“One Africa, One Voice, One Position”


“One Africa, One Voice, One Position”

Declaration by Members of African Civil Society

Accra, Ghana, 17 March 2010

We, member organizations of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, a network of 210 civil

society organizations, meeting in Accra, Ghana, during 13th to 17th March 2010 renew our

demands for climate justice and for a solution to climate change that keeps Africa safe and

secures our development.

We recognize that impacts across Africa, and in other regions of the world, indicate that

climate change is proceeding faster than predicted by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.

The Earth’s climate is “tipping” off balance and we must act swiftly to stabilize it within a

range fit for human life and human wellbeing.

We recognize that the Earth’s atmosphere is a global commons that must be shared equally

among all people. We reject attempts by the developed countries to “grab” this resource as a

form of climate colonialism. We call on them to share the atmospheric space fairly with Africa

and to compensate us for their excessive historical use and continuing excessive


We note that Africa is the most vulnerable continent. We are on the front-line. We know from

the IPCC that warming in Africa will be “larger than the global, annual mean warming

throughout the continent and in all seasons”.i We therefore accept no compromise that will

threaten our future. Africa must not sign a suicide pact.

We as Africans accept no warming to our continent. We demand no increase in temperatures.

Those who cause climate change through their excessive historical and continuing emissions

bear the moral and legal responsibilities for its effects on Africa. We call for an outcome to

climate negotiations that is based on science, on economics and on the provisions and

principles of the UN Climate Convention. We call for an outcome to the climate negotiations

that is fair and protects Africa’s future.

Support for the science-based African position

We therefore reiterate our support for the science-based African position agreed by Ministers

and senior officials and submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat by Algeria on 12 December 2009

on behalf of the African Group at Copenhagen. The outcome of a climate negotiation must

not be mere “horse trading”.

To keep Africa safe the outcome of climate negotiations must “add up” to ensure a package

of: 1) sufficient global emission reductions; 2) a fair sharing of emission reductions by

developed and developing countries; 3) adequate finance and technology transfers; and 4)

compensation for the impacts of climate change on those communities that suffer its adverse


We therefore call on all African institutions involved in the climate negotiations — including

CAHOSOCC and the African Union — to adopt the African science-based position, as a

minimum, as the only viable solution for Africa. Anything less threatens our survival.

Strengthening the science-based African Position

We note with concern the rising impacts of climate change in Africa and across the world. The

IPCC has found “In all four regions an in all seasons, the median temperature increase [in

Africa] lies … roughly 1.5 times the global mean response.”ii Climate change and its impacts

are proceeding faster than foreseen by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, and the Earth’s

climate risks passing “tipping points” to dangerous and irreversible impacts.

We accept no climate change; but we know that some climate change is now inevitable. We

therefore call for the African science-based position to be updated and strengthened to

include a global goal of keeping temperature increases below 1°C and carbon dioxide

concentrations below 300ppm. Even this risks temperature increases of over 1.5°C in parts of

Africa. We reiterate that the only known safe levels of concentrations are pre-industrial levels,

which existed for thousands of years during which human civilization evolved.

Drawing on, and strengthening the science-based African Position in light of rapidly evolving

scientific conditions, we call for an effort to:

Mitigation: “Implement the Kyoto Protocol”

We call for the Kyoto Protocol to continue post-2012 as legally mandated, with Annex I

countries to reduce their emissions by at least 50% from 1990 levels by 2017. We call on the

United States to join the Kyoto Protocol or at least to make comparable efforts under the


To curb the growth of their emissions debts, we call on developed countries to go beyond

carbon-neutral well before 2050. They must remove their historical emissions. We oppose any

effort to appropriate Africa’s fair share of atmospheric space or to create a global carbon

market to buy a further share.

Adaptation: “Compensate for climate harms”

We note that developed countries’ historical emissions are the single main contributor to

climate change and its adverse effects, including the massive violations of human rights

caused by climate change and its development implications for Africa. The costs of climate

change have been grossly underestimated. Damage from disasters, droughts, floods and

other adverse effects in Africa are rising rapidly.

To limit and repay their adaptation debts, and correct climate change induced human rights

violations, we call on developed countries to compensate Africa for the full costs of: 1)

avoiding harms (where possible); 2) actual harm and damage; and 3) lost opportunities for our

development. We demand that actions to address climate change must ensure the free, prior

and informed consent of indigenous peoples and be gender responsive in all processes.

We support the Africa Group’s position that, at a minimum, initial financing of 2.5% of Annex I

GNP is required to fund full costs of adapting to climate change. A new institutional

framework on adaptation is required under the UNFCCC including: 1) an Adaptation Executive

Body under the COP; 2) a new Adaptation Fund (under financial mechanism); 3) a

comprehensive Adaptation Programme; 4) an International Mechanism to address risk and

compensation; and 5) a compliance mechanism.

