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