In this context, we call on industrialized countries to repay their adaptation debts. We oppose

any effort to establish adaptation as an obligation not a right, or to use adaptation as a means

to divide or differentiate between developing countries. We oppose the attempt to create a

group of so-called “most vulnerable countries” as part of the North’s divide and conquer


Finance: “Polluter not poor pays”

We note that developed countries have prospered through “cheap carbon” growth while

externalizing their costs to the atmosphere and to developing countries. The costs are now

born by Africa, as we mitigate and adapt to a crisis we played little role in causing.

To avert a climate catastrophe and enable mitigation, adaptation and technology transfer to

developing countries, we call on developed countries to, at a minimum, honor the African

Group’s demand for:

· $150 billion immediately in “special drawing rights”

· $400 billion in fast-track financing

· 5% of Annex I GNP in longer-term financing

We call for Multilateral Climate Fund to be established including: 1) an Executive Board; 2)

funds/windows for adaptation, mitigation, technology and capacity building; and 3) a trustee,

technical panels, and monitoring/verification mechanism.

We also demand an effective compliance mechanism. We oppose efforts to shift the burden

of financing away from developed countries and towards developing countries or the market.

We oppose the creation of “unsupported” or “market” NAMAs (actions) as inconsistent with

the Convention.

Technology transfer: “Transfer the tools to adapt and develop”

We note that curbing global emissions within a decade requires technology transfers on a

scale never before considered. We need a Marshall Plan for Africa and for the Earth.

Developed countries must remove intellectual property rights and pay “full incremental

costs” of technology transfer to prevent further human rights violations in Africa, protect

developing countries and to peak and decline global emissions.

We support developing countries’ demand for a Technology Mechanism including: 1) a

Technology Executive Board; 2) Technical Panels; 3) A Technology Action Plan; and 4) a

Multilateral Climate Technology Fund (under financial mechanism).

We note that, as stated in the Convention, the extent of developing countries’

implementation depends on developed countries’ implementation of financing and

technology. We oppose efforts to sell rather than transfer technologies, or to strengthen

rather than relax Intellectual property rights.

Capacity building: “Building our institutions and skills”

We call for efforts to enhance the human and institutional capacities of Africa. We call for

mechanism to be established under the UNFCCC to enhance institutional and human

resources. We call for enhanced funding and institutional resources to be made available to

African institutions. We also support calls by Bolivia for a capacity building program for the

developed countries, to enable them to reduce their consumption and change their excessive


The Copenhagen Accord: “Rejecting undemocratic processes and unjust outcomes”

We reject the Copenhagen Accord as the result of an exclusive, un-transparent and

undemocratic process involving around 28 countries selected by the Danish government. It is

an illegitimate document that was not mandated and ignores years of work in the legitimate

UN processes. It was not adopted by the UN, is non-binding and has no legal standing or

effect. African countries should not lend their legitimacy to a document that threatens

upwards of 3.9°C of warming (or around 6°C warming in Africa). To this end, through a

separate document and campaign we will petition our governments to reject or disassociate

themselves from the Accord.

An equitable approach: “Fair not false solutions”

We oppose the use of false and unfair measures by developed countries. They must not shift

burdens to developing countries, or seek to “divide and rule” the countries of the South, or to

penalize developing countries through trade or other measures. We oppose the use and

expansion of global carbon markets or sectoral trading mechanisms, by which the developed

countries will take more of Africa’s rightful share of atmospheric space. We demand an end to

“offsets” which would allow industrialized countries to continue polluting, while shifting the

burden of mitigating climate change even further to developing countries.

Ensuring accountability: “No to the World Bank and financial institutions”

We oppose efforts to extend the role of the World Bank, Global Environment Facility and

other global financial institutions. In light of their donor-driven governance and

conditionalities, and the persistent concerns of developing countries, these should be “rolled

over” into new and accountable multilateral institutions under the authority of the

Conference of Parties. These institutions, under the United Nations and African governments,

must be transparent, accountable and accessible.

The way forward: “Multilateralism, rule of law, and democracy”

We believe the way forward is to honor the existing two tracks of negotiations under the

multilateral process of the UNFCCC. Climate change affects all countries; all countries must be

involved in its solution, and thereby protect the human rights of their people and the right to

development through international cooperation. Significant progress was made before and

during Copenhagen. This progress was undermined by the untransparent effort to force

through the unjust Copenhagen Accord. We call on all countries to return to the negotiating

process under the United Nations. We oppose efforts by the United States and other

Northern governments to impose the Copenhagen Accord as the basis of negotiations.

Negotiations must rather proceed on the documents agreed by all Parties under the two

formal working groups.

Solidarity: “We stand with peoples movements and civil society everywhere”

We express our solidarity with peoples movements and civil society everywhere as part of a

common struggle to stabilize the Earth’s climate, ensure the repayment of ecological and

climate debts and ensure a future for our families and for all of life on Earth. We call for a

massive mobilization of people everywhere to demand our leaders to lead on climate change,

and to remove them if they do not. Time is short. The stakes are high. We must act together,

in solidarity.

i Contribution of Working Group I to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Chapter 11, Regional Climate Projections, at page 866-867

ii Id.



~ by Cory Morningstar on May 11, 2010.

